Giving Thanks, 2014 Edition

It’s Thanksgiving Eve. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, a day to consider how we are blessed (in a fortunate way/not simply a “Christian” way) and a day to consider – honestly – just how lucky we are.

It would be easy for me to say that 2014 has sucked so far, and ask The Universe just where the hell my “blessings” are.

In August 2014, I closed my business after almost seven years of (literally) blood, sweat and tears. Mostly tears. The closing of my business was a bit devastating emotionally and certainly was, and continues to be, somewhat crushing financially as well. With the closing of my business came my return to the employment market as a job SEEKER – I hadn’t “filled out an application” in more than probably twenty years; each of my jobs before opening my own business was the result of scouting by my then-future employer – I got ASKED to work with them. Reciting my high school GPA and “Other Interests” was something very alien and foreign to me.

The summer and fall of 2014, I stood by and watched as state after state achieved marriage equality, while my state CONTINUES to maintain an almost pre-Stonewall attitude around this issue. And earlier this month, somehow my state granted the madman that is our governor the power of four more years to destroy our state. And don’t even ask me about what happened in the Senate.

Probably saddest, in October of 2014, I lost my father, my beloved Pop-pop, to a long and valiant battle with cancer. I lost Grammy (my mom) six years ago and, during the time since, my Dad and I had become closer than ever; in fact, it was like getting to know him all over again. I called Pop-pop every day. I miss him, and I miss my Mom. A lot. A well-intentioned friend called me an “orphan” upon finding out my Pop-pop had passed away. I am NOT an orphan. I have two AMAZING parents – they are just away from me now, for the time being. They are now two amazing guardian angels.

Those are just the “highlights” of 2104 for me but – you know what? The year has been pretty great to me as well…

While I closed my business, I embarked on not one but TWO new endeavors, one at a cherished public institution in my adopted hometown and one in a new design venture with a new partner who is, in fact, my husband. Both careers look bright and, while I am “starting on the ground floor” at both, good things are already happening at each. Two days ago, I got promoted at “my day job” and assumed a new position within the organization, a position that suggests career growth and a stable, secure future. As far as my new design venture goes, working with my life partner/husband is a joy and our new firm is already developing a following. Hooray!

Even though Ohio (my state) is in The Dark Ages as far as marriage equality goes, I am legally-married to my husband and we will soon be celebrating the one year anniversary of his Green Card approval (that was a L-O-N-G journey/struggle, chronicled in many previous posts here on this blog). If it is possible, I think that guy loves me more every day – and I love him more, too. Eventually, Ohio will “see the light” and finally join the 21st Century with regard to LGBT rights and equality.

Finally, while I miss BOTH my parents every day, I am happy to know that they are reunited and happy. And contrary to what I feared, being “parent-less” has not left me feeling rudderless or adrift. Rather, I feel empowered and almost a bit reckless (but in a good way). The state of answering only to yourself for your actions (and your spouse, of course!) is actually a very liberating one. I like it. I miss Grammy and Pop-pop terribly but the freedom they have given me is a great, great gift.

So all in all, 2014? Maybe NOT so bad so far… Sure, heck – I hope 2015 will be even better but we still DO have almost a month of 2014 left. Who knows? It may still turn out to be the best year ever…

It’s funny. I was looking for a profound, “deep” quote about being thankful and ran across this sage advice from Oprah Winfrey herself. Who’da ever thought I’d be sharing inspiring Oprah quotes on my blog? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanksgiving Oprah

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Really? Now, Already?

You know that trite adage – “When one door closes, another opens?” Well, in my life, doors AND windows are flying open. I have so much happening right now it is hard to keep everything straight. My “pocket file cabinet” is nearly at capacity…

still to do

I mean:

1. I have four more days till my brick and mortar storefront closes. There are utilities to be terminated (thanks, Scott!), “arrangements” to be made, debts to be collected, debts to be paid – all of it. Ugh.

2. My recent promotion at “my day job” is going well but the expectations of my immediate supervisor are proving to be greater than I had imagined. It will all work out (and I do love that job) but there ARE only 24 hours in every day.

3. My goal of continuing to do interior design after the storefront closed seemed questionable; I have two design jobs “in process” but worried about gaining more. Turns out, now I have two MORE on the line, and maybe another prospect after that. Sweet.

4. I spoke with Pop-pop tonight and he had a good day today. For that, I thank The Universe (and respectfully ask for many more – and consecutive, please!)

5. My Beloved MSW continues to be the best hub-bub a gay could ask for (love you, Sweetie!) I will admit, though, that arranging one full-time job, two “part-time” jobs and classes for school – all with ONE car – takes some coordination and calendar effort but, hey – better than just sitting home doing nothing, right?

So, yeah – today is looking much brighter than the preceding 2-3 days, and I am glad. I do hope my life returns to some sort of normal rhythm soon – and listen, it can be a rhythm traveling at the speed of sound but I would like the “peaks and valleys” to all level out a bit. Universe? You still listening? Thanks in advance!

The M-L Holiday Extravaganza 2013

Well, Christmas is now mere days away. I know this not only because I can “read” a calendar but because tonight was also the annual M-L (Morgan-Lamm) Holiday Extravaganza 2013. This party is THE holiday gathering of the season – every year, it just gets better and better and this year was no exception…

My Beloved and I arrived about 8:15P, just as the party was “hitting its stride.” A bountiful table was covered with delicious foods and sweets and the signature vodka “punch” was killer, too. The house was filled to the rafters with festive party-goers:

Big office partyThe place was PACKED with friends, some old and some new. Martin and I were pleased to see everyone but especially happy to see two old friends that have moved to Atlanta – they are in town for the holidays and their presence at the party made a super-duper evening well, um, fantabulous. Later, as the crowd thinned a bit, we got to spend time with our hosts, Scott and Joe, and thank them for a kick-ass party. The evening was super fun.

vintage office partyAs the party began to wind down, I looked at my husband (that I love very much), our dear friends (too numerous to mention all by name here) and our surroundings – a gorgeous house, filled with the two things I live for – love, and Christmas – and realized that I am a very lucky guy…

I am lucky enough to share my life with a one-of-a-kind guy, my one-and-only. We have a great circle of friends that love and support us. And we are blessed to live in a city and time when we can all meet and celebrate without fear.

It is already my best Christmas ever!

Thankful Thursday

Feelings of thanks and gratitude spring from many different situations, sometimes many different situations. Take my day today, for example…

Today, my business partner and I got to enjoy lunch with a friend we knew from “the old neighborhood.” She is a lovely woman and a lot of fun – it was great catching up and “shooting the breeze.” For the opportunity to enjoy lunch today with friends, I am thankful.

place_settingThis afternoon, we landed another contract to do a home office for one of our favorite, ongoing design clients. It’s definitely not a HUGE job, but we really like the couple, they are fun to work with, they have awesome taste (YEAH!) and they don’t live on the edge of The Universe. For the opportunity to continue working with great clients on a fun new project, I am thankful.

contemporary home officeTonight, I attended an educational open house at a local kitchen showroom with my business partner. We made some new contacts and learned a few new things – plus, they had a chef there serving THE most delicious food. Yum. For the opportunity to learn new things – and taste yummy food – I am thankful.

contemporary kitchenFinally, I am now home, with my beloved Husband (who is blogging in the next room!). He also had a very full but fun day and we are both exhausted. For the opportunity to live a full life, with the guy I love fully and with all my heart, I am thankful.

I am also thankful that today is almost over – great as it was/is, I am BEAT! Thankful Thursday? Time to hit the sheets!

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