It’s day four of the Uniqlo Dry Stretch Grey Sweatpants and I’m feeling pretty grateful. Yeah four days in the same clothes is kinda gross, but man, are these great pants: thick but not baggy, no branding, fitted cuffs, zippered pockets, I was underwhelmed when Tuck bought them for me for Christmas but now, gratitude city.


Which brings me to the end of 2017 and the things-that-make-the-world-the-greatest-place-I’ve-ever-lived list.


Let’s start with the pants. Technology has come a long way, I love my Pandora, Netflix, Sonos, Nest thermostat, MacBook, IPhone and all the other gizmo-doohickeys that make my life easier and more entertaining but is technology really advancing us? Remember Wall-E? Do you know about Pocket Points? You should. Screens are the new Fentanyl, may this be the year we get it.


Then there’s Tuck, and Sofia and Kate, the Williams Dream Team, the base to my pyramid, the yin to my yang. There’s a great documentary on Netflix about the comedian Tig Notaro and in it she is trying to get pregnant and says about having kids, “This will provide the baseline happiness for the rest of my life.” I love that.


Also just finished reading “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship” by Gregory Boyle. I’ve been a disciple of father Boyle forever and his Homeboy Industries is a blueprint for how to make the world a better place.


Also, also want to thank you for reading, tolerating, inspiring, supporting, and sometimes kicking me in the butt when necessary (although I still don’t read most comments, I appreciate them all as it means more are getting woke in the wine country). We are all equal and we all matter and we all deserve to live our 85.6 years above ground with productive, honest smiles on our faces. Please act accordingly.


Which brings me to hate, or rather hating people who don’t think like you do, or rather, how we live in a country where the people in charge have ideals sooooooooo different than ours. Here’s a fun perspective: our current administration has done more to wake people up than any administration in the past.


Remember peak oil from a few years ago? I like to think we are now in a peak profits-over-people stage. May this be the year that we look at hurricanes and fires and gun violence and homelessness and wars and gender and financial inequality and say ENOUGH. May this be our Jo-Jo moment.


But this is about gratitude, so I will move on to thanking Kathleen and company at SVHS for providing not only an amazing pop-up sanctuary during the fires but a place where my kids have learned and grown and developed. Heck, after 18 years, it is also the place where I have learned and grown and developed. At the end of the day we are all on the same team, fighting ignorance together.


And finally, thanks to Sonoma for providing the daily simple things like the wall at Larson Park that Sam and I ride to in the mornings to hit tennis balls (at 9 years old, he is finally learning to fetch), the new bike path paralleling Verano avenue, the new interactive General Vallejo sculpture, the beauty of the plaza, the amazing events (SIFF 2018 March 21-25), and the many reasons people on my wine tours call Sonoma “The most amazing place in the world”.


Oh, and lets not forget the people: Students (always first), Jason, Lorna, Annika, Rachel, Kevin, Chey, JP, Franklin, Jack, Linda, Chris, Margie, Dianne, Michelle, Shireen, Terri, Jennifer, Diana, Roger, Rob-o, Elliot, Nicole, Deepak, Peter, Louie, Lisa, Sydney, Holly, Dan, Nikarre, Loyal, Will, Cristin, Hubba, Paul, and the big three whose names I cannot print (you know who you are). The village is strong and the kinship runs deep.


So set a few goals, make a new friend, finish that thing you’ve been thinking about, go outside, smile more, and hate less.


Happy New Year Sonoma! Be grateful for a new pair of pants.

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