Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Head Uut Aastat Eestist! Happy 2014!

I know many friends who are happy to kick 2013 out the door. For them, I am glad the year is done and they wake today with all the possibilities of a new year and a new (better) start.

For me, 2013 was pretty good. I am the first to admit how blessed I am. I am thankful every day for a job that I love (most days) and that is secure and reasonably well paid (except when Congress shuts down the government). I have a wonderful wife who loves me and beautiful fur and feathered children.

And 2013 brought us the thing I barely dared to hope for: federal recognition of our marriage (and a doubling of the states with marriage equality).

Yes, I think when it is all added up, 2013 was a good year.

And I am an optimist. I believe 2014 will be a good year too.

For us, because we are Foreign Service Officers, it will bring the changes that are routine and yet never routine in our profession. The view from next January 1 will be different from this year's.

Different because with the arrival of January comes the inevitable countdown. Only 6 months left in Estonia. Six months until we pack up all our things once again and say goodbye to the friends we have made here...friends I hope to keep forever.

By the time we celebrate the arrival of 2015, we will have completed our tours here. We will have headed back to the U.S., had home leave (hopefully in the mountains of Tennessee), and traded in our suits for blue jeans and polos and started language training. We will have transitioned from diplomats to bureaucrats, as we all do when we go back to DC, and will be half way through preparation to transition back to diplomats again in Kosovo.

We will have hopefully settled into our new home, the one we have at this point not set foot in, and will hopefully have received all of our belongings from Estonia and storage. Our dog will hopefully have learned how awesome it is to have a yard again (after 10 years without) and our cats will have experienced the joys of a screened porch (because they are not allowed outside, ever. Did you know the life expectancy for a completely indoor cat is nearly triple that of an indoor/outdoor cat?). We will have been able to switch to running (for my wife) and biking (for me...stupid knees) outdoors on a local trail rather than indoors as we are forced by snow to do for much of the year here.

I don't make New year's resolutions anymore (I am profoundly bad at it and so I made a resolution one year to make no more resolutions...that has been one of the only ones I have managed to keep!) I don't even really set goals for the year, because I have proven sort of bad at that too.

But I do have hopes for the year, most of which I can have little impact on other to the degree that praying helps. I hope my family is safe, happy and healthy in the New Year. I hope to see them more when we are stateside. I hope to do well in language, or to at least have fun at it.

But my big hope for 2014 is more of 2013 in the march to equality. I hope more and more states choose to join the right side of history, especially some in my beloved south (I am looking at you South Carolina...I said I was an optimist, right?).

Here's wishing you the most amazing 2014 ever. Head Uut Aastat!

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