2017 was A Tale of Two Worlds.
On the one hand, every day brought more heartbreak and anger, more fear and rage, all of it sparked by the corruption and lies, the massive dose of bigotry and racism and collusion with Russia coming out of the Oval Office and the “Administration” (I use that word laughingly.)
I still refuse to call him President. I’ll reserve that title for those who don’t desecrate the office.
I’ve been through the sixties and the anger and protests about the War in Vietnam. I’ve been through Watergate. I’ve never, ever been through anything like this. You all know how I feel as I’ve made no secret of it and have lost readers because I insisted on writing about the dangers of voting for that man – all of which have come true. I’d do it again in a second.
This has been one of the worst years in my life.
It has also been one of the best years in my life.
We’ve been on a dual track here at the cottage. It’s as if we are living in two worlds simultaneously.
We work in the Arts. We have had our share of financial struggle. We have never had a lot of money (we still don’t) and we work as many of our friends work; on a freelance basis, with some years better than others and with all of it dependent on timing and the market and who likes working with us or who likes the way we look (that’s an actor’s life). There have been many nights and days where I have been constantly worried about money and how to pay the mortgage. That we have never missed a payment is more amazing than you could ever, ever imagine.
We’ve also gone through a period of time in which Don lost his father, I lost both of my parents, and we lost our beloved children – for that’s who they were to us – Riley and Scout. It’s been one heartbreak after another.
This year has been extraordinary for Don and me. I worked on Broadway on Anastasia. Don was cast in Escape to Margaritaville and began rehearsals for it last March, spending a few months in beautiful La Jolla. We were able to do both of those things because of the freedom we had for the first time in many years to be away from home at the same time. We had years of caring for an aging and fragile pet, necessitating that one of us be home at all times. Would I trade anything to have Riley and Scout back? That goes without saying. Nevertheless, that freedom hadn’t been a possibility for us for a long time. That we could work out of town on our respective shows and I could then fly out to La Jolla and take a leisurely and wondrous trip across the country with my husband is a miracle.
We found Stella on that trip and we did something that we had never done before. We took a leap into the unknown and decided to buy her and ship her across the country. Believe me when I say that was not us. But now, it is us.
And then, on the heels of that decision, we found out that Don was headed to Broadway, but first, he’d go back into rehearsal and tour to New Orleans, Houston, and Chicago. And I would be able to spend time with him in New Orleans and Chicago.
New Orleans was new to me and I fell in love with that city. Chicago was an old friend that was the home of some of my family members and my best friend. Having the luxury of exploring both cities was such a gift. Being able to spend time with family and friends was priceless.
And now, here we sit, knowing Don has a job in the new year. Knowing that we’ll be able to spend time together in the city, that he will open on Broadway in March. What a gift this show has been to him. He loves doing it. He loves the cast. He loves his job. He continually says that it’s the best job he’s ever had. I am so, so grateful for that. Seeing my husband this happy fills me with joy.
How can 2017 be the worst and the best year at the same time? It’s right out of Dickens:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
I’ve never had more concrete evidence of the truth of these words than I have had this year.
So, while I am happy, I am sad. While I am feeling peaceful, I am also angry. While I’m having wonderful adventures, I’m also fighting in our version of The Resistance. While I appreciate our many blessings in 2017, I am well aware of the inequities, the greed, and the corruption that has taken over those who should be fighting for us, but are choosing instead to fill their pockets and trash our most revered institutions. While we are feeling a bit more secure, we are aware that there are those who want to take those securities from us.
So, we fight. And we keep on fighting, while expressing gratitude for what we have.
Such a strange, terrifying, yet lovely journey this year.
On to the next.