Whew! Here goes...
It would not be an understatement to say that nearly every single thing in my life has changed in the last few years. And I don't think I've posted at length with any kind of update in a number of years - although some of you know because I do update my close friends on Facebook. In August of 2017, I lost my - what do I call him? Stepdad? Sounds too remote. Best friend? No, he was family. Dad? Well I didn't meet him until I was 10. But as he lay in a coma for 10 days, his family made it very clear that they considered me his daughter. And so with that, Charlie became my dad. Losing Charlie is the worst thing I've ever experienced. And four months later my - what do I call him? Boyfriend? No, we'd broken up years before. Best friend? Yes, but that still sounds like not enough considering how close we were for 15 years. Anyway, Steve, my rock, my confidante, my seriously terrible boyfriend but excellent best friend was diagnosed with lung cancer. I traveled to his side in Philadelphia for a year, back and forth across the continent a million times to see him through chemo, treatments, all of it, only to lose him in May 2019. In the middle of Steve's illness, one of my dogs, Chile Pepper died at the ripe old age of 16. At the same time, an enormous work project coincided with five different bosses and an extraordinary amount of stress and pressure. I completed the project a few months after Steve died, and having set up a global group with an adequate succession plan, decided it was a good time to resign (I'd been there 7 years) and take a yearlong break.
I had a lovely little cottage in my beloved Oakland, with gorgeous gardens I'd grown from seed, and a cat and a dog, and I just wanted a break after all the work and personal travel and heartache. I had not even had a chance to really grieve Charlie or Steve, with the work project absorbing every hour of my life it seemed. I was soooo ready for a break. So, I resigned one morning, and later that day got a call from a company in Tarrytown, New York. After a quick trip to Australia to hang out with friends, I flew out to NY, fell in love with the area (and proximity to the City), and most especially, the team I'd lead. All was good, the company set a start date for a couple of months later so that I could have a break. So January rolls around and I head to Hawaii for a quick vacation, and end up hospitalized in respiratory failure with Influenza A (it was not Covid-19). I had two collapsed lungs, and was the sickest I've ever been in my life. I am grateful for Charlie's niece who flew from California and stayed with me on the Big Island until I had recovered well enough to make the flight home. We had to postpone my start for the Tarrytown company by a month, as I was too weak to even walk to my kitchen, much less move to NY. I moved in late Feb to a White Plains apartment that the company put me up in while I house-shopped. I had Romeo the cat with me, but my dog Cayenne, along with my car, were left in California so that I could drive Cayenne out to NY once I had a house set up.
I got three weeks in the office with everyone before the pandemic shut everything down. I spent the Spring stuck in a high-rise apartment, with no outdoor space, missing my dog (and my therapeutic daily dog walks) and Zooming with colleagues and my team. I stayed upbeat, and to keep in shape (I was still working on re-inflating my collapsed lungs) would climb the building's surprisingly clean stairwell - 22 flights, 3 times a day. In May, my dog started having health problems, and I flew out to California to drive her back to NY so that I could tend to her. Unfortunately, my beloved Cayenne couldn't overcome the issues, and I lost her in August a few short weeks after we'd finally been able to move into my new house in Chappaqua. A few weeks after that, my cat died. I was all alone, in a new town, in a new house, in a pandemic. The good news is that my job is wonderful. I like the company, we are doing vital and interesting work, and the team I lead went from demoralized and battered to a happy, thriving group of 35 by the end of 2020. I did some renovating of the house, and also opened my heart to two new rescue pups - Ginger the puppy, and Kala the 2-year-old. I am enjoying having real seasons, the pets, and my job, but of course miss seeing friends and family due to the pandemic. I do get to see Jess and her family occasionally, including a recent hike where she and her daughter met the mutts! I cannot wait until I can see more of them, and by that I mean in frequency and faces!
In the last couple of years, my dad, my boyfriend, both of my dogs, and my cat all died. I also quit a longtime job, got a new job, and started a whole new life in NY.
(I left out all things political but as you can imagine, the stress and unhappiness brought on by the White House squatter while all of *this* was going on....just fucking sucked.)