Sunday, October 23, 2011

Didn't Write Much in 2010

Goodbye 2010 … the year of transition. It started so unhealthy and ended so superbly. So many subtle transformations took place that were not very visible all at once, but amounted to a great year of change. Some of it a bit scary and worrisome and some of it so unbelievably good that I have no doubt that the rest of my life will be better for it.

I started to write this on Friday, December 31, 2010, but had to put it aside when the afternoon was consumed waiting for the Auto Club in the parking lot at Jerry’s Deli in Encino. An 88-year-old man mistook the accelerator for his break pedal and drove over 2 concrete parking blocks and hit Gabriela’s little blue bug head-on sending it 5 feet backwards, bleeding oil and radiator fluid. It could mean a goodbye to Cedric, the blue beetle. We will know more tomorrow.

I gained a client and lost two and gained a job and lost a job. 2010 saw my income slowing wither to about half of what it was at the beginning of the year while the expenses for school increased – budget cuts being passed onto the student and all. And the cost of getting into college!! I honestly don’t know how some people do it. My father is in awe of what I was able to accomplish this year with fewer resources. “Smoke and mirrors”, he says. Smoke and mirrors and being extremely resourceful and gifted with excel spreadsheets and managing cash flow and finding hidden money. A gift my clients benefit from daily which I am sure helped me gain the increase in responsibility and year-end Bonus at RingTales … ever need to laugh while work-stuff crashes down around you? Work at a cartoon animation studio. I really love working there.

I fell in love. It was short lived, but profound. I wished it to have lasted longer, but alas, I had to return Liz Kolar’s Cervelo road bike to her after she so graciously let me borrow it for a few months early in the year. I honestly never liked a bike more. Not even the precious LiteSpeed I sobbed over while selling late in 2009 to help pay for surgery.

And then came the affair with a Predator; Justin, thank you for letting me borrow and race the Malibu Tri on your bike! So fast! I wish I had been in shape enough to do it justice.

Love and loss with bikes in 2010. Ahhhh!

I managed to stick to my goal of worrying less and fixing the things that I can and being ok with the things that I can’t. Yay for me! However, I still have a half built butcher block kitchen thingie that really needs a-fixing that I cannot do. Any volunteers?

And some help un-sticking the window in my bathroom that was painted open would be appreciated too!!!

Ahh … another highlight: our apartment was painted and carpeted last April. First time in 12+ years! So nice to come home to fresh and new.

I lost weight, gained speed, endurance and strength, almost back to my pre-Juice Wireless self (side note: Juice Wireless was the horrible corporate start-up job that ruined my health and well being in 2007-2008 … such a long recovery!)

I helped raise much needed funds for the Samohi Aquatics program with a host of fund-raisers and coached some of the kids for an open water swim challenge. I get such a rush when I know I have made a positive difference. It is worth so much more than gold.

I became a triathlete for the third time when Anne and I chit-chatted our way through the Malibu Triathlon in September. People looked at us funny when we strolled past them discussing childcare and carpooling schedules for the coming week … it may not get us on the podium but that’s how we multi-tasking super women raced in 2010!!

There was the winter Olympics and the World Cup and Le Tour and a semi-dreadful USC football season that was made so much better because of Kouy and Ken and their tailgating clan! Thank you for including us!! Fight On!

I started to wear reading glasses and Gabriela jokingly nudges me every time there’s an AARP commercial on the TV. Oye vey.

I joined a committee of the Los Angeles Triathlon Club to foster and promote the sport to the under 18 crowd. Let’s see if I can put the past completely behind me, rise above the politics and greedy business practices that turned my stomach and turned me away and do something I have wanted to do in the sport and with the kids for so long. Deep breath and fingers crossed.

I managed to build and replenish both our wardrobes in the style and taste of our choosing. And why did this make the list? Clothes shopping important? Ever try to feel like a million bucks wearing a burlap sack? And yes, my child leans towards expensive stylish attire and I can’t really blame her. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree … smoke and mirrors, baby! Smoke and mirrors.

I organized a relay for the Optimist Endurance Swim from Manhattan Beach Pier to Santa Monica Pier. Go Team! Justin, Kevin, Frank, Ken, Kouy, Trish, Anne and me … and Gabriela who was our ever present cheer leader and photographer! Who is in for next year?

Just about every Tuesday morning, from before dawn until normal business hours, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Grace Laurel Rakunas over the course of her very first year in this world. I am not sure who benefitted more: Daddy Adam who got to get on his bike and ride or me. See you tomorrow morning, Grace! I can’t wait.

And I spent just about every Friday and then some helping Gabriela with researching and emailing and calling and coordinating and planning and paying for all those things needed to help your kid go to the college of her dreams. I can’t wait to see where she ends up. All her options are great.

G and I went on a road trip to the central coast over the summer, in-between work and water polo summer league. When we got to Hearst Castle, Gabriela took a deep breath and exclaimed, “I am home!” Opulence is her new favorite word.

I watched Gabriela learn a new sport this year, water polo, and her team go undefeated in their league. I've never had so much fun driving a van before!! Boy did that van rock! And I learned never go anywhere without a nail file.

Sometimes as parents, we cannot imagine that there is any more room in our hearts to feel more love and pride for our kids. I guess our hearts are meant to grow. Gabriela tackled so many mountains in 2010: physical, emotional and ginormous amounts of school work. She grew-up so much. She handled situations and challenges with such poise and maturity - most adults I know could never do what she did. She learned a lot about herself, gained confidence in the face of heartbreak and understanding when faced with teenage meanness the likes of which does not cease to shock me. She too ended the year positioned to make 2011 her year. One One!! I think my kid is simply awesome.

From tiny to tall, near and far … so many people made an impact on my life in 2010. A few relationships faded and a friendship may have been lost. But new people came into my life whom I adore and a few very special people resurfaced from the past making this transformative year beyond bearable with millions of special moments … moments, that combined, help heal a year that started broken and continued to see it end mended, full of hope and promise.

Love and thanks to you all!

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