The privilege of writing this column every week is one of the best things that ever happened to me.
To think that anybody would care what I have to say about anything is flattering beyond belief.
To have an avocation like this that causes me to pay extra attention to the things that happen in my life (there might be a story in it!) has enriched me beyond words.
To open my email or answer the phone and have one of you saying that I wrote something that made a difference for you is a quick route to humility.
Yes, I obviously love the opportunity to share whatever happens to be on my mind at that particular time.
I know I love it because I keep on doing it. More than 2,000 columns over a span of more than 40 years.
Sometimes it feels as if I will never have another good idea.
Other times I have a brain lapse and say something in print I wish I had never said. It makes me want to crawl under a log and die.
And all the time I am reminded of what a relentless animal a newspaper column like this is: no sooner do I finish the several hundred words for this week than I have to start thinking about next week. If you think times flies for you, try to imagine how quickly Monday comes around when you have an obligation like this every single one.
Yes, I obviously love writing this column. All my complaints aside, I will probably continue doing it until they kick me out.
But people love their children, too, even more than I love this column.
And those same people who love their children are always forgiven when they want to get away for a little time in a place where there are no children.
So I hope you can understand the somewhat giddy pleasure that has come to me upon studying the calendar. What I found is that this year — as happens approximately every seven years — the holiday gods have sprung for two consecutive Monday holidays, Christmas and New Year’s.
In terms that speak most clearly to me, there will be no paper the next two weeks.
As I said, I love this unruly child that I bring to your home every Monday.
But this baby is off to the sitter for the next couple of weeks! Yippee!
The expression that comes to mind is Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to me.
And of course, I wish the same to you.
Jim Busek is a freelance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.