First, let me thank “Emily” who started following me last week. I had deleted every entry in this blog last year – deciding that it was just a place for me to whine and that my writing wasn’t quality enough to keep it up. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting it up again as the end of 2014 approached and it was “Emily” who tipped the scale in favor of blogging. Thank you, “Emily”.
One would have thought in the wake of 2013, last year would have been the most awesome. In 2013 I had two car accidents, cancer, three surgeries, missed months of work, bled money to hospitals and doctors. It was unpleasant to say the least. But before the cancer, 2013 was the year I found life/work balance. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was surrounded by wonderful friends. I had a job that I enjoyed and worked with people I truly cared about. My daughter-in-law became pregnant – a total surprise to us all – and that brought all of us closer. I found out who loved me and who didn’t (cancer will do that for you). I thought I learned what was important.
But 2014 started with the snowiest winter in history, combined with one of the coldest. I live in Michigan, so it’s not unusual to have either snow or sub-zero temps, but it’s rare to have them both at the same time. I had my fourth reconstructive surgery on January 3rd and became very depressed. That depression never fully lifted and then I had my 5th and final surgery on July 3rd. The depression deepened. It has had a hold on me this entire year and I cannot get it to let go.
I can’t say the year was without any joy. Our granddaughter was born in March and she is the most amazing thing. She has brought us closer to her parents in ways I never would have thought. I’ve gotten to visit her twice. She’s even convinced my husband to get on a plan for the first time in 58 years. Whenever I need to feel better I just look at her wonderful, smiling face.
But I am glad to see 2014 out and usher in a new and shiny 2015.
One of the things I hope to change this year is a return of work/life balance. I’ve been telling people my job ate my Christmas spirit. I did not get to enjoy the things I love most about the season. I let my job steal my sleep and whisper to me that it was all right to live on pizza and fast food. This resulted in a an illness that took me out of running for most of the actual holiday. The extra hours I worked made me angry and resentful and lazy. And this made me guilty, because I have no actual problems. No one was forcing me to work those hours. And no one else was, for certain. I just felt obligated for the support and ease given me while I was sick. Now that I am “well” I felt I needed to be the best and push that much harder. (I was also working toward a promotion that they are keeping just beyond my reach. I’ve decided I don’t care about it any more.)
I am thankful, though, in a way. Missing parts of the holidays has shown me what I truly enjoy. I enjoy the smaller get-together more than the large gala. I enjoy wrapping presents and making the outside so pretty you won’t care what’s inside. I enjoy my Bestie’s Christmas choir concert. I enjoy driving with my family to look at Christmas lights. I enjoy having a Christmas eve cocktail.
None of that happened this year. I was too busy. I was working too many hours and had too much planned. So I’m going to make a list and put it in my calendar for next year. As a reminder of what I think is important.
Also, I am going to heed the cliche and make the resolution to get back to making my health a priority. It’s been a year of sloth and gluttony in efforts to “make myself feel better” and “because I deserve it”. It’s led to only more guilt and more sloth and more gluttony. I’ve gained forty pounds in the last year. That’s too much. I am smart enough to know that exercise will help excise the demons. (Exercise and strong meds.)
So I welcome 2015 with hope and purpose – with or without the hoverboards and flying cars.
Happy New Year!