January 1, 1999
Sunshine and Shirtsleeves

Another beautiful California morning.
  I just can't get over the novelty of walking to the laundry room in sunshine and shirtsleeves ... in January.  Forty years' worth of Pacific Northwest winters have programmed me to reach for my jacket and umbrella, anytime I start to walk out the door: now I've got to remember to reach for my sandals and sunglasses. (And even the sandals are optional: I've walked around outside quite comfortably barefoot this morning, as long as I avoid the broken glass on the walkway: evidence of our neighbors' New Year's Eve *revelry.*)

Sunshine in the middle of winter is definitely something I can get used to.

Another thing I can get used to? Waking up on the first day of a brand new year feeling absolutely wonderful.  No hangover. No headache. No mad dashes to the bathroom on a quarter-hourly basis.  No soggy ashtrays in the kitchen sink. No empty bottles in the garbage. No puddles of anything  --  organic or otherwise  --  anywhere. No forgotten phone conversations, or burn marks on clothing, or grumpy disoriented friends waking up on the sofa.  And  --  perhaps best of all  --  none of that sinking sense of "Oh shit ... I did it again." That's a lousy way to begin any morning, but it's an especially lousy way to begin the first morning of a new year.

Instead, I woke to California sunshine, and a clear head, and David smiling at me, and a great cup of coffee and some fun e-mail from people I love ...

... and the expectation that this is not only going to be a great day, it's going to be a great year. And like I said: THAT is something I can definitely get used to.

I've decided that I'm not going to make any formal New Year's Resolutions this year, after all.. There are some things I'm going to try and gradually cut back on  --  or completely eliminate  --  in '99. (Caffeine. Lorenzo Lamas refs on this website. Eyeliner. Dingbat fonts.) And there are some things I'm going to try to introduce more of into my life. (Sleep.)  I have some specific goals for the immediate future.  Finding a decent job, more or less immediately, would be #1 on the list. Getting the Tots down here for a visit would be another. And I have some not-so-specific goals for the not-so-immediate future  ...  like going back to school. Or finally finishing that haiku. ("My headache is gone/Thank you, makers of Alleve/insert next line here"). But mostly, 1999 is going to be about maintenance.  I made a lot of scary-but-life-affirming choices in 1998. Twelve months from today, I want to write a journal entry for this website that reads, "For the second year in a row, David and I woke up on New Year's Day feeling absolutely wonderful." And then I want the two of us to go for a walk in the California sunshine.

Barefoot, of course.



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