Last weekend Paul, his brother Pat and I traveled to Las Vegas for a Seetachitt family gathering. Walking through the MGM Grand, I was struck by the number of people wearing cowboy hats and by the piped-in country music . I asked a hat-wearing stranger what was up, and he informed me that we'd just missed the week-long National Finals Rodeo.
I was sorry to hear that, but then happy because it helped me think of a theme for this year-end letter.
2014: The Year of Trying to Stay on the Horse.
Upfront, I'll warn you that this was not a super exciting year. Nobody rode Sea Biscuit. Just a few familiar horses with maybe some different colored ribbons in their manes:
The Working Out Horse: Paul and I did a "running for out-of-shape people" program called “Couch to 5K." This is what the program looks like:
We stayed on the horse for the whole ten weeks. Yay us. But the 5K-10K horse was a little feistier, and we fell off at the halfway mark, bucked by other obligations, minor health issues...and the fact that neither of us could think of a good reason to run for an entire hour. But the experience was bonding, and has inspired some increased gym-going.
The Meditation Horse: I have my own haphazard meditation practice, but have never had an established group here in L.A. the way I did in Tallahassee and Alice Springs. So it was cool when USC hosted a nine-week mindfulness meditation class as part of a pilot program. My practice was more consistent during the class, but of course I fell off the horse after it was over. That's okay though, because the class was nine weeks, and as you can read in this article, it only takes eight weeks to measurably increase the gray matter in one's brain. My brain actually looks like this now:
Although you don’t notice it because of my hair.
Other Horses we've gotten on and off of in 2014: diets, budgeting programs, household cleaning regimes...the usual suspects.
But lest you think we’re the just kind of people who just fall off metaphorical horses, I should remind you that we've been very consistent about staying on the Work Horse. Each day Paul drives west and reports to Davis Entertainment where he's an assistant and I go east to my job as an assistant at the Philosophy Department at University of Southern California.
And we are also riding steady and hard on the Show Business Horse-- though we're learning it's less like riding a horse and more like this:
Paul was a co-wrote two movies this year--one of which is already being made--but he worked uncredited, so you won’t see his name on them. I’ve got a couple of projects that will definitely have my name on them but are far from being made. I won't lie, this is the main stuff time, effort and central preoccupation at our little rodeo, but it's weighty for a holiday letter. If if falls within your area of interest, stop by my writing blog, where I basically talk about it non-stop, all year round!
A quick year-end recap that has nothing to do with horses: It's lovely to get to see the kids in our family getting bigger, stronger and more entertaining by the day. We're excited for friends--quite a few!--who had babies in 2014 and looking forward to witnessing their journeys. This year I was so psyched to get to see some old friends after many years (Mya! Amy! Anne!) and I was saddened by the death of an old friend (Woody, you will be missed). Every day Paul and I are grateful--for books and board games and clean water and yoga, for being safe and healthy and having cars that run...
And most of all, we're incredibly grateful for our family and friends...that's YOU!
We wish you happy holidays and a great 2015
Love, B and Paul
Read Last Year's Holiday Letter.