Two-thousand-and-fifteen started off as a bit of a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, my memoir made Amazon’s Bestseller’s list and Jenna had finished both chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but we weren’t out of the woods yet.
For most of 2014, we’d been battling to keep our “muchness”, to borrow a sentiment from Lewis Carrol’s Mad Hatter, and as Jenna recovered we found ourselves searching for the muchness that we’d fought so hard to keep flickering alive against cancer’s gale.
Despite the rough start, the year will be remembered for several blessings. We finally found a place to call home in Vermont, perhaps “basecamp” is a better word for nomad’s like us, and I joined the Board of Directors of The Bridges Vermont Resort & Tennis Club.
“Tennis?!” You’re probably asking yourself, “I didn’t even know Brian played tennis!”
But the resort is a stone’s throw from some of the best skiing in New England and, you know me, I like to control where my money’s being spent! Naturally, I’m chairing the Marketing Committee and I set out to change the logo and the website immediately. Some things will never change.
A few days later, I was hired by Ketchum–one of the world’s largest PR firms–to temporarily lead part of their Digital Strategy division as the Managing Supervisor of Paid Media in New York City. So, back to New York we went.
I worked with some great clients at Ketchum, but after helping Hewlett-Packard transition into two new companies my project came to an end. The people I worked alongside were some of the best professionals I’d ever been surrounded by, and I was blessed to call Ketchum home, even if only for six months.
In August, Jenna and I managed a quick trip to California, where I climbed two of North America’s 50 Classic Climbs in Yosemite and, according to local climbing guide Greg Coit, set the speed record from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows in a Maserati Ghibli Q4 S (a loaner from Maserati, who we were blessed to have as a client in 2015).
California, and Yosemite in particular, holds a special place in our hearts. We were engaged in Carmel back when I lived in San Francisco and I had spent time hiking solo on the John Muir Trail during the wildfires of 2014. The Captain remains unclimbed by me, but it was an amazing experience topping out on Half Dome’s Snake Dike and seeing the bewildered expressions of those who had hiked up the Cable Route.
We’ve rounded out the year with the beginnings of a new book, to be published in 2016, about business, marketing, and entrepreneurship and with a trial date set to be reunited with my son on January 29, 2016.
The road has been long, the year went fast, and like those hikers on top of Half Dome, Jenna and I can’t help but feel blessed when we look around and see where we are, and how far we’ve come.
Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season. Here’s to your health, strength, and happiness in two-thousand-and-sixteen.
Brian D. Aitken