For those following my New York saga, Saturday primarily consisted of returning to D.C. by train, after Tommy and I had lunch. Actually, a spectacular lunch at Beecher’s Homemade Cheese on Broadway in the Flatiron. They make cheese. They purvey cheese. They have a counter. They have a café. The counter is reasonable, quick, and if you find yourself hankering for a breath-taking grilled cheese or mac and cheese, look no further.
After lunch, I left New York for my first New Years Eve alone in decades, if ever.
Marty and Frannie invited me to their home where two other couples were joining them. Not knowing one of the couples, and the whole seventh wheel deal, I opted out of the generous offer.
I started the evening at a local BBQ joint where I had wings and a few drinks.
Chatting with the staff was quite pleasant. The bartender told me her story. The off-duty manager in the tuxedo who had bailed on a party, pontificated on his management philosophy.
“Everyone is a guest, not a customer.” Smart manager.
Even just a quarter full, the place was loud. Are restaurants purposely designed so you hear everything except those with whom you’re attempting to converse?
Finally, around 9, I made my way home. I quickly discovered my Internet and cable were down. Thanks Comcast. And so, unceremoniously, I went to bed.
2016 was such a strange landmark on my journey. A long chapter ended. A second one began. As I organize my memories, it would be a disservice to unilaterally categorize 2016 as totally sucking.
Trump’s ascension, portending a United States where the will of a few may crush many of the fundamental values a majority of the country hold dear, is terrifying. While I take comfort the separation of powers will prevent radical institutional catastrophes, the President’s ability to influence and choose the direction of the nation’s moral compass, is untethered.
Regardless, 2016 reminds me there are no absolutes. It parallels my own journey where I have come to understand and accept the co-existence of different emotions. I still struggle with chronic anxiety, yet increasingly, find moments of serenity. I still mourn the memories of a life I no longer live while finding joy in who I now am.
I can dislike much that happened in 2016, but still finding gratitude that it was the year I embraced the voice inside of me that was silent for so long.
Recently I wrote about identifying longer-term goals and keeping them in mind as I continue on my journey. Not resolutions, which feel like recipes for failure, but goals, with strategies, tactics, small steps in a set direction. And that’s where I am now, thinking about some of those goals and how I realize them.
Not a bad way to begin the New Year. Or the new week for that matter.
Stay in touch. Connect.
P.S. This painful moment comes from About A Boy, a book by Nick Hornby. The book is laugh outloud funny.