New Year’s Day 2011 has arrived. New Year is always such an interesting time of the year. No matter what the previous year may have brought, many people start the new year with fresh hope and optimism. The slate gets wiped clean and it is almost as if the previous 12 months were just a dream.
2010 was a difficult year for many people. The economic woes have continued for large swaths of the American people. Jobs are harder and harder to find. I have nearly a dozen friends all over the country that are now unemployed. Some of them have been unemployed for 1 or even 2 years. Yet even for them, 2011 holds new promise and new potential.
2010 started on a particularly bad note for me as my relationship of 16 years all but dissolved. Fortunately, my partner and I have been able to make up and are heading towards our 17th year together.
In March of 2010, I took over the post of Democratic Chair for my voting Precinct (Travis County Precinct 208). That has been an interesting endeavor. I worked along with the rest of the party to get Bill White elected as governor of Texas, as well as on a number of races for the state House of Representatives. Unfortunately, it was a bad year for Democrats everywhere, with Texas being no exception. Rick Perry won a third full term as governor and all but 2 of the Democratic State Reps from Central Texas were defeated in the November election. The result is that the State House is almost 2 to 1 in favor of the Republican Party. Being a Democrat in Texas is an uphill battle. Thank G-d I live in Austin where there are more liberals than conservatives.
Of course, I traveled a lot this past year. Starting with Hawaii in January, and ending with Florida in December. In between, there were trips to San Francisco, Kansas City and New Orleans, among others. Didn’t get to Europe this year, but I am hoping to in 2011. Also hope to get to Montreal and Cabo San Lucas in 2011. We’ll see how that goes.
My dogs are doing well, though Rex (our 13 year old Westie) is definitely showing signs of getting old [aren’t we all??]. He is still doing great overall, though. I think his younger brother and sister help him in that regard.
In December, I turned 44. It is hard to believe that I am in my mid 40’s. I still want to think of myself as a young man. Oh well. Time – you cruel thing.
I have been fortunate to be fairly healthy this year with no major setbacks. That is always a good thing. My partner John has not been so lucky. He is in the process of recovering from bilateral pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in both lungs). Fortunately the medicines are doing their work and he seems to be improving every day.
So here we are in 2011 now. 2010 is in the history books. And as I said at the top of this post, it always amazes me how people get a new outlook on life at this time of year. I am hopeful that the new optimism will stay with me well into the new year. Here’s to a year of good health, good friends and good times.