New Year, New Me? No.

This is my last post of the year, and I don’t have much to say.  I already shared my writing accomplishments over the course of 2021, and I don’t have much to report on the personal front because let’s be real, it has not been a good year.  Really, it has been one smack in the face after another this year, and I am fine with 2021 being over.

What annoys me at the moment though is that this December there seem to be a lot of folks posting about how 2022 is going to be “their year,” and don’t get me wrong, I hope so, but c’mon.  We’re still in a pandemic.  It’s a lot more likely you’re going to have to go back to remote working/learning at some point, always have to wear a mask, and watch a bunch more people get sick and die.  So, I guess I’m not really feeling the positivity, y’know?

Don’t worry, I have an appointment with my therapist on Monday.

In the meantime, I just have to pull out the good ol’ Emotional Toolbox.  The ET is a concept I came up with many years back, essentially a mental list of my coping mechanisms.  It has little tricks for panic attacks, like sit in front of the fan, or pet your fuzzy blanket.  Then it has more complex plans for fighting anxiety and depression, like what I call the “Ross Method,” in which you break a task down into itty-bitty pieces so that it is accomplished easily.  One of my favorite tools in the ET is the “Silver Linings Search,” in which you find the good in the bad.  This always helps me out, and this is what I am using right now as I write this blog.

What good things happened in my garbage year?  Well, I had my surgery, which helped my tummy a little.  And my husband left a very toxic work environment.  My dad remains cancer-free.  My mother is getting her foot surgery.  My sister moved out on her own.  We got to have Christmas with my grandma.  We didn’t get sick. 

These are all good things.

Now, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, except for my annual declaration that I shall read more.  That might actually happen this year though, as I have both a brand-new Kindle and upcoming cataract surgery.  I don’t think I will make any huge accomplishments, except perhaps releasing my mini-chap, which could happen sooner than I think.  Though, lack of accomplishment might be my depression talking.  In the beginning of the pandemic, I was ok.  In fact, I was ok for a long time, watching as my healthy-brained friends lost their minds when faced with the sudden onset of anxiety and depression.  I was peachy. I was a pro.

Lately, though, it seems it’s starting to wear on me.  Like, I don’t know if it’s Christmas letdown or what, but I am just not in the mood.  I mean, I try to write an end of the year post, I wanted it to be uplifting, but here we are, discussing depression again.

Because that’s how she works, my friends.  I never get a day off.

Anyway, if you want to go make 2022 “your” year, more power to you.  I hope you succeed.  I will be cheering you on.  Me, my goal is both simple and infinitely more difficult: get out of bed in the morning, and carry on.  That’s my New Year’s resolution.

What’s yours?

Resolve

This year, I am improving upon last years resolutions.  Yes, I will continue to battle with both my bad health and my love for cigarettes, two old foes I hope to vanquish in the coming months.  What I intend to push myself on, however, is my writing.  I have made great strides in the past year to battle my anxiety by putting my words out into the world and I am determined to keep that up.  I’m also determined to finish the first draft of my novel, which lies dormant in my computer just waiting for me to open it up and start pecking away.

I started working on it sometime around the fall of 2016, and have been chipping away at a big idea ever since.  I finished my general outline and about five chapters.  Now, though, I am stuck, and I resolve to get myself out of this quicksand before it swallows me up.  I have considered joining a few writers groups, but to be honest I don’t have that thing I used to have, when I walked into a club or activity at seventeen and immediately fell into pace with whatever was going on.  Now I am a ball of anxiety, nervous just to have to identify another person, let alone have a conversation with them.  And about my writing!  Unheard of.  I like a trusted voice, someone who knows me and can tell me what they think with out me getting all squirrely.  (My usual go-to for this has two kids and lives in Kentucky though, so it’s a big ask to send chapters.) Of course, a singular voice is not really conducive to writing, as you are writing for other people to read. All people, not those you know personally.  Which is why I thought joining a group like this was a good idea.  I can’t get up the nerve, though.  That’s disappointing.

So, one more resolution to make.  Get out there more.  Talk to other human beings about things that are important to you.  Try to recapture a little of that spark you had when you were young, and still recognized how to make new friends.

But most of all, and most important always, write more.  Write more poetry.  Write your novel.  Write another short story.  Update your blog more frequently.  Just write.  Write, write, write…