only hours away from another birthday, i like to look back and reassess. 365 days. it is my new year. my hair is graying. my eyes are a joke. but i have health and i have strength. so damn near anything is possible. encouraging my first husband and business partner to move to europe was a most selfish act. though he didn't need much encouragement, i thought it would be better if he were far away. i was right but not for the reasons i had imagined. last weekend i climbed a 1500 foot high Austrian castle with james and our friends. the end of the marriage was, for a few years, the emotional equivalent of having my ass hanging off a cliff. now we are climbing together. funny that. divorce doesn't have to be the lifetime movie saga people expect it to be. i am very glad he chose Austria because i do love the country.
i profoundly enjoy the people with whom i work. each aspect of the business bring new challenges. some exciting and embracing. some suck. most days i pray that i won't say something stupid like fuck in front of a five year old. there are days when i am annoying or obnoxious or silly. anything less would be inauthentic. though we strive to stay on-point, you never know what the next moment will bring. any way you slice it, i am a part of a team. accepting of my team and their acceptance of me makes my life more joyful. nobody is perfect. certainly not me. we are lucky. blessed actually.
having an alarm system installed in the loft offers more security. it has a camera so i never know what i'm going to see if i check in on the dogs. even in the dark. now that's funny. except when i forget it's arme and the alarm begins to wail.
choosing the right work wife is the difference between a slice of heaven or a hellish grind from which there is no escape. come on, who on earth but our Sarah would put on a dirndl and trapse with me through Saltzburg on a self-guided Sound of Music Tour? or when asked which of her top three dessert choices at the Hotel Sacher she would order, the reply came "all three" (and we ate very last bit too). my work wife is a force of nature who has been firmly beside me almost eight years. i look forward to building a lifetime of memories with my pal and right hand.
a good photo can make anyone feel ageless. this one taken by renown local photographer Courtney Apple captured me in an off moment. with a storm raging outside my window, the pups pushed in, and while Courtney was testing her flash, this pictured was snapped. i think she would agree that the best moments sometimes happen by themselves. not so long ago i looked up into the mirror and saw a much older man than lived in my imagination. it's not about beauty or vanity. merely the result of years. this picture reminds me that i can still be surprised by myself. the dogs are cute regardless.
for every year that passes, new wonders fill my world. braden, gavin, giada, and this year maci and mckenzie. they will come to remember me as that old uncle who said goofy stuff and always had their back. if that is the cost of growing older then i will gladly pay. my nine nieces and nephews have given me a lifetime of pleasure and memories, filled my life with meaning, offered abundant love and always made me feel like i was very special. on most days they still do. as we continue to build duross & langel, some have chosen to join us. it can be a tricky thing working with family. time will tell but i think we have a good chance of success as a family business. and we don't talk shop outside of work. love seems like as good a foundation to build upon as any. if everything in life is a gamble, i like my odds.