What a freaking year.
I mean that in every applicable way.
It’s funny to me how the time goes by so quickly but when I think back it seems like more than a year since some of this year’s events happened. Does that make ANY sense?
I had terrible anxiety last New Year’s Eve. I had unreasonable fears that things had gotten as good as they were going to get and this year was going to be downhill. Obviously, I am a sane human and was aware of my irrationality, but I couldn’t shake it.
Familywise, we had a tough one, losing Daddy’s brother in February. There’s not really anything to say about it that I haven’t already said. It was awful for many people.
Workwise, it has been tough too. I had my most stressful year at work so far. I think I did okay but I could have handled many problems better, more quickly, etc. If anything, I burned myself out needlessly. Upside? I grew. I presented at three conferences, each presentation well-received. The school’s lit mag grew. I helped some students who needed it tremendously.
Mentally, it was a basket-dropper of a year. Events early in the year stirred up some old demons, and I had put off finding a therapist for far too long. Sadly, that fix was temporary and I found myself walking out of her office for good during one of the darkest points of the year for me. Shockingly, that was the turning point to pasting my brain, nerves, and emotions back together.
Physically, it’s been a mixed bag. I had some health issues this year — minor, I think, I hope — and have spent the majority of the year in physical therapy. Some of it may not be fixable. Some of it definitely is. I have many unanswered questions, but I think stress and anxiety are at the root of at least half of it.
On the upside, I’ve taken better physical and mental care of myself, especially in the latter half of the year. Sleep and exercise have been priorities. Time with friends has become essential to snatch where I can find it. Rest and unwinding are mandatory daily. “No” has entered my vocabulary.
While I’ve had to (temporarily, I hope) give up pole and weight training, I’ve managed to run a few times a week and get into what is probably the best shape of my life (floppy arms notwithstanding).
Travelwise, I have been to Savannah, Norfolk, Melbourne Beach (FL), Nashville, Maggie Valley, and Las Vegas this year. I hope to make next year more adventurous.
Drawl has suffered this year and we are working on rebooting the magazine. I am looking forward to spending more time on my own writing this year. That time has been hard to carve out.
From a hobby standpoint, I have gotten better at sewing and tried my hand (successfully!) with canning. I still suck at gardening and probably will forever. That’s a dream I can let go. For now.
The year’s lessons?
*Focus on people.
*You can do anything for 15 minutes.
*You can accomplish a hell of a lot if you will do things for 15 minutes on a regular basis.
*Complicated problems often have simple solutions.
*You don’t have to keep being who you’ve always been. Change is okay.
*It’s also okay not to change.
*Things may not be better or worse in the future, just different. Embrace it. It’s okay. There is a good in most moments.