In my life, whether it be 48 or 84 years long, 2016 will mark the inflection point (that is -as you all know- that the monotonicity of a function is related to its derivative's sign). Concave up to concave down, and vice versa.
My most personal story of the year will continue to go unwritten. And that's ok. This holiday message is not about me, although I am all too eager to share some photo and videographic family updates.
Ben, Amelia, Parks. Shawna. Grandpa Pete. Uncle Todd. Huckleberry.
Ben turned 14 in September and has become teenagery. He is finishing 8th grade and we're all excited about which high school he will be attending next fall.
He continues to play in an eSports league Team Fortress II (TF2 for those in the know)
I mentioned his science fair project that he was working on last year. He had a novel approach to the Basel Problem. He ended up winning the whole enchilada: the Grand Prize for the Math and Computer Science category for all of Marin County. He's in 7th grade competing in an age group 7th to 12th grade. Mommy and Daddy are so proud of your effort, Ben! (and no, I didn't help him at all)
Ben also (along with Mommy and Daddy) attended his first concert, which was headlined by his favorite band, Green Day.
Amelia is 12 and blossoming into a lovely and kind young lady. She absolutely found her calling in theater and recently played the lead role in the school play A Midsummer NIght's Dream, demonstrating the appropriately 'assertive' countenance of Titania, the Fairy Queen. She loves riding her bike out to the blackberries and back (with Parksy in tow), and has a taste for BBQ oysters on the half shell like her Daddy.
Parks turns 11 right before Christmas. He remains deeply committed to sports (and has asked Santa for PS4 Pro 1TB so that he can play FIFA 17 around the clock). In addition he's asked Daddy a 100X too.
If you have to run, kick, throw or catch a ball -- he's game. and likes to act out 'the Dab' in suitably inappropriate times. We expect his U12 North Marin United soccer team to do quite well at State Cup which starts in January
Shawna has embraced a new ful-time schedule, working at the College of Marin. Her time revolves around the children, their activities and schoolwork. She continues to be the glue that binds the family together, for which everyone is thankful. She hopes to spend more time with her friends in 2017, even though it feels like there is never enough time to get everything done.
A little more than a year after Steve left his job at Adobe, he founded a new company, Rainbow. You can find more about that here http://rnbw.com
For the Thommes Family, 2016 was a nutty year of struggles, humilities, little successes, big failures.
Old chapters reread and new books just beginning.
But, whatever the future holds, for now and overall we are all healthy. So we get up, dust off our knees and stretch our arms. Everyday, with good fortune (but without sense of entitlement) we plough forward.
While some think I have a big personality and there are many words I've heard (not just in therapy sessions! or behind my back) like intense, hypomanic, crazy. Big mess. Medium I prefer. I'm assuming crazy good, by the way.
But I am also intensely private. Those of you who know me best would probably say I'm an atheist, or agnostic, or don't go to church. Turns out, one of those is true. Every once in a while life, God or the Universe throws you a curve ball. And even more rare, you pick up the seams +
Happy Holidays to you and yours. Wherever you look - your own mind, the into the eyes of loved ones, or vistas viewed on the other side of our small planet, Earth - I hope you find this most precious offering, Peace.