We’ve been all drama, all the time lately (read: escalating for months) in our house, and for a couple of weeks, I’ve been telling people I’m ready for 2017 to cease to exist. Like, it should be wiped off the annals altogether. I know it’s not a sound way of looking at things–the hardest times are the ones that teach us most and gift us with the most life lessons, and anyway it’s not like my troubles compare to those faced by many others–but sometimes you’re just done and that’s all there is to it. That’s where I am right now. Just done. I’m at my breaking point. My tolerance is gone.
But, as is often the case, when the universe (AKA God) has a lesson for me to learn, he’s not subtle about it. I was reading a memoir called Hourglass, and the author shared a conversation with an older woman who said, “Yeah, I had a bad time of it for a little while. About twenty-four years.”
Two nights later I grabbed my “January book,” where every New Year’s Day I write down a summary of the past year and my goals for the one to come. I knew the content of the most recent entry, yet one thing, I found, I had forgotten. I wrote, “2016 was a terrible year. I just want to wipe it out of existence.”
Sitting there, staring at those words, I realized if I don’t want to have a twenty-four-year-long “bad time,” I have to do whatever I can to change my own narrative. There are a lot of practical applications for that, but probably the first is that I need to start looking for things to be grateful for again. Years ago I participated in the 1000 Gifts blog hop, and from that experience I know nobody else really cares about my lists, but that isn’t really the point. So I will begin my gratitude list again, and I give everyone carte blanche to stop reading before you get there–as long as you go looking for your own things to be grateful for. Maybe if a whole lot of us make some attitude-change ripples, we can reset not only ourselves, but large things. Things beyond our sphere of influence.
I am grateful for the bike ride I haven’t had time to detail.
For friends willing to donate time to play with me on a recital this weekend.
For manuscript requests.
For the fact that having 10 tons of drama dumping on my/our head/s every moment prevents me from assigning drama to the novel query process. (That’s a really big deal.)
For what appears (and had darned well better be) the end of a plague in our house.
For the beginning of experimenting with fermented foods.
For expanding horizons inside my heart.
For the grace to interact with people on controversial topics without becoming too anxious to sleep.
For the most unwelcome resurfacing of anxiety, which has sparked all these reflections.
And the fact that cheesecake doesn’t last very long in the house.
For chenin blanc.
And although I never thought I’d utter these words, for Pit Bull.
That’s probably enough to start.