So Long, 2013…

…don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

It seems like I am not alone in bidding au revoir, good riddance, and GTFO to 2013- I know lots of the folks in my social circles, as well as plenty of folks I know only tangentially, have had a rough time of it. I won’t bother to speculate why, but man. Welcome the new year, yeah?

For me, 2013 (and the last three months of 2012, really) was… tumultuous. Difficult. Painful. I mean, yes, I still have my spouse, and we still have somewhere to live. It could have been worse, I am aware. But 2013 was full of nasty surprises, from our church burning down, to the loss of several relatives to old age and suicide, to our house being robbed, to having to put our little kitty to sleep, to unending invasions of ants, and everything in between. I got so stressed out in March and April that I basically had what amounted to a physical breakdown, which is not something I’ve ever even come close to experiencing before. I had tremors, panic attacks. I couldn’t sleep, my blood pressure went through the roof. I managed to work my way back to something close to normal, and then it all came back again in August, after we put our little handicapped cat to sleep and then got robbed less than a week later. I could get up, go to work, and come home, and that was absolutely it. And honestly, if we lived in any other civilized country where they have things like medical leave for mental distress, I wouldn’t have been doing the going to work part.

Since so many of these things affected not just me, but my immediate world, my husband has had a rough year of it too. And in every social group I know, it seems to be widespread. Divorces, moves, illness, sudden accidents, sudden deaths, everything- you name it, it seems to have happened in 2013.

It wasn’t all bad- I had an amazing trip to Canada to visit a dear friend (and then I couldn’t leave because hundred year floods in Alberta literally washed out the roads to the airport, you see what I mean about 2013?). I joined a band, which is now playing gigs. I wrote more than I had in at least a year. I edited a LOT of photos, and Stephanie and I finished the minor cards for our Black Widow Honey project. I celebrated turned 30 in August, celebrated 9 years of marriage in October, and 2 years at my job in November. Our remaining two cats are happy and healthy, and the ants now only come in the bathtub (knock wood) where they can easily be washed away every morning.

But. I’m ready for a new leaf.

I do this thing, have done it for a few years, where instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, I pick a theme for the year. I try to make it reflect the overall attitude or result I want across all spheres of my life for the next twelve months. I tend to be somewhat obsessive in personality, and so resolutions too easily become all-consuming, and ultimately a source of failure and disappointment. But a theme lets me be mindful of the overall goal, without getting bogged down in specifics that will overwhelm me.

I had a hard time figuring out what mine would be this year- there’s a lot I wanted to cover. I both need to take it a little easier, dial back the remaining anxiety and mania that I’m still living with, while simultaneously do better at things like getting enough exercise, eating well, managing all my personal and work obligations, etc. I couldn’t figure it out, and couldn’t figure it out, and couldn’t figure it out. But as I was putting the finishing touches on today’s Dreamlights Radio show last night, I finally got it- this is the year of Feeling Good.

Feeling Good- it’s both what I need, in terms of my health, and in terms of my personal success. And if I’m feeling good, everything else will fall into place- I’ll do better at my job, I’ll perform better in my band, I’ll be inspired to write more, and on and on. It’s both the state I need to attain, and the source from which further good things will flow.

Thus, on this second day of 2014, I leave you with the immortal Nina Simone, and the hope that you, too, will have a year of Feeling Good.

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