2006 Year in Review Letter

Dear Friends,

2006 has been a very momentous year of change for me. Mostly for the better, but change can be difficult. I’m glad that I’ve had the love and support of so many friends.

The biggest change has been that after 17 years, Bob Flannery and I have started different paths. In 2005, we decided that, while we still like and support each other, we serve each other better if we are friends and not primary partners. While this hasn’t been an easy transition, we want to make sure that all our friends know that you do not have to take sides or make sure we’re never invited to the same party. We still talk and know that we’ve shared too much to throw our friendship away. We hope you will support us in that.

In July, Bob got a great job teaching computer science at the Canterbury School, an Episcopal middle school in St. Petersburg, Florida. He moved down to Florida in the end of July, and from all accounts is very happy in his position. I encourage you to contact Bob and find out more about his adventures yourself. I can get you his contact information if you need it.

We were very lucky in this tight real estate market to sell our condo. We put it on the market March 8th, thinking that we’d soon get an offer and we’d be sold by May. Obviously, so did the other 350 condo-owners in Cambridge who all seemed to put their condos on the market at the same time! Through some aggressive price dropping and great realtors (thanks Barbara and Dick Currier!) we got an offer when many others did not. Unfortunately it seems our buyers were told that everyone is out to get you, so one has to be difficult with everyone. There were about 20 times that we wanted to end the deal, but we thought of our options, bit our lips, and went forward. We finally sold on August 24th, and I officially was no longer a Cantabridgian for the first time in 12 years (I’m going to miss that Cambridge parking sticker next year!)

Luckily, I was able to find a nice two bedroom, two bath apartment with a 45-foot long balcony in Arlington Center, just three miles from my old place. While I’m not planning on staying here forever, it’s a great place and a good place for me to be in now. I’m right off the Minuteman Bike Trail that goes between Alewife MBTA Station and Bedford, as well as being 1/8 mile from Spy Pond. The area has good bus routes, great restaurants, and a number of good friends who live within walking distance. I’ve been busy getting the apartment in shape and have made many purchases. I’m looking forward to having people over for parties and out of town visitors in my guest room. Let me know!

One of the biggest additions to my life has been the birth of my nephew, Sam, to my brother Rob and wife Jen. He just turned one on 12/17/06, and was showered with gifts. He’s incredibly cute and all that his grandparents could wish for. I never thought I’d be the uncle to take out pictures to bore friends with, but I can’t help myself.

With all the changes in my life, I’ve just been trying to give myself opportunities to get settled into the rest of my life and thankful for those stable parts of my life. I’ve been in the Career Services department at Emerson College in Boston for just over two years now, working primarily with graduate students and alumni. As I work with professionals in the communication and arts fields, it’s a great challenge for me, and I’ve grown immensely in my career development skills since joining the team there. We’ve had a lot of transitions, and we are now finally fully staffed, so I’m really thankful for the stability there.

I’m also active professionally, and currently serve as the treasurer and webmaster for the Boston Chapter of the Association of Career Professionals International. I’m also pursuing my Career Management Fellow (CMF) certification through the Institute of Career Certification International.

In this time of change, I’ve been blessed with many friends in so many facets of my life. I’m very active with First Parish in Cambridge, where I’ve been a member for six years. Right now, I only serve as chair of one committee (Student Intern Committee for Diane Elliott,) but have been active in the men’s group, choir, and other initiatives in the past. I know that I’ll diving back in sometime in the future. The friends that I’ve made there have supported me more than I can say, and are some of my closest friends.

My music and dance life is one that sustains me greatly, but one that I’ve neglected recently. I’m back in voice lessons (a nice perk at Emerson!), have been singing with different groups of friends, as well as shape note singing. I hope to get back to performing more seriously, both vocally and on the hammered dulcimer. I’ve also bought a mountain dulcimer, and has done some recorder consort playing. I’m still trying to get back into shape to contra dance more, but I have started to dance English rapper sword dancing with the group, the Gay Blades . It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and am glad I’m getting the chance to do it now. There’s definitely more music needed here!

While I’m a lot healthier than I have been in the past (it’s been five years since the burst appendix/peritonitis that almost killed me,) I’m starting to exercise more consistently. I’m hoping to get back in the gym and start racing again in race walking events, but it’s been an uphill battle. I’ve also gotten back into yoga, so I’m trying to utilize this time to focus on me and doing good things for my health, both physical and mental.

In that spirit, I’m going to Kripalu, a yoga retreat center in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, for the week after Christmas. Given the uncertainty of dates with the house sale this past year, I hadn’t been able to really take a vacation and travel. My planned month-long trip to Sweden had to be put off (hopefully 2007 will be the year!) and my only other trip was to visit friends Denise and Jim in Minneapolis in November, where I proceeded to sing my brains out! I’m hoping to see many more friends this coming year, both here and in my travels.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Bright Solstice, and a Happy New Year. My new contact information is below. For those of you who I’ve been less in contact with, I hope that we will be able to reconnect. You are all special, and thank you for being a part of the adventure that has been my life. May 2007 shine brightly for all of us and the whole world.

With great love,

Ken

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