Trying to be Zen about 2010 |

Trying to be Zen about 2010

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

Each year, as the end of December draws near, I find myself contemplating life. It’s a given, like the necessity to eat a chocolate chip cookie when it’s placed in front of me.

If only every decision in life were that easy.

I think about the people I’ve said goodbye to, and the new friends I’ve made. I ponder my purpose for my existence – I know, very deep – and my goals both personally and professionally. And I wonder what life has in store for me in the coming 12 months. I always have high hopes about the new year.

Even if I am in last place in the PI’s football picks.

Of course I made plenty of wonderful memories in 2010. I attended my 20-year high school reunion and did stand-up comedy for those in attendance. This doesn’t do much for making me feel any younger. But at least I know my classmates still think I’m funny. I was voted the craziest girl in my class.

And by crazy I hope they meant funny.

My comedy career, which I might be taking liberties at calling so, really took off in 2010. I performed out of state, thanks to the previously mentioned reunion, a solar conference in Arizona, and an energy fair in Wisconsin, and in Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Denver. Who knows if I’m any funnier than I was in 2009, but at least I know I can do about anything I put my mind to when it comes to comedy.

Now if I weren’t so scared to drive over Vail pass in the winter …

I spent the year learning about renewable energy, especially solar. A year ago I couldn’t have told you a lick about AC or DC power, inverters or shading – all lingo from the biz. But working at Solar Energy International has opened up a knowledge base for me that I didn’t think possible. In 2011, I imagine my presence representing the organization will be a completely different experience than being a solar newbie in 2010.

I just need to write more solar jokes and I’ll really be in business.

I made new friends at all of the solar conferences I attended in 2010. The best part is I will see them all again in 2011 as we set up and tear down booths, enjoy social hours, and talk shop. That’s where the AC/DC knowledge goes a long way. And I’m not just talking about the band.

It is a male-dominated field so that helps, too.

I also lost good friends in 2010. My hometown friend in Indiana, Mike, was always happy to give me a hug whenever he saw me. I know he is missed terribly by my friends back home, and I can only hope he has gone on to a better place that has a beach with supermodels in string bikinis and a never-ending supply of cold beers.

Like Spring Break over and over again.

I joined my newsroom friends in saying goodbye to the sweet Kay Vasilakis, who readers of this paper always knew as the voice of New Castle and the nonprofit community. That loss will probably never sink in, and I’ll never forget the smiles she brought to us often-cynical newsie types. I can still see her face as it lit up when her grandchildren came into the newsroom or when it was someone’s birthday and they read the card she hand-picked for them to be signed by everyone at the paper.

Kay was definitely in a category all her own.

There will be many reasons I remember 2010, even if sadness is part of it. Such is life, as the book title goes. If I keep laughing, and creating my own happiness, then the trials and tribulations will all balance themselves out in 2011.

The more chocolate chip cookies placed in front of me, the merrier.

April E. Clark will be home for the holidays. She can be reached at

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