In reaction this week to my column about a very bad decade, two people e-mailed me to say that in fact it had been a very good one for them. Yes, me too, but that column wasn't about individuals but the mass of people. And, collectively, we all suffered - none of us was an island unto himself regarding the terror attacks of 9/11 and all that flowed from them. Very few of us were untouched by the onset of recession. And so it goes.
In between these troubles, some of us had a grand old time. When I look back on this past decade, I realize I was blessed. I continued to be employed. I made some great trips - the most memorable of which was crossing the Atlantic as a crew member aboard the 56-foot sloop Amerigo in 2002. I made new friends (I'm still looking for a better class of enemy). I had a lot of laughs and drank a lot of wine and more than a few beers. I saw my kids graduate from college. I watched my son Jim play college lacrosse with great distinction. Last March, I saw my daughter Allison become a beautiful bride and we welcomed her husband Critter into the family. I started a blog that has attracted an usually smart clientele (take a bow).
Of course, with these ups came a certain number of downs. The absolute worst moment came when Jim was caught up in the tsunami in Thailand. We feared him dead for one horrible day but with luck he did escape with his life - and that was a blessing too.
So here's a cup of kindness - I just love that phrase from Scotland's immortal poet Robbie Burns - and I raise it to the decade of the aughts. I raise it to you guys for being with me at the end. May all of us - collectively and individually - have a better year and decade!
Happy New Year!
This will be my last post of the year. I am taking Monday off in imitation of the words of the poet Omar Khayyam, who wrote in his Rubaiyat:
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.
I'll be back from Solitude on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Feel free to have your own discussions here if New Year revives any old desires for you.