Looking Back Two Years

Yesterday I was standing in the kitchen while he talked through the things he plans to do this week. He was talking fast and the list was long, but he was energetic and optimistic about the work ahead. This is a version of Howard I haven’t seen for more than two years, one I wasn’t certain we would ever get back. I spent twenty-five years running to keep up with Howard, then the last two waiting while he moved much more slowly. During those two years I had to face the possibility that this was our new normal. That we simply had to adapt to a different set of capabilities than what we had before. Two years ago Howard switched his mental health meds, then we had a house disaster that disrupted our work spaces for six months, then our daughter got married, then Howard got sick for eight months, and while he was being sick the world threw a pandemic. Then we ended the daily comic around which our lives had been structured for twenty years and we had to figure out what comes next. All of that lingered physically, financially, and emotionally until about two months ago.

Two months ago we got vaccinated, and we finally got the last pieces to deliver packages to our Kickstarter backers. Then Howard streamed all his sketches and life schedule clicked into place. Somewhere in the last month, Howard started popping awake before I do. He started being excited to get up and face the challenges of the day.

On Monday I shipped out the last of the packages for Big Dumb Objects. It feels like closing the book on the past two years. Time to launch ourselves into what comes next. I’m glad we get to launch with Howard back up to speed. I’m glad we had some time where we were forced to live slower. The enforced slowness taught us different ways to be. It gave us space to build a different structure around ourselves, one that values process equally with product. We have many projects we plan to work on in the next six months, but for today I want to pause and be glad for the past two years, and to be grateful that we now get to shift into something new.