As much as 2014 was an annus horribilis, 2015 was its counter. My appointment at the Office of Research & Economic Development has been a great opportunity for me. The team here is solid, professional and dedicated to the mission of our group. I find that my experiences as a creative artist, computer researcher, teacher and administrator all come to play in addressing our day-to-day challenges as well as our long term strategic needs. I’m able to continue composing, and my graduate students continue to make good progress on their degrees. And my life with Kathy remains solid and filled with love.
I have been blessed to see my children grow and mature, recognizing their passions and seeing them reach towards their goals. A summer road trip brought much of this into careful focus. While their roads are markedly different than the ones I chose, I am grateful that they have been able to see their future-selves at an earlier point in life. That doesn’t mean the roads are smoother or safer, nor will I be surprised if their routes change along the way. But I see true joy in my children’s faces (and in our faces), and pray that they will be as fortunate as I in finding a life in the arts.
Lifelong stresses remain: my mother living through Alzheimers, my father her caretaker, the joys and pains of home ownership, the joys and pains of parenthood. My siblings and I grow older and our bodies grow older too. These will not be easy years to come. But for the first time in several years, I sense a personal happiness in everyone and in myself. I have found nachas and solace, comfort when things go wrong, joy when things go right.
Indeed, 2015 was a much better year.