I had my first business lunch in a year, sitting on the newly built sidewalk deck of my favorite neighborhood place, with all the music of New York City around us (as in trains, sirens, car horns, pedestrian chatter). Gosh, it felt good to be outside, and to be somewhat social with a very congenial lunch companion, who I was meeting for the first time in person, and who wanted to discuss ideas.
I heard yesterday that I didn't get that other book, and though I was disappointed to be the pageant runner up and not the one crowned, last night I slept like a baby, whereas if I'd got the book I would have been spinning in my head all night, knowing that I'd have to bang out another proposal on an incredibly short timeline. Perhaps things happen as they are meant.
Dare I say it, I feel free. Free to explore random opportunities, to see friends without any deadlines making my breath shallow, to take the train two hours north on a weekday to have lunch with an older woman I love, to meet up with my old boss from when I worked in a publishing house two decades ago, who emailed me out of the blue this morning, and now we're getting together next week.
It's liberating, knowing I have enough work lined up to get through the year (kiss it up to God that nothing falls through, now there's a throwback saying from childhood), but for the next few days at least, I don't have to engage with any of it, as everything has moved to the stage of being in someone else's court. The man and I are meeting some friends at a jazz concert tonight, Covid protocols strictly enforced, and said friends have all been vaccinated. Slowly, slowly, life is opening up again.
Here's something joyful, my daughter and her five best friends since kindergarten, aka "The Six," all got themselves tested and/or vaccinated then spent the weekend together at an Airbnb in the Boston area, a house with a back yard that overlooked a lake. They had a wonderful time I heard, and this was a picture they sent to the mothers, who are all so moved at the way our girls' friendship evolves and deepens through the years. They are so different, each one, but they get each other, they are each others touchstone. An interesting note: the same orthodontist, visited back in middle school, was responsible for every toothy smile in this picture.