I’m always kind-of at a loss when it comes to these year-end things; do I make lists? Do I look back, or forward? It’s hard to strike the right note.

There’s a lot on my mind these days.  Architecture.  Cholera.  The way cities disintegrate and rejuvenate, like fields cycling through harvest years and fallow years. How to be in the right place in the right time.  I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, which was a great read and chock-full of fascinating ideas. I’ll probably write more about it in the future.

2010 has been a  terrible year for so many people I know, but I have to say it’s been a pretty great year for me. Perhaps it’s just my basis for comparison, but for the first time in ages, my life is feeling sturdy, grounded.  I work for good people (the Canadian Canoe Museum and Dan Hill), I have fun, meaningful work, I make reasonable money.  I got those jobs through my own merit, but also through the efforts and recommendations of friends to whom I’m terrifically grateful. The Peterborough Folk Festival was marvelous – probably the most successful year in our 21-year history, with glorious weather and 9000+ attendees.  I took myself off on a trip in November, and it didn’t strain my resources (yes, pictures coming, I promise!).  I’ve got my debts, but I’m making good progress. And I have lovely communities to draw on, who support me when things are bad and celebrate with me when things are good. It’s a pretty nice life.

Most of all, I’ve stepped back from the commitments I’d made but was killing myself to keep.  I’ve seen worthwhile projects grow and become strong without me (Roots Music Canada and Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict come to mind as having particularly exciting success this year), but it’s a pleasure to know that I can look at them and say that I knew well enough when something was going to stretch my resources too far.  Much better than falling short, burning bridges, and being too proud or silly to admit that I was at the end of my rope.

January 1 is an arbitrary time to say ‘on this day, I start fresh,’ but all the cynical realists in the world can’t stop from saying exactly that.  It’s been a good year, but tomorrow I start fresh. I have some ideas brewing, some projects percolating, things I can mostly take at my own pace and see through.  Things that make my heart pitter-patter a bit with fear and anticipation, but that are achievable.   Again, I’ll be making sure to eschew any project that doesn’t serve my best interests or my current path; and sometimes, I’ll be saying no to great projects just because I haven’t got the time. I know so many interesting people working on interesting things; I get spoiled for choice, you know.

Anyway, I’m about to go get ready for a late dinner party, so I’ll wish you all a very Happy New Year. My best love to my friends, far and near, distant and close; let’s actually hang out this year, instead of just talking about it.  Okay?

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