Monday, January 2, 2012

Washing Away the Past

I love New Years. It's my favorite holiday of all, because this holiday gives me a great gift -- the ability to wash away the past year and start anew. I'm happy to have the wave wash ashore and erase 2011. For me, it was a year of challenge and stress.

My journey started with my 18-month-old granddaughter coming into my life. For 10 months, I was her caretaker. It was wonderful getting to know her, but the single most difficult task to undertake at my age. There is a reason God gives toddlers to those in their twenties. It's not for those in their sixties. It goes against nature.

With her came the germs from day care that turned into a bout of pneumonia and too many colds and intestinal revenges to count. When summer arrived, I tripped and broke my shoulder. Try lifting a toddler to change a diaper with a broken shoulder. It's not fun. Then all the stress threw my thyroid into a tizzy from too fast to too slow. I'm waiting for it to make up its mind which end will win.

Beyond my granddaughter came financial challenges, stress at work, and dealing with worry over the choices those close to us make. My ex-husband showed up on my doorstep this fall, and I took him into my home and gave him a place to sleep while he was traveling. He made promises of help to me; he once again broke promises to me. Now he's off finding himself again half way across the world from another recent divorce. I doubt he'll find anything. Then I signed up for the free weekend on eHarmony once again like a dummy, and not one freebie talked to me. You'd think I'd learn!

However, on the positive side, the one thing that gives me joy in life -- my writing -- went well. I released three books under my own imprint. I gave away over 6,000 free downloads for one on Amazon last week, and sold more of my other three books than ever before. Not enough to quit my day job, but enough to give me a sense of accomplishment. If it wasn't for writing and people telling me they enjoy my stories, I'd really curl up into a fetal position and just stay there sucking on my thumb.

The year has been interesting to say the least; and frankly, I'm glad it's washed away. It hasn't been one of my favorites. The Mayans, of course, tell us 2012 is supposed to be no better. All I can say is, if the world does end, at least one good thing will come out of it. I get to leave all my credit card debt behind.

Nevertheless, I'm trying to prepare for a future. I'm looking to buy a condo. Can't afford much, but I can't afford the rising rents in my area either. Hopefully, I'll pound two more books out. That's probably more than I can do, but I'll try anyway. My granddaughter is supposed to come back and visit in May for six months. Not sure if I'll be on another six-month stint doing granny care or not. I'll have to see.

I do hope, though, things settle down somewhat. It seems that I'm not alone in my problems as far as struggles over the past year. Many of my Facebook friends and those at work have faced a challenging 2011 too. Maybe 2011 is suppose to toughen us up for 2012. Whatever. I suppose I could say, "bring it on." However, I'd rather say give me a break instead.

In all my petty troubles that seem to loom so large in my vision, I can't forget the thousands who have suffered worldwide in 2011 from natural disasters, wars, hunger, and homelessness. Even though we often hurt, there are those who hurt much worse and have lost everything, including their lives. To remember the souls who truly washed away in 2011, brings perspective to our own momentary little irritants of life.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2012. May your new year be filled with peace and happiness. Of course, above all, I wish you find the love that you're seeking or otherwise the continued strength to go it alone as a single human. Whatever your lot may be, hopefully grace will be your portion throughout the coming year.