Christmas letter. I'm not religious. I've been disappointed by religion. I have a lot of faith, but those who try to organize faith, too often, mess things up, undermine natural, in-born talents for sensitivity, growth, love, what's right. Ask the mothers of kids who are sent on violent jihad, or the boys servicing a priest ... measure the richly jeweled who cry 'hosanna' ... messy stuff ... keep the faith, but hold your own mind.
2010. This was a great year, dramatic. I don't think I've had such a year since 1977, when they opened my skull and cut the dura, saving my life, throwing me down a deep crevasse. This year, with partners, but principally my design, I launched and structured a health care program in Addis Ababa. We treat 200-300 indigent women and children each month, folks who subsist on $100 US per year or less. I worked there in January, and bonded. The program in Addis is excellent. Painfully, I found the collateral effort in DC misshapen, and stepped away.
A friend said I'm an enabler. But not like a supporter of negative addiction. I take pride in enabling folks to hit their goals. My friend opened a shop to support a healthy lifestyle, kids and adults bicycling. It's going great. In turn, she, Sue Hefler, helped my boys hit high marks, we established the dominant junior bike team in the mid-Atlantic ... my old boy (19!) Nate rode for Kelly elite amateur and Team USA ... did Vuelta a Guatemala in October, will tour Europe with Team USA this spring ... 16 year-old Avery raced across the country, from Battenkill, NY, to Bend, OR, to Bunny Hop about DC. Avery's nailing his senior year, diploma in three years, sharp, then he's onto an incredible gap year, Machu Picchu, bike races around the US and maybe across the pond.
I had fun biking, started mountain biking on a single-speed 29er, 'Sparky' (below). Epic rides in the Cascade, Olympic and Appalachian mountains, the C&O Canal, full length, up and back ... I find the mix of biking in wilderness and photography relaxing and energizing.
At year-end, work is interesting. I'm helping with the merger of two agencies, reshaped by Dodd-Frank. Good work, smart people, building something new -- systems integration, data, large complex stuff. First time in years I've slept well.
My incredible wife, Carolyn. September 2010, 25 years ere we wed. Wonderful! She's achieved much, professionally and personally, and been my lift, a rope out of the crevasse. Beyond top scientist, Care is a great fitness acolyte, stronger now than any other time ... dropping me on the climb up Mount Bachelor.
A new, wonderful dog, Soot, completes our team ... so many good things ... On we go.
Neighbor, friend, beloved. It's been a wonderful year. You've been a part. Thank you. Now we look to 2011. 2011 is a prime number. Let's work to make it great, a prime year, marking what we do, making the world a better place.
Much love -- Jim and family
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