If you’re like me, you’re probably exhausted right about now. No rest yet, though, because a new year is peeking just around the corner. This, of course, is the traditional time to assess your life, to look at the good and the bad and make plans for improvement in the future.
As I look back on 2007, I realize what an eventful year it’s been. From a forced move that screwed up my back more than it already was, to my stepdad’s near fatal accident, it was a year for bad. But there was a lot of good too, my signing two book contracts, reconnecting with my mother, realizing that my stepdad was less "step" and more dad—and that I really do love him. There were the personal insights that were neither good nor bad, they just were. That I am not dealing with my chronic illness in a healthy way, that my physical and emotional issues are not separate entities that can be split apart like strands of embroidery thread. I am who I am, and I have to find a way to deal with that.
My goals for the last few new years have been mostly writing or weight loss related. This year it’s time to work on something more basic, more important in the long run than the contracts I hope to sign or the weight I probably won’t lose anyway. I have several interconnected physical illnesses, including serious issues with my spine. Because of the pressure on my spinal cord and the nerves coming off it, I have chronic pain (that’s gotten far worse in the last year). I dodge paralysis on a daily basis. And the emotional fallout—to both me and my friends and family—can be harder to deal with than the physical problems.
Yeah, I should just be happy with what I have. I’ve seen my daughters grow up and give me grandchildren. And they are the center of my life. I’m living my life’s dream of being a published novelist. I should be content. And yet I want more. I crave stability and a life not defined by the catastrophe du jour. I desire a house that’s ours and that will accommodate my needs. I dream of a time when I don’t have panic attacks over survival as the end of the month (and money) comes. And I want a better relationship with my family. In spite of our religious and philosophical differences, I’d like us to come together and try to understand each other.
And that is what I’d wish for the world if I could. To be more stable, to reach for and achieve dreams, to understand each other. Maybe if each of us works toward that in our own lives, in our own families, then there’s hope for that beautiful blue sphere we live on.
May all of you reach your goals and dreams in 2008!