On this last day of 2017, a year that EASILY makes my top 10 weirdest, I am worried about a LOT of things (that's another list), but also grateful about some others. Today, I will concentrate on the latter. Here is my list of top ten things for which I am grateful. It could probably be a top 14 or 19, but 10 is the agreed-upon arbitrary number for lists made this time of year. I'm an ex-rebel now.
1. I am grateful for Mercy, both the dog and the virtue. And if I had another dog, I’d name her Empathy.
2. I am grateful for a handful of friends, without whom my life would be more chaotic. You know who you are.
3. I am grateful for my old music business colleagues who stepped up this year to start The Shout Syndicate, to help raise money for youth arts programs in Boston, a sector that really needs the help in this particular funding landscape.
4. I am grateful for people in the service industry: the guy who delivers my newspaper at 5 a.m. every day; the people who keep my house in good order and my car running, my clothes clean and presentable and my shoes in good working order; the woman who didn’t let me go gray; the people who look after the best girl ever when I can’t; the people who own and work at the restaurants and especially coffee places I patronize. And there are more.
5. I am grateful for my brother and sister and sister-in-law, to whom I should talk more often. If you have lost your parents, you know how hard this can be. I’ve counseled many people to pay this extra attention, while I have not done enough myself. I will do better.
6. I am grateful to my boss, who loves this City and does his best for its people every day, making difficult decisions often and enduring mean and blistering criticism sometimes. I am grateful for his one-day-at-a-time approach to life, and for his acknowledgement of the place from which anger sometimes comes. I am also grateful to him for letting me play a small part in what I think will be a great legacy, lasting long after we’re all gone.
7. I am grateful for my colleagues, who are, by and large, dedicated public servants committed to making the world a better place. They are creative, caring and clever. I learn from them every day. Maligners don’t know what they are talking about.
8. I am grateful for my old community, the music misfits. It continues to amaze me that you can not see someone for a decade or two, and then reconnect as if you had just seen a show together yesterday, picking up right where you left off.
9. I am grateful for good art, books and television that make me think and experience awe, and the smart people who make these things.
10. I am grateful for good coffee. Life is too short to drink any other kind.
And, finally, I am grateful for MOST of you.
Happy New Year!