Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Line in the Sand

I’ve never been much for celebrating the New Year. I’ve been to exactly one New Year’s Eve party way back in the early 90s. Staying up and watching the ball drop in New York City is about all the enthusiasm I can muster for what is an arbitrary human line in the sand. Depending on which ancient civilization you favor, the new year fell on the winter solstice, the vernal equinox or some other logical celestial event. The winter solstice makes the most sense to me, but who am I to argue with history winners?

In recent years, staying up to watch the ball drop has become a chore. The older I get the less interested in I am in staying up late and if my neighbors would stop with the fireworks every year, I’d blissfully sleep through the whole thing.

This year though? This year that arbitrary line in the sand is vitally important to me. It’s a tangible moment that will allow me to put 2014 into the “history” category. And Friends, I really, really need to do that. 2014 was a challenge. 2014 sucked spiky, radioactive, guano balls. 2014 just needs to end already.

While I won’t be staying up this year to tell 2014 to “suck it” I’m certainly looking forward to waking up on January 1st with a metaphorically clean slate. I don’t expect things to be magically better though. They won’t be. The same issues that we have been dealing with all year will still be lurking. We’ll still be fighting to reduce some of the shit that has been dumped on us this year, but thankfully, the pile is definitely getting smaller.

2015 isn’t going to be be about new beginnings and changes so much as it will be a return to things I stopped doing in 2014 because it was too much, too overwhelming, too hard to juggle. I’m not one for sticking with resolutions, but I’ve got them this year and I am determined to keep them. Nothing in the realm of impossibility, nothing far-fetched. I’m not planning to take up mountain climbing, become fluent in Latin, and certainly not overcome my fear of sharks by swimming with them. 

Goodbye 2014. Make sure you leave your keys and close the door on the way out.

Hello 2015! Come on in, sit and stay awhile! I've been looking forward to your visit!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Countdown Is On

There’s a two-part episode of Star Trek Voyager titled “Year of Hell” in which Captain Janeway and her crew suffer a series of calamities over the course of a year. Eventually, through the magic of temporal phenomenon, everything ends up honky-dory, and the Year of Hell never happens. Voyager’s crew continues on their journey unaware of the disasters that befell them or they avoided...I’ve never understood temporal mechanics.

There have been more times than I can count that I’ve wished for a temporal phenomenon to undo this year or fast forward it. My very own, very real, very intense Year of Hell. As science fiction isn’t all science fact yet, that leaves me just waiting for the end of 2014.

Many times, almost daily, I ask myself what right have I to complain. I know people who’ve been through far too much for me to ever complain about anything. How dare I mope when people are starving, when wars rampage across the world, when cities burn, and mothers lose their children! Who am I to lie in bed at night crying? My husband holds me but is helpless to comfort me because I am inconsolable. In those moments, I allow myself to fall because I tell myself that grief is not a contest and there is no measurable way to compare pain, that even though others have suffered far more than I could ever imagine, my anger, sadness, and hurt are just as real.

I count, I breathe, I pull myself together because I have no other choice.

Am I depressed? Yeah. Clearly. There’s no denying that. My one and only solace? I know that my depression is situational. That things are generally shit right now, but it won’t be like this forever. I know that as long as I keep putting my feet on the ground every morning, that someday it won’t feel like such a chore. There are days when my smile is genuine and my laughter is not forced. And those days are slowly starting to outnumber the others.

I’ve said it before that I should have done an anonymous blog, then maybe, I’d post more about my life. Maybe if I had a top secret super blog I’d vent, I’d rant, I’d utilize an outlet that I honestly should have been using: my words. My chaos has been my own this year. I’ve not wanted to share it or talk about it here or anywhere, so even an anonymous blog would have sat unattended this year. I’ve got 31 more days to go in what I expected to be a great year. I have used this year as an excuse for not writing, not crafting, not doing and that’s got to change. Whether I post to a public blog or just jot notes in a journal, writing has always helped me work through my issues and I need to get back to that.

In 31 more days I’ll have survived 2014.

In 31 more days I’ll file 2014 away as a lesson learned.

In 31 more days I’ll jump into 2015 looking to exceed rather than endure. 
Scott asked me the other day if I expected 2015 to magically be better. Of course not, I said. But it’s like a clean slate. New Years is a tangible mark, a concrete, albeit human, passage of time. Time allows distance and clarity, healing and hope. Time, right now, is the best friend I’ve got.

This year I fell. Come January 1st, I will start standing again.