Hello faithful readers!
Today was my 38th birthday. As it happens, I share this birthday with Jay Leno (who happens to be from my hometown, oddly enough!), former Secretary of State James A. Baker III (the loyal Bush family consigliere, Secretary of the Treasury and Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan), and Saddam Hussein (may he NOT rest in peace)!
I spent much of my life (until the age of 35 or so) wondering why I was so “unlucky.” My friends and family often called me “Eeyore.” At Thanksgiving Dinner one year, my father made me a faux-Indian headdress upon which he wrote “Grey Cloud.” All true, all fair.
Lately, however — knock wood — my entire attitude has changed. These days — knock wood — I wake up in wonderment of how lucky I am.
I have a job that a love, with terrific colleagues and great students.
I have a nephew and two nieces that I love more than anything in the world, and who have revitalized me.
I have a great family who has helped me achieve all that I have achieved.
I have a fantastic circle of friends, some old, some new: Donald, Jon (the frequent commentator at Zalandria “JonC”), Jamie, John (and their parents), Krissy, Stephanie and Tom, Jen and Tom (a different Tom), and many other great acquaintances (even some of you on the web! I leave no one out on purpose; please blame my faulty memory — I think constantly about the past, and the future; the present is often a mystery to me for whatever reason).
An article I wrote on the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts will be published this fall in the Historical Journal of Massachusetts. (Please support this journal with your subscription and/or contribution!)
I have known both great triumph and great tragedies, great luck and bad luck, success and frustrations — thus, in the words of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, “I have had no end of a lesson, and it has done me no end of good.”
So today, in the words of Lou Gehrig, I feel like the luckiest man on Earth.
I thank you all most sincerely for your continued readership of Zalandria. I can only hope that you’ve had a few laughs and been given pause for thought. Although we don’t know each other, it means a lot to me that my efforts in maintaining this blog since 2005 have reached a few people.
With best wishes for a wonderful and fulfilling 2009 and beyond,