Dear Friends and Family,
2009 is almost over. I don't know how you feel about it, but I am glad to see it go.
You may recall from my holiday letter last December that I had big plans for my personal life this year. Well, nothing worked out the way it was supposed to. You remember that guy I met on the cruise in 2007? The single dad with custody of his four children? The one I was engaged to marry? Well, there were no wedding bells for us; to make a long story short, our Brady Bunch experiment ended in disaster. If we had had Alice, or if he had had a job -- or if he had actually been divorced -- everything might have turned out differently. As it is, the boys and I are simply relieved to be on our own again, and I have adopted this as my motto: "If he is stupid enough to walk away, be smart enough to let him go." Still, most days I find myself scratching my head at some point, wondering exactly where it all went wrong and whether anyone else will ever be able to fill the void this man left in my heart.
Otherwise, I really can't complain. The economy has been challenging, but I am blessed that my business has not suffered for it. My piano studio remains full, and my students have made me proud in many ways, participating in festivals and concerts and winning competitions and trophies and cash awards and performing for senior citizens at area assisted living centers. I especially enjoy teaching during the month of December, listening to forty-eleven renditions of "Jingle Bells" and "Good King What's-His-Name," although I usually stop my budding musicians somewhere around the seventh day of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
Josh has one quarter left at Portfolio Center in Buckhead. He's not sure where he's headed after that -- New York or Los Angeles -- but he is excited about embarking on his career as a fashion photographer. Casey is a joint enrolled senior at Georgia Gwinnett College; Nathan is a public schooled eighth grader at Osborne Middle School. The transition from home school to a traditional classroom was a bit bumpy for both of them, but they were ready to make the change and have adapted well.
Once I was no longer responsible for my children's educations, I saw the way clear to finally make my foray into the world of writing. I just started my third online writing class, and am completing a novel I started over the summer. I also participated in National Novel Writing Month and completed a 50,000 word manuscript -- the roughest of rough drafts, mind you --during the month of November. And I joined Georgia Romance Writers -- the local chapter of Romance Writers of America -- and attended their annual writers conference in October. I have enjoyed meeting others who share my passion for the written word, and I am hoping that by this time next year I will be a published author. As Phyllis Diller said, "Aim high and you won't shoot your foot off." I recognize that I have much to learn and a lot of hard work ahead, but I am finding the process both stimulating and therapeutic.
And now the holidays are upon us. Casey, Nathan and I are looking forward to spending Christmas weekend in southern Illinois with Mom and Dad and Eric and SeDonna. I wish you all the best of luck, the truest of love, and the fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams in the New Year!