Sunday, September 14, 2008

On friends, wine, careers, and blessings

Friday night I met 2 old coworkers for chips, salsa, beer and pool at Baja Bean, and, later, dinner and wine at Avalon. Vivian charmingly gauked at the fru-fru entrees, chilled watermelon soup, duck confit with pesto, cuban corn with ancho aioli...not sure what that is...and I nearly licked the tomato base off a plate of roasted risotto. Karen, full of gracious energy that she portrays as tough and honest, but is more accurately described as beautiful and radiant, turns and says to me "I am happy now, because I am with you." And I am happy too, as we gush over a bottle of merlot/shiraz blend poured in white wine glasses, clanking against platters of fru-fru tapas. There are so many things to catch up on, a status update of an old workplace that hasn't changed, a campaign of tricks and celebrities, men who arn't man enough, and men we can not resist.

I drove home giddy, full of nostalgia of friends forgotten and then found. I have become an entirely different person in the 4 months since starting a new career. I am more thoughtful, careful, slower, happier. I am a professional, I have hope. Everything is sweeter, these last days of summer when the leaves on the tree are ripened green with maximum degree of verdigris before exploding into the red and oranges of fall; the soft humming of Chloe as she colors a Tinkerbell book laying on the carpet in the living room, her feet kicking up in the air; I am happy, extraordinarily happy. And the more satisfied I am with this house, this job, this family, the more satisfied I am, the more I am that I don't understand it anymore. Why am I so blessed? What have I done to deserve such a wonderful life?

And the only way I know to give thanks is to give what I have to others. To smile at the clerk who sends me through the car wash, to add an extra $10 to the church where my daughter goes to daycare, to make mini lemon tarts for the guys at work (even if the tarts go untouched).

Sunday night creeps up quickly. I am drinking whats left in the bottle of Smoking Loon. I am closer to finishing one of the few websites I still have in my queue, and thinking about what assignment to accept next. I have become selective about what I will create, and while this seems arrogant, it provides me with a sense of control and artistic specificity that can only come from a job that is not a necessity.

Now the children are snuggled up, Payton with her American Doll named Josephina, and Chloe with her blanket tied in a knot under her arm as she sleeps in my bed on my pillow. I can still hear crickets chirp. I think I will miss the sound of crickets when winter comes.

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