The year 2012 is winding down.
There are three days left and then this year will be over. I can’t say I will be unhappy to see it in the rear-view mirror.
It hasn’t been a bad year, in many ways.
In February, my own Bluegrass Leather Pride contest went well, despite having lost two venues in the last month or so before. We ended up doing it in a private home and the upstairs of a local restaurant, and while it wasn’t ideal, it worked. My contestants didn’t end up competing at GLLA, but that happens sometimes.
I was also in Indianapolis in February for Beat My Valentine, an event sponsored by IMAS, Indiana Masters and Slaves.
In March I drove out to Dallas, to South Plains Leatherfest, to watch Charles and jacki compete for International Master and slave.
In April, we went to Fort Lauderdale for Beyond Leather, for the International Power Exchange contest. I presented there, including a brand new presentation on crops and canes. slave thomas also came and met us there, which was particularly nice. We spent a bit of time in Sarasota, and in Sanibel Island, one of my favorite places on the planet.
In August, we had another very successful Great Lakes Leather Alliance, despite some curves thrown at the last minute. One of my scheduled cocktail parties didn’t work out, but I had anticipated the possibility and made arrangements for an alternate plan.
I also presented there, one class that I always do, a class for newcomers to the event, and events in general, and another new class, So You Want to Be a Titleholder. I also played more at that event – three times – than I ever have before all put together.
In September, I was in Atlanta to present at the International Transgender Leather contest. I did a humor class there with Ms Tammy.
In October, slave drew and I went to Chicago for Kinky Kollege, and had a very good time there. Chicago has never been my favorite city, but we had a better time there than I had before. We really enjoyed it.
I worked to found the first Masters And slaves Together chapter in Kentucky, MAsT: Derby City. It is running successfully now and I’m proud of that.
We started creating Fringe Elements, a 501C3 Queer Community Center. We’re close to finding a physical venue, which has always been our goal. I took the Executive Director position, and I’m comfortable there. I’m good at running things, I like all sides of it.
I started this blog. I wasn’t sure I’d keep up with it, but I have. I posted for the first time on May 26, which was 216 days ago. This post is the 210th, meaning I’ve missed a total of six.
I’ve only really forgotten to post once, I know once was a power outtage issue, and I didn’t post for several days while I was at GLLA, but I think missing less than 3% is a pretty good percentage. I’ve seen the number of people who read, and comment, rise, too, and that’s been really gratifying.
It was the 15th anniversary this year of the Louisville Munch, an impressive run for any group. I added three new people to my formal Leather family by presenting Earned Leather to Gabriel, to Cerrin, and to Shane.
We all lived through an apocalypse, or should I say, another apocalypse. It reminds me of a line from my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a musical episode called, “Once More with Feeling.”
“What can’t we do if we get in it?
We’ll work it through if there’s a minute.
We have to try. We’ll pay the price.
It’s do or die. Hey, I’ve died twice!”
How many apocalypses have there been and, so far, we’ve lived through them all.
There have been the usual problems and challenges. Issues with people, the usual things one encounters when one is involved in groups, the usual struggles there.
I’ve been profoundly disappointed in a few people this year, which is also part of living, I think. People disappoint us. Other people have stepped up, risen to challenges.
I’ve gotten closer to a few people, and that’s been nice. I’ve met other bloggers, both face to face and virtually, and that’s been an experience as well.
I lost at least two awards this year, and was “presented” one on a stage in front of a couple hundred people that turned out to be for someone else, though I wasn’t made aware of it until the award handed to me had another person’s name on it.
I know, I know, you should be flattered to be nominated, and I was – one was a Pantheon Lifetime Achievement award, which is a very significant award in the Leather community. The final result, however, was that I lost.
I turned 55 this year, and I have not liked that at all. I know, I know, I’m aware of all the things that are good – experience, wisdom, a level of acceptance, my health is good, and it’s far better than any alternative, but I don’t like it. I doubt I ever will. It is, however, what it is.
So, three more days and it’s all just one more memory. I suspect that our New Year’s Eve celebration will end up being a quiet one at home, us and the pups, probably one of those years in which we don’t even stay up late enough to greet 2013 officially until the morning.
And I’m ok with that.
I spent a good deal of years working in healthcare accounting. I understand cost reports and step-down allocations, volume and intensity based budgeting and reporting, and a lot of other boring things.
I used to think, on cold mornings especially, I wish I didn’t have to go to work, blech, I don’t want to go to work…
My drive to work took me by the Wayside Christian Mission.
Standing outside the doors as I drove off to my job was a line of people, waiting for the Mission to open, waiting to come in out of the cold, waiting for a hot meal, waiting for such small things that I took for granted.
It always made me ashamed that I had complained.
As crazy as my mother was, and as poor as we were, she gave me a clear understanding of how lucky I WAS.
I never went hungry; my mother did.
I knew that however poor we were, I was still luckier than most of the planet.
I feel pretty thankful, honestly, most of the time. Things can always be better, but things can always be worse, too.
I am thankful for the health of my family and my friends and myself.
I’m thankful for the people who have served me, over time. I know I am not the easiest person. I am demanding and critical and I have an opinion on everything.
I have been lucky to be served, and loved, by extraordinary men, and I am grateful.
I have extraordinary slaves now, and my life would be far emptier, far duller, and far more boring without them.
I am lucky to have people around me who care about me, who indulge me, who scamper to get me things and look properly alarmed if I look stern. I feel lucky to have people who know me and still feel that way.
I am thankful that I feel as though I have made a difference, that I have done good work. I’ve never been lazy, and I have genuinely always held the community’s best interests at heart. I’ve done well by that community, I think.
I’m glad to have the first world problems of a house to clean and things to find places for and the mess of a minor renovation from which to recover. Those are good problems and remind me, as driving by the Mission used to, that I should think far more about the good than the bad, and to remind myself of the grace their is in gratitude.