Wednesday, June 18, 2008

my trip around the sun

i had a birthday this week.

never mind how many. a lot. okay?

among the handful of well-wishes, one friend asked, "so, how was your trip around the sun?"

it's a great question, i said. because, you know, i hadn't really thought about it like that.

what's happened with the spaceneedl family since last june?

first, the fundamentals. we're healthy. the mrs. and i have decent jobs. we have enough to eat, and we have a roof over our heads. these things put us in the ridiculously fortunate 99.99th percentile.

and that's enough. but it's not all.

we were disproportionately fortunate to do a bit of traveling in the last year. to hawaii (twice). skiing in canada. arizona. and a ferry ride to orcas island for thanksgiving. an embarrassment of frequent flyer miles (there's no such thing as frequent ferry miles, as far as i know).

we also traveled for business. to san francisco and vancouver and orlando and miami and san diego and baltimore and boston and denver and chicago and washington, d.c. for all we saw of these fabulous destinations, however, we might just've well been in wichita. (note: i'm sure wichita is a lovely town. really.) most often you go from the airport to a hotel to a convention center to a hotel to the airport and back home again. in between there's a lot of standing in a trade show booth.

it ain't glamorous...but it is a break in the routine, and this can be a good thing, in moderation.

extended cross-country travel also can lead to dvt, which is bad, even in moderation. (note: no one here has developed dvt. yet.)

my company moved further away from the spaceneedl estate, adding hours and dollars to my monthly commute. (note: gas prices are bad for us, but much worse for others who can afford it less. how nice it must be to have to choose between gas for the car to get to work and, say, food. or child care. or health care.)

mrs. spaceneedl took a new job, requiring a major logistical shift from her previous home-based position.

the effects of these changes are still being tallied. they're in our favor in the "paying our bills" column. they're a significant drain in the "having a life" category.

i can see these things clearly, as my eyes are now surgically enhanced. lasik is a fabulous thing. i can see the trees on the mountain ridge to the west. i can certainly envision the exceptional grapes growing in the vinyards at the bainbridge island winery. i can see some bottles of that grape juice on our wine rack.

i recommend the madeleine angevine.

a lot has happened here in the past twelve months. much has been done, leaving exponentially more undone. looking ahead to the next ride through the solar system, there are things i would like to change. i would, for example, like to spend some time at san juan county park.

i would like to be able to hear myself think, on occasion.

i want to spend less time commuting, more time communing.

i wish to be more patient with my son.

another ride is in the books. a new one winks and beckons. "c'mon," it whispers. "it'll be fun. i promise."

hang on, everyone. for as long as you can.

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