Goodbye 2011 … Hello 2012

There’s barely little more than 30 minutes left in 2011, and I just wanted to take a minute to thank all of you who have been part of the community we’ve built during the past three years (It’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long, too!).

For me and for our family, the year was a full one, rich in memorable experiences and, unfortunately, painful losses.

On the one hand, Aidan graduated from high school and completed his first summer at Tulane.

My brother Mike, at age 44 and after five years of dating Annie Du, married her in a beautiful ceremony overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

On the other hand, Dunreith’s mother Helen died just four months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Gary Adelman, my mother’s cousin and an avuncular figure to me, is likely to follow her soon.

It was a year full of professional change and growth.  After five years, I left The Chicago Reporter to start working at Hoy, the Chicago Tribune’s Spanish-language newspaper.

In an unexpected development, I was elected to take the reins of the Dart Society from Miles Moffeit.  We had a strong year highlighted by a 40 percent growth in membership, a highly successful fundraiser in New York City that featured Gloria Steinem speaking and the launch of Dart Society Reports, our online magazine.

It was a year full of travel.

Dunreith, Aidan and I went with Mike and Jon to Madrid in April.  We took repeated trips to Massachusetts during Helen’s illness-Dunreith set up shop there for most of the summer-drove Aidan to New Orleans, traveled to New York and DC for Dart events, flew to Las Vegas and San Francisco for Mike’s bachelor party and wedding, respectively.   I also spent a week in Los Angeles and two weeks in South Africa for journalism fellowships about health and climate change.

As always, it was a year of writing.

I still have a long way to go, and I’ve developed a rudimentary writing proficiency in Spanish.

I started posting for the Huffington Post, made progress on my next book project-look for an online publication by the spring of next year-and shifted my focus here to make the blog more a space for personal reflection and sharing than one that strictly deals with books.

And, as always, and in some ways perhaps more than ever, it’s been a year of gratitude and love.

Gratitude for the many gifts I experience that include good health, a clear mind, warm memories, meaningful work and fun people with which to do it, warm memories behind and large dreams and visions ahead.

Gratitude for the energy to keep on writing.

And, of course, love for the friends and family that make life so worth living.

Thank you all for your role in making this past year such a rewarding one.

I’m excited to keep it going in 2012.

The new year begins in 19 minutes.




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