Well, this is, for all practical purposes, the first post of the year for me. In fact, it is the first post in some time…

What? “What’s that?”, you say. “You’ve had many other posts recently. You just did one last week!”

Well, “yes” and “no”. You see, for a while now I have posted just to keep my obligation with my brother to post, thus avoiding a $5 coffee card purchase that I would have to send his way. Oh sure, they weren’t fake—I meant what I posted—I just wasn’t really saying much.

But today, today is a real post of true gratitude. I am coming off a two week break from work which ended with Liz and I spending two days and a night at the Sonoma Mission Inn. It was a luxurious and relaxing time, most of it spent in their wonderful hot spring pools (thus the title of this post).

I have read some people’s yelp reviews which are negative. It is too bad… it reminds me of my agreement I made with one of my sisters; to remove my “Eeyore” costume. Yes, it seems that I, too, have adopted a “pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic” attitude at times. So much so that I am now associated with the old grey stuffed donkey that is one of the dear friend’s of Pooh. At least, like Eeyore, I am still somewhat endearing to people I am close with and fond of… yes?

Anyway, I am very grateful for this last weekend at the Sonoma Mission Inn. It was a wonderful time; floating in the Watsu pool with piped in music, doing the bathing ritual that included the eucalyptus steam room… dinner, breakfast in bed. And everyone that works there is very personable—warm and hospitable. The whole experience was wonderful. And we both loved the historical atmosphere of the entire place, especially the room we stayed in.

I am very grateful for this experience and all the elements that allowed it to happen. I am grateful for my mother that came and stayed with our children so that we could go knowing they’d be cared for. I am grateful for Lizzie that was willing to go, and her trust that it would work out (since we hadn’t made any reservations for anyplace upon leaving our home). (And, yes, you called it Lizzie – Sonoma Mission Inn was a wonderful choice!) Thanks to our children… and for the work I have that allowed such a retreat.

And, I will guard against anhedonia. It seems that it is a slippery trap that one can fall into with ease. I even felt that ol’ Eeyore costume slipping on this weekend. If not for my agreement with my sister, I might have wandered around with it slipped over me like a cheap, loose suit. Luckily, I have my agreement with her to remove it as soon as I realize I’ve donned it again. So, I suppose, I am grateful for that, too.

Happy New Year!