Not a big fan of end of the year writing. I tried to do a Christmas letter once and did more offending than impressing. Thought about an end of the year wrap up but why? Especially this year which will be remembered as the “Year we are most likely to kick to the curb as quickly as possible.” Unless you are Jeff the B, it’s all been pretty grim.
So, let’s turn the page. The vaccines are here and boy are they getting tired of me showing up at Sonoma Hospital saying, “Got any extra today?” But I’ve read the stories about extra vaccine left in those little vials at the end of the day and hospital employees not quite sure what to do with them. I know, give them to teachers so we can get this educational distance learning shitshow in our rearview ASAP.
I don’t know about you but for me, the one thing keeping me above water this 10 months is the woman who 25 years ago stood next to me in front of the walk-in fireplace at the Pelican Inn and pledged “till death do us part”. There was no mention of Corona 25 years ago, not sure if she would have committed if the line, “Do you take this man and only this man to be with you every day for 10 months, whining about how tough his job is and how much he misses movie popcorn?” was included.
But a funny thing happened during the Coronapocalypse. We became stronger, we didn’t sweat the small stuff, we grew knowing that bigger issues are more important. Maybe through crisis comes perspective and all the little stuff finally comes out as little stuff. But I think it’s deeper than that.
The big American convenience goal of living in bed all day in your jammies is now reality. I could wake up at 8:29, turn on Zoom, “teach” from 8:30-12:05, have a nice lunch delivered via Doordash, eat in bed, watch a nice double feature, maybe a quick game of solitaire before dinner in bed, also delivered, then another evening staring at the box until my eyes close on another day. The perfect restful day to some but a total nightmare to me.
That’s not how we roll here at the house of Williams because a life in jammies is only half a life at best. Here we try to better ourselves on the daily. Here I wake up early and bring extra sweet and hot coffee to my queen. Here we read the morning news together and talk about how we can incorporate it into our days (mine in the Zoom classrooms, hers at the local newspaper).
Here we shower and dress and ride off to our various responsibilities, knowing that being separate in our togetherness is important. Here we think about how we can help make the world a better place for the two miracles who are still sleeping in their rooms having boomeranged back home during Covid. We set goals and get crazy with the cheese-whiz (favorite breakfast ever this morning: half of a leftover ham and cheese panini open faced, two big slices of tomato, two fried eggs with a big shake of sriracha, shredded cheddar and broil).
Here we respect each other’s independence. We are very different people but we knew that 25 years ago so why get angry now? Yes, my writing is juvenile and light and yours is rich and deep but we can still appreciate each other, maybe someday writing a book titled, “Juvenile/Rich, Light/Deep by the Williams of Sonoma”.
Other tips? Lots of physical contact, the kind you can’t write about in a family newspaper, humility but not to the point where you lose your confidence, make enough money so you don’t have to think about money too much, help your wife create a pretty nest, stop doing the things that make you fight (you’re a grown ass man, start acting like one), a few good friends (real friends, the ones who will help you move bodies) and the number one most important thing, keep it exciting because while a life in your jammies seems desirable, it gets old and dull.
Of course, exciting is tough right now but not impossible, plan and reevaluate as needed. Did you see the Kristin Wiig SNL Christmas Skit where mom gets a robe and an empty stocking? Humor is funniest when it depicts the truth. Simple tip: Blue box, always right.
And summer will be here before we know it complete with vaccinations and destinations desperate for you to visit (Oakland to New York flights in June are around $300.). If you’re like us and still have trepidation about flying, start planning the Great American Road trip. Aren’t you a little curious why almost half the country thinks so differently than California? I am.
And forget all that end of the year nonsense, make January 1 the beginning of your greatest year ever then make January 2 the second day of your greatest year ever then make, well, you get the idea. Work hard, create and love. A not-so-wise man said that years ago and it’s still true today.
Happy New Year. Big party at my house and you’re all invited…next year.