This morning, while steering with my knees as I drove up Sacramento Street, chatting with Ry on my cell phone, and trying to sip from a cup of hot coffee from S**r**cks (hey, someone gave me a gift card, so the joe was free), I realized two things: 1.) I am currently my own worst nightmare (though I wasn't driving an SUV, so perhaps not quite); and 2.) I am crazily happy.

Eventually I hung up the phone, put the coffee in my cup holder, and placed both hands back on the wheel, thereby ending #1 (own worst nightmare), but #2 still held fast. And, really, it wasn't just the caffeine jolt or the video game-esque thrill of driving the hills of San Francisco with no hands or even the hilarious joy of talking with Ryan, though all of those were quite pleasant. It was those things and the general sense of well-being that has trumped even my loopy exhaustion this month.

Because here, at the tail end of the year, it finally feels like some things that were up in the air for a long time have started to drift back down to earth, where I most need them to be. Though they may not (indeed, probably won't) stay down here forever, what matters is that they're here now. That's a sorely welcome relief.

When I went out for a run this evening, it was already dark; halfway down Dolores Street, it started to rain--not enough to get me wet, really, but enough to make me realize there was indeed water falling from the sky. For a while I tucked my head down and tried to quicken my pace. But then The Decemberists came up on my iPod, and I thought of laughing with Ry this morning, thought of two phone conversations I'd had earlier this week, of the utter joy (really, it was awesome) of my party this past Saturday, of the holidays with my family and friends in the week ahead. I thought about how far this year has brought me, and about what 2006 might hold.

And then, rain and the chance of looking truly starkers be damned, I actually raised my arms above my head, mouthed the words to the song coming into my ears, and ran with my head high, grateful and amazed and, here at the bottom of December, so much at peace.