looking back, looking ahead

2014 is here! I spent New Year’s Eve with Han at Calman & Becky’s house. Cathryn & Jonny came also, along with some other friends of C&B. It was a mellow evening, and in fact, many of us commented on how tough it would actually be to make it to midnight. But we did it! But before that, we watched “Across the Universe,” chatted, ate jambalaya, and drank wine. After some champagne and a kiss at midnight, Han & I came home and went to bed.

In other parts of the world, particularly Austin, Texas, my friend, Barbara, was realizing a dream when her band opened for Willie Nelson then were invited to sing with him! I’m beyond thrilled for her. Very cool.

And now a look back at 2013. It may be cliche, but it’s a good practice. What better time to take stock?

The year started with panic and death. Let’s see how the rest of it turned out.

January 2013:

– the Acoustic Duo launched their new venture with another duo in town with a couple shows
– I had an unexpected panic attack
– Han went on the road with Flan to Northern CA
– we hosted a memorial evening for Han’s friend, Jen, who took her own life

February 2013:

– the Acoustic Duo traveled to Texas for some shows
– Han & I went with some friends for a great Palm Springs weekend getaway
– celebrated my parents’ 48th anniversary and my sister visited
– the podcast had its launch party at Winston’s

March 2013:

– I participated in the Undy 5000, a walk to raise money for colon cancer research and treatment
– saw D in Oklahoma! at SCPA
– went to emergency with diverticulitis again
– started getting acupuncture

April 2013:

– Han’s mom, step-dad, and step-sister visit for a week
– started therapy
– said goodbye to Billy, who moved to Nashville
– volunteered with co-workers (San Diego River Park Foundation)
– spent time with my folks to celebrate my dad’s 73rd birht
– had periodontal surgery
– started attending Rebecca’s open poetry reading

May 2013:

– the Acoustic Duo traveled to Central CA
– handed over booking duties
– participated in the Live Dive Drive
– Memorial Day weekend in Big Bear

June 2013:

– traveled to Utah to surprise my sister for her birthday!
– raised over $700 for San Diego Writers Ink, and participated in Blazing Laptops
– the Acoustic Duo opened for the Doobie Brothers
– Han started a solo residency with another friend at Cosmos Coffee in La Mesa

July 2013:

– 4th of July morning in Crest, then party at our house
– saw Fleetwood Mac at Viejas Arena
– ‘officially’ stopped working on studio and Acoustic Duo booking
– attended a poetry slam for the San Diego slam team

August 2013:

– attended another poetry slam
– San Diego slam team took 4th place at the National Poetry Slam (!)
– saw the Americanarama tour (Ryan Bingham, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Bob Dylan) in Irvine
– saw Willie Nelson at Humphrey’s
– Barbara in town (CD release)
– Jeff Buckley tribute show at Old Globe outdoor theatre (Han performed – amazing!)
– Sandy came to visit!

September 2013:

– Sandy in town: time with the folks, BBQ at my house, lunch in Del Mar, movie at Cine0polis, Padres game – perfection!
– D started her junior year at Mt. Everest Academy
– Acoustic Duo traveled to midwest
– participated in North Park poetry slam
– volunteered with co-workers (Balboa Park canyon clean-up)
– Han to Austin to play Barbara’s TX CD release
– invited to read at Poetry & Pancakes

October 2013:

– quit doing the podcast
– saw John Mayer at Sleep Train amphitheater (and got to go backstage!)
– started attending open reading at Cafe Cabaret
– attended Old Town reading (Gelato Poetry series)
– saw “The Last Goodbye” at the Old Globe

November 2013:

– Han to Northern CA to kick-off music season with Flan
– participated in a reading at the new downtown library
– dinner with Barbara
– The Last Waltz at Poway Center for the Performing Arts
– started volunteering at Helen Woodward Animal Center
– movie and dinner with Han for my 42nd birthday
– started writing dates with Lindsay
– Thanksgiving with Han at my parents’ in La Mirada

December 2013:

– had featured reading at Gelato Poetry series in Old Town
– Mom’s 70th birthday surprise day!
– got diverticulitis (again)
– D went to WA for the holiday
– Acoustic Duo holiday show
– Star of India show w/ Flan
– Christmas in La Mirada with Han and family
– New Year’s Eve at Calman’s

Those were the happenings. I’m not complaining about my life. I’m luckier than many, and I truly am grateful for the support of Han, my family, a select group of close friends, and my co-workers. But 2013 was a tough year for me emotionally. From the panic attack to depression to my deep struggle against guilt for backing away from the musical responsibilities I had once shouldered in order to discover or re-discover a sense of self and happiness. As time has passed, I think both Han & I are becoming more comfortable with it. There are flare-ups, but not as regularly as they used to be. The booking guy who had taken it over quit on us in November, so C is taking it on. That may not be ideal either, but it’s something. I’ve returned to poetry to find most of the same people involved, but there are some others. I’ve returned to performing which I love so much. I’ve returned to writing, although not as often as I’d like. This full-time job thing gets in the way! And there is that. The job. It’s good. Not always satisfying, but I feel respected and knowledgeable.

Looking back at the items I had wanted to accomplish in 2013, I missed some things like learning Photoshop and seeing a podiatrist. But I did some things, too, like getting to the periodontist and organizing the house a bit more.

There’s a larger exercise I want to do for 2014, called Unraveling 2014, that I think my sister’s going to do as well. But in general, the year ahead should hold some good things. There’s, of course, my monthly (or more) visits to see my parents, but I also want to do a bit more traveling. Perhaps Austin in April for the Austin International Poetry Festival, maybe the UK/Europe in late July/August with Han, potentially Colorado or somewhere around Christmas to meet up with Han’s mom, or who knows. But those are possibilities. I’d also like to start submitting to publications. Getting publishing credits is always a good thing. I’d like to create a new chapbook, maybe shop it around rather than doing it myself. And I’d like to work more on the book about B. I will still be involved with Han’s music, but in a much more behind-the-scenes way – handling the money and doing social media. I’d like to strengthen and build on my relationship with him. I’d like to save a little bit of money. I’d like to read a bit more and see more movies. I’d like to get outside more. Move my body more. I’d like to keep my cherished friendships strong with more regular contact. There was some talk of getting involved in a new reading at a new venue, but the details are still in their infancy. And I’d like to do something to pamper myself at least once a month (besides acupuncture) like a pedicure, manicure, facial, massage, movie. Something indulgent that doesn’t need to break the bank. I got more Spa Finder gift cards for Christmas so I have some dough to spend 🙂 And speaking of that, I have several gift cards that have been in my wallet for over a year. I want to spend those, too. The idea of betterment is still in my thoughts, again whether it’s for me or for others, it’s good to keep it at the forefront. And finally, in reading back through my posts, I saw the one from my birthday with the word I thought could work for me this year. Fortitude. As in 42’d. It’s a good word. Let’s do this.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. mamacita says:

    I enjoyed very much reading your recap and also Sandy’s. I hope you achieve all that will make you happy in 2014 🙂

  2. Sandy says:

    You’re so awesome. Seeing you sitting in my dining room on June 5 meant so much to me. I was having a hard time and you were exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. Whatever you need from me, whenever you need it, you can count on me. Love you!

  3. Mia says:

    You are such a gifted writer! I always enjoy reading your posts. I do hope everything good for you this new year and what you want to achieve is great.
    I really love that you take time to go to LM so often. I wish I could go more often too but it’s so far and quite expensive and the time never seems to be enough. I do have a wish for this year and that is that I want to come over and see you all. I don’t know if that’s achievable but I will try.
    Take care now! I sen you and Han a big hug.
    Love you

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