Yesterday mom called. She usually does on Sundays. This means if we’re at a con, and I suddenly grab my phone and start speaking Portuguese, it’s mom. I’ve found she tends not to remember “am at conference” and tends to be very worried if I can’t talk right then.
She wished me a happy new year in advance and she said “At least no worse than 2018.”
It’s an interesting perspective, and I realize that it’s perhaps related to her being 84. All the same….
2018 was in many ways — emotional and financial, mostly — the year from hell. As most such things do — I have a million superstitions around the turning of the year. Yes, I know it’s stupid. But it’s also human. I’ve stopped fighting it — it announced itself around November 2017 with the school pulling funny things with younger kid’s tuition, so that we entered the year in a panic over money.
Then in February/March/April, there was a long protracted issue with a family member that had me, for real, suicidal for the first time since my teens, both because it was horrible, and because I could do nothing about it.
And it ended just a couple of weeks ago with a real gut-punch that left us financially worried, again. And it was also emotionally wrenching.
On the other hand… On the other hand, just as the gut punch at end of year last year was a warning that things in the new year would be awful, the gut punch (or at least half of it) a couple of weeks ago was a sword I’ve been waiting to fall since February, when rumors first reached me. In a way it was the clearing out of debris of something that had been dead a long time. (And no, guys, not my marriage. That’s fine, thank you.) And after the punch hit and I was physically ill for twenty four hours, it started feeling oddly freeing. As well the e-sale I’ve been running on Amazon these last two weeks of the year was “oddly profitable,” making me, if not sure — who can be sure — at least reasonably assured that I can make it on my own from indie, with a very small assist from non fic at pjmedia, which — having been cut back through no fault of my own — will now probably only cost me a day a week instead of eating all my writing time.
If I can put out something new every month (not as difficult as it sounds as I have many, many half finished things from “when the wheels came off.” I.e. when I got very ill 5 years ago. Some of them are three days from completion, like musketeer vampires and the sequels to Witchfinder (I swear I had an almost finished Musketeer mystery and I can’t even find the OUTLINE for it. I think it might have gone with the computer that caught fire five years ago. But I’ll do some more searching before giving up)) I should be not only fine, but thrive.
And the family member issue resolved itself by May, in the happiest possible way: in fact happier than I would have thought possible.
Oh, yeah, and we managed to pay younger son’s bills (with some assist from him with a summer job and now a typesetting business) without going under, even if our savings looks like it’s been on a diet (if you need typesetting, e or paper, ping me, I’ll give you his email. He has a list of services.) Ah, well. That can be put right. Hard work never killed anyone. It’s work where you pour out your heart and soul into it and know that people stand by to kill it dead and blame you for the death that guts you.
The health stuff is way better. WAY better compared to even last year at this time.
Is it “Okay”? Um…. not yet. But that’s also work for this year.
Older son found the perfect woman (well, they’d been dating for about a year) and proposed this spring. Even better, she accepted him and became Lovely Fiance. Even better, we like her too, and she’s rapidly become the daughter we wish we’d had. They’ll be getting married early next year, and if they don’t give me a firm date, I’m going to roofie them both and drive them down to the civil registry. (To be fair, he’s waiting for his school to firm up schedule for the year, still… hard on my poor nerves, in Mrs. Bennet’s best style.) So, yeah, more work for the next year. Roofying people is SO EXHAUSTING.
I lost 45lbs and I’m back to the weight I was around 4 years ago before the thyroid went seriously to the bad. More work waiting there too, but it will happen. It’s amazing how much energy stress eats up, and the sword falling cut down on a lot of that stress.
Oh, asthma seems to be in remission, and despite a late flare these last two weeks, the eczema largely is too. (The flare is only on my hands, not all over my body as it has been these last two years.)
We found reasonably priced wood, have refloored one of the worst trouble spots in the house, and are ready to do the rest, probably at a weekend a month. Again, a lot of work, but when we’re done we’ll not only be less allergenic, but more ready to cope with the spate of geriatric issues our cats will have in the next six years. (The youngest is 10.)
Best of all the stories are stirring again.
And Dan — thank you guys who took him up on his free book for xmas offer — is again interested in writing.
It’s been over a year since we had an away-writing-weekend.
Because I DO have this superstition that the last day of the year and the first day of the new year foretell how you’ll spend the year, we are going away in a couple of hours for a “writing weekend.” Okay. It’s only overnight, though let me tell you if we weren’t still kind of tight, and more importantly if Dan weren’t convinced Havelock Cat will die without him (No. Havey is not one of the elderly ones. No. He’s not ill. It’s just that if you look in the dictionary under “needy” there’s a picture of his fluffy butt, and he has daddy rolled. “But the other cats will just eat him. He’s so chubby!”) I’d make it two nights.
So, right now I’m washing and sorting clothes, in preparation to being outahere for new years.
I probably won’t blog tomorrow, as we’ll be making our way back from the hotel (the hotel where we used to have writing weekends, and which — because these weekends are also oddly relaxing and bonding — we’ve nicknamed Hotel L’Amour) sometime around noon.
Though I hope that 2019 will be the best year in decades, both for me and for all of you, I’m going to above all hold on to mom’s wish “Let it be no worse than last year.”
Even though 2018 probably ate ten years of my life with worry and stress, it could be worse. There could be snakes in here with us. (Arguably, metaphorically, there was.)
Make 2019 better. But if nothing else, make it a year where all the problems end up well solved, where the solutions are under our control, or we can, at least, mitigate the suffering.
Give us work we can do and which is satisfying, give us challenges we can overcome, give us health and at least enough wealth not to hurt.
Let’s go forth into 2019 and BUILD.
The rest will take care of itself.