Yay! I actually made it around to posting a Part II to a Part I. (I've promised to do so for other posts in the past, without delivering. Maybe this is a good sign that I'll be able to achieve my new year's resolutions for 2009? I hope so).
Traveling to Belize on my honeymoon, which was a relaxing, satisfying and truly lovely experience, and not just because it was my honeymoon! It had been more than a year since I'd traveled out of the country, and more than two years since I'd had a 'vacation' trip abroad (to Europe with H. in 2006). Especially in this year of Obama-fication, it was important for me to see how folks in other countries were reacting to the U.S.'s sudden change of destiny. Some American ex-pats that we ran into in Placencia, Belize said that they had a huge party the night after the election, with free beer for all. I for one am glad that McCain didn't win so that I wouldn't have to explain to folks why Americans are so intent on destroying themselves and the rest of the world with us. And of course, Belize itself as a country, as a Caribbean-bound-land, was gorgeous and lush and friendly and down-to-earth and pristine and just the antidote for my work-weary body and mind. You can see some of our photos on Flickr.
Reconnecting with family and friends, mostly because of wedding planning and the wedding itself and, of course, because of the reality that now, as a formally married (read: now-formally-accepted as a real couple by most of society, even in the progressive bubble of the Bay Area), it seems that our friends and family sort of take more seriously our invitations to lunch, dinner or other social events. And we take theirs more seriously too. One of the most touching moments of our wedding for me, though, was looking at all of our friends and family gathered around us during the ceremony, and later at the reception, and just feeling an immense love welling up inside me, knowing that H. and I were supported in our decision to connect our lives and our communities.
Thinking about and planning my big next year (and this is where the New Year's resolutions come in). I am leaving my job in March 2009, and planning to launch my consulting business for real. Which means, hopefully, less actual hours of work, but hopefully more income, as consulting fees can pay a lot more than a full-time job at a small nonprofit. I'm also really looking forward to picking and choosing projects that I really want to work on (if I can, which everyone tells me should not be a problem, given the dearth of fundraisers of color in the world and the endless number of groups who need us). Lastly, I am planning to take on two major creative endeavors in 2009, which this extra time will allow me to do: 1) Have a baby (nope, not pregnant yet, but will be working on it), and 2) Get some serious writing time in. It's been several years since I've really delved into my writing, and I realized this past year that the main impediment to my progress is just TIME. Such a simple thing, but one of the toughest things to carve out for yourself in the midst of full-time employment, taking care of your own household, family obligations, life in general.
So my resolutions for 2009? Pretty simple: Do what I want to do, do what I love, live my life to the fullest. Spend time with people I care about and who nurture and support the best of who I am, and vice versa. Trust in the Spirit/God/Orishas/Universe/Creator/whatever-you-want-to-call-It to guide me and take care of me. Know that I have the talent, perseverence, courage, contacts, intelligence, determination and skill to not only survive in this harsh economic climate, but to THRIVE. If there is one word that I want to bring with me into 2009, and to cling to like my life depended on it (which in a way, it does) it's that one: thrive, thrive, THRIVE.