goodbye 2008

So this year sucked in a lot of ways. Every year always has its ups and downs but this year seemed like every time there was an up, the down was like a swift kick in the gut followed by a pummeling that left me exhausted for weeks.

As so many other blogs are doing (and why wouldn’t they), there are various re-caps, summing ups and favorites lists to send 2008 on its way. I will not deviate from that much, but I’ll first give my thoughts on some things I’m thinking about as the new year is but hours away for me.

My sister already has her “resolutions” in place. I put that word in quotations only because it’s become such a cliche. They are goals, things to look forward to, simple accomplishments and major ideas. As she said, “I have everything from “Eat at the Red Iguana” to “end the year lighter than I started it.”” I have not yet committed anything to paper or planner or blog, but the overall sense I have for 2009 in relation to making it a good year is self care. (did you see that, Mom?) I want to be more aware of the ways I can take care of myself so that I can be more joyous, more free, more loving, etc. These things, like so much in life, are big and small. A pedicure, a walk, a guilt-free day of reading, a movie, health…

There are other thoughts I have for ’09 but that is the one that has been resonating the most these last few days. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that I have not fully committed to that concept this year, as much as I thought I was at some points. I need to find a way to integrate it into my daily life so that it’s not just about “me” time, but a shift in how I tackle all of my tasks. This realization has been slow-coming but, if successful, will help align a lot of things that frequently seem out of whack.

So on to the ’08 re-cap. And speaking of “resolutions”, let’s look back at what I envisioned for this year:

1. Reduce my impact on the earth.
2. Read 20-25 books.
3. Get back to my poetry roots.
4. Better prepare for the holidays.
5. Take a couple trips.
6. Release “Best of Meeting Grace” volume 2
7. Acoustic Duo goals:
– book and route tours of TX, NoCal, Northwest and midwest
– book locally
– help coordinate recording of 5th studio album

8. Rock band goals:
– work to increase visibility of band
– help coordinate recording of 1st album
– book locally and potentially regionally

9. Studio goals:
– develop word of mouth campaign to attract new clients

# 1 (Reduce my impact on the earth.) was not as successful as I’d hoped. I do remember to take my own bags to the grocery stores if I’m planning a shopping trip, but the impromptu trips after work were not as “green” as I’d hoped. I also did not lose any weight, but instead probably gained some.

I got very close to accomplishing goal # 2 (Read 20-25 books.) I read 19 books this year which I’m thrilled about. I finished both books I was reading (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and The Almost Moon) on Monday and thought I could speed-read one more to make my goal but it’s not going to happen. Still, I loved this reading goal and it will make a return appearance for ’09.

Goal # 3 (Get back to my poetry roots.) started out strong. I had some readings this year, I wrote some new work, and I was published a couple times. All of that in itself is really great and I’m proud of it, but I guess compared to my more prolific “early” years, I may have been a bit too far-reaching in this goal. I need to understand that my place in and my stamina for the poetry scene I once flourished in is a journey that’s come to a close. That is not to say my writing is finished or anything, but I just need to shape it into something else. Maybe it’s not about attending readings, maybe it’s about being published more and finding a new connection to other poets who are out there. I have some ideas about this one as well for ’09. Stay tuned.

I think I did pretty good with goal # 4 (Better prepare for the holidays.) Throughout the year I kept a list of gift ideas and a wish list (sometimes they overlapped). I also completed a homemade poem-a-month calendar (limited edition) for my immediate family which had been a goal of mine in ’07 that crashed & burned. The CD we did for our family and friends was also really fun and very well-received. My shopping was done by early December and I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I will admit that I never felt the Christmas spirit and I’m sad about that. That is not to say I was unhappy or ungrateful, but there is just something in the season that I usually always feel and this year it did not shine through. This was another good goal and I bet I can improve on it for ’09.

# 5 (Take a couple trips.) was accomplished. I heart traveling and wish I had the disposable income to back it up as much as I would like. And although some of the trips we thought we’d take at the beginning of the year didn’t actually happen, the fates still played roles in taking me (and sometimes Han & DK) to some interesting locations. Places I went in 2008:

– Las Vegas (June)
– Julian (June)
– Mansfield, Missouri (July)
– Clinton, Iowa (October)
– Redding, CA (November)
– Chico, CA (November)
– San Francisco, CA (November)
– various trips to LA over the year

It looks like there will be Texas, at least, in 2009, and maybe (hopefully) more.

# 6 (Release “Best of Meeting Grace” volume 2) was accomplished and with it came the close of Meeting Grace itself, the house concert series I had started in 2000. I miss it in some ways, but don’t in a lot of others. The compilation CD is awesome and I’m so glad to have the memories that each performance brings.

The Acoustic Duo goals for # 7 were mostly accomplished. They toured in the midwest and NorCal and made appearances at conferences in Texas and Arizona that will help boost their schedule in ’09. Their local bookings all were great and they are still at work on that 5th album. It will be a high priority in early ’09.

The Rock Band goals for # 8 were general and thus more “easy.” They played regularly in town, but LA is still a tough nut to crack. They are also still in the process of recording that first album which will make ’09 a year for release parties and hopefully some good press.

# 9’s studio goals was solitary as it is a work in progress. The name changed and a new website is in the works. Clients have been steady and should only continue as Han continues to produce amazing sounding records. All of the music business goals will remain in place with hopes to be more strategic and prepare sooner for 2010, especially with regard to the Acoustic Duo.

And that’s that. Of course, aside from the goals I set for myself, there were some other happenings (minor & major) of 2008 in my small world.

– we staged two large Acoustic Duo shows with 350+ at each (February & August)
– I volunteered as a community reader at an elementary school in Chula Vista (February)
– hosted last Meeting Grace show (March)
– we moved (April)
– Rob & Paulette’s wedding (April)
– new babies for Laurel & Lee (April), Devon & Anna (July) & Rob & Paulette (September)
– hosted a fundraiser benefit show for Eric Lowen of Lowen & Navarro who has ALS that raised over $2,000 (April)
– all the family (including Mia) visit (April)
– Junior Theatre performances with DK : Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (crew – May) and CATS (pit singer – November)
– meeting many of Han’s close friends from high school at a memorial for his friend Paul (May)
– Jonny & Cathryn’s wedding (June)
– Robert Plant & Allison Kraus concert (June)
– Jenny & Brad’s wedding (July)
– Han getting Amy Tan’s autograph for me (September)
– visiting Alcatraz and seeing Lucinda at the Fillmore (November)
– Disneyland twice while it’s decorated for the holidays, once with S, T, Han & DK and again with just Han (November & December)

And in the larger world we share, the economic fall-out has been the story of the year, but I’d rather focus on the jubilation of electing Barack Obama as the next president of the United States and look forward to 1-20-09 when he is inaugurated.

Finally, I can’t possibly sum up this year without speaking about the deaths of family and friends, acquaintances and others that all happened this year. As of today, the count is 11 as another soul left us yesterday. Julie was a close friend of DK’s mom and a very special person to DK herself having known her since she was a small girl. I had met Julie a couple times when we had gatherings for DK’s birthday in the past. May she rest in peace along with:

Paul Lowry
Craig Yerkes
“Papa” Herman Light
Brendan Moran
Dan Ely
Wanda Light
Scott Zensen
Lorna “Doone” Hamilton
Cindy’s mom
Dave “Smitty” Smith

This ended up being a very long post but hey, I’m re-capping a whole year! Here’s wishing you (and me!) a more prosperous, more health-filled, more life-affirming, more positive, more productive, more rockin’, more loving, more blissful new year and may it all start right away!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mamacita says:

    Yes!!! I totally agree you need more self care, more time to yourself doing things you like and enjoy 🙂 so good for you for writing it down!
    Enjoyed reading your blog, and hope you have a wonderful 2009
    Love you

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