I thought about doing one of those fancy end-of-the-year posts that summarizes the Best and Worst of the year, but the events in my life that are memorable are mostly things I wish I could forget, but never will. Alas. (And I can’t talk about them here.)
I learned this year that sometimes people I love will inexplicably choose behaviors that I never even thought to forbid. I learned that truly, the only person I can control is myself. I learned that, most importantly, I can choose my attitude in the midst of terrible situations. (This year, my reading of Man’s Search for Meaning turned out to be perfect timing.)
This was a year in which I read less than usual because I had trouble focusing on a fictional world when my real world was stranger than fiction.
I began this year with the slow burning terror that I would lose my job at some point. I had no clear time-table which is like knowing a fire is approaching your house and smelling smoke but not knowing when the flames will lick at your front door. Do you sleep or spend all night packing up your important stuff? Do you cook dinner or throw your whole pantry into a cooler so you can take off at a moment’s notice? Is there any point in standing on your roof with a garden hose?
As it turned out, eleven months later, the call came and I lost my job.
So now I’m in a different muddle, one in which I don’t know when the next job will begin–or what that next job will be.
Stress. So much stress.
On a positive note, though, I have to point out several things.
I finally got myself together this past year and started walking at least 10,000 steps a day in March. I’m feeling better physically than I have in years. I believe that all the exercise gave me strength to get through my days while feeling less frazzled than I would have otherwise.
My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary this summer with some fun at Disneyland. He is the constant steady calm in my life. Even in the midst of a very stressful season for him professionally, he’s been the stable, gentle, funny guy I married all those years ago. He is the best choice I ever made.
Also, when I reached out to a few friends with my tales of woe, those friends regaled me with their own tales of woe. Knowing that my delightful friends–who are beautiful, accomplished, hilarious, smart women–traversed similar rocky paths has been such a comfort to me. When I think, “Where did I go wrong?”, I remind myself that I am not alone and I am not the one who made STUPID choices. (Still. It’s been aggravating.)
I’m sure there was something else I meant to point out, but maybe I mentioned that I’ve been distracted these days?
Here’s to a new year. This one definitely ends with a whimper.