Tonight, I don't want to just make a catalog of things that happened, I want to share some of the important things I've learned while 46.
October saw my successful re-election to the Slighe nan Gaidheal Board of Directors. It was a contested election with more than 3 candidates for the 3 open positions. Contested elections aren't the norm for our little community, so we all faltered a bit while we figured out how to manage conflict instead of basking in our consensus. It became obvious during election cycle that there were people who wanted me off of the Board and I have been struggling to find a way to live with that. Part of the answer was realizing that I really am ready to retire. At the end of my current term, I will have given 18 years of my life to Slighe nan Gaidheal and I think that's enough. I'll spend the remainder of this term wrapping up loose ends, upgrading infrastructure so that my skillset in IT isn't necessary for daily functions, and handing work off of to others.
|Me and Auntie Pat|
|Eric and I in Cleethorpes, October 2001|
December brought two sets of visitors to stay with me and go to the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Seattle Center. Doug and his best friend Sophia, and the much-loved Robins / Rawdah family from Portland. During one of my trips through the galleries when Doug was here, I had a revelation. I realized that I was surrounded by objects, most of whose sole purpose was to preserve the reputations of people into the future. I sank down on a bench and began to sob quietly. Doug knew what was moving me, of course, sat beside me, and leaned in close. He said "Your enemies will never be able to chip your name off every obelisk. They can't." No. They can't. Furthermore, someone who believes lies about me never was my friend to begin with.
|Tacoma's Museum of Glass|
One of the most challenging things to happen this year was a change to Doug's schedule imposed by his employer unilaterally. He went from working Monday through Thursday, to working Thursday through Monday. No days off together at all. We started living for our next Hawaiʻian vacation at the end of July.
Our Saturday date-night destination, the incredible Mirchi Cuisine of India was sold. The Mom-and-Pop shop which had lost its Mom to undiagnosed cancer the previous July passed into new hands. It's hard to describe Mirchi. I used to say that it was the best Indian food I had ever eaten. Now I just say that it was the best food I had ever eaten period. We haven't been back since.
|A typical Mirchi meal|
Back to the subject of learning, I think the most important thing that finally sunk in, was that the people who deride me behind my back and try to undermine my position in my community are the ones with the problem, not me. There's nothing I can do to help the situation, so for the sake of my soul, I will stay on the high road and keep my eyes on my own goals.