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So ... that happened

Well, in the end, that year worked out a lot better than those that immediately preceded it.

Dad's sickness and death in 2008 knocked the legs out from under me to a degree I hadn't anticipated. The misery and stress was compounded by the fact that I was trying to write a book. The events of 2008 forced publication of that book to be knocked back from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010 (which in fact became January 2011), and as a consequence, as 2009 rolled around, I was still writing, even as I wrestled with post-Dad depression and attempted to organize a Greenland expedition for Greenpeace.

That expedition at least was a success; the same can not be said of a Gulf of Mexico tour I coordinated the year after. My mother's death in September forced me to abandon my role in that tour but it also, ironically, marked the end of the downturn.

My brothers and I spent last Christmas together in our parents' house (which was now of course ours), and what could have been a difficult situation was in fact a special and bonding one. And then the calendar turned over to 2011.

My book came out. I interviewed Mike Tyson in Las Vegas. I went to Tombstone. For once, I wasn't struggling for work: at times, in fact, I was overwhelmed with it. I felt I did some of it quite poorly, and yet nonetheless there seems a strong possibility that it will lead to further work in 2012.

I lost love, found love, lost it again and then found it once more - the final time, with someone I had dated eight years previously and whom I had always regretted allowing to escape. This time, our relationship has a feeling of permanence, as if my life has entered a new phase; perhaps, after 43 years of largely single and itinerant life, I am on the verge of settling down, with a woman I love and in a part of the world I have loved for many years.

If there is a regret, it is one over which I have no power - the rapidity with which time passes. I am at the point in my life where the years I have lived are almost certainly more numerous than the ones that I will live yet, and the sad realization that there is no reset button, no opportunity to resume the game of life from a previously saved point, leads to a melancholy assessment of achievements not made and time wasted.

It also, however, prompts greater appreciation of the here and now, of the importance of living in the moment. If I do make any kind of resolution entering 2012, it will be to do just that.
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