Hazy Reflections on a Long-Ass Year

Hazy, because, let's face it--it was a long-ass year. And we forget a lot of shit so we can keep getting up each morning like it's a good idea to keep going, keep trying. And it is a good idea. It beats the alternative, that's for damn sure.

There are two days left in a year that had some really spectacular experiences coupled with some really shitty ones, with a whole lot of hazy, routine ones in between.

I went about seven whole days this year without collapsing into bed and sleep in the middle of the day because I was too worn out to go another step. That's an improvement over 2012, so yay me.

I think, with the lovely rewriting of hindsight, that I can say the bad days of depression were about evened out with the good days of depression. I'm pretty sure most of it was through the prism of a heaviness that defied my ability to be sufficiently snarky so that it could be thrown off.

In fact, if I were to hazard a guess as to why there were so many heavy, sad days (let's not call them bad days, after all-they were instructive days, more so than the good ones), it would be in part that I recognized that snarkiness hurts people and had to let that go. I connected through the disability community with so many wonderful families who traveled so many difficult roads, through the loss of their precious children to serious setbacks and disease, that having come to "know them" through the miracle of the internet, I wished I could reach through the computer and hug them and take away their pain, change their loss.

It hurts to realize that sometimes the only role you can play is witness. It's sobering to realize that sometimes bearing witness is enough, is all you're really being asked to do--to bear witness without being an insensitive douche about it. In fact, our motto shifted from the golden rule (because really, if you're into S&M and the other person isn't, the whole do unto others thing doesn't work too well--I'm not into S&M, people...for fuck's sake--it's an example...). Anyway, the motto is now "Don't be a douche." I think that covers all the important territory in one concise and pithy saying. And everyone understands it, even if the literal explanation confuses the hell out of my kids and has me explaining how it's really not  a good thing to take one's personal microbial bioworld and put it out of whack with Summer's Eve and how that's an apt metaphor for the real world.

Look, you ask me a question, you ought to be ready for whatever way I explain the answer. It takes my new students about a month to truly believe I will say whatever is in my head...so don't ask if you don't want to know.

Some of my more stressful experiences this year dealt with engaging that filter thingymabob people are supposed to come with in order to function in polite company. I'm working on that. The problem is that unless someone solicits your opinion, it's douchey to offer it.

Loss...both of people and critters and other kinds of loss--that was hard this year to say goodbye to friends who suddenly found their do not pass go line with me on the other end. I hate losing friendships, and the losses pile up on each other, triggering the pain of previous losses. If you ever doubt you're walking around with all your baggage, just give it a minute because you'll find yourself getting a full-body crash with that baggage to remind you, especially the older you get.

Letting go is freaking hard. Not getting to be right, not being in control suck. I don't mind so much about the not being right--everyone's got their own right they don't want to be parted with--I do mind relinquishing the illusion of control. But in order to keep on keeping on it's one of them stupid necessities.

There was a lot of letting go this year, both of people, of control (the illusion of), and of dreams and hopes and wants.

There were more adjustments than I liked, more change than I cared for.

Ain't that a bitch, and ain't it the truth for all of us?

There was good, though, and plenty of it, if I looked around and held onto it. Friends who buoyed me, new friends made, wonderful connections made with new students. A lot good, more good than bad.

I know that. Objectively, when I tally it up, there was so much to be grateful for.

As we enter the last two days of this year, this long-ass year that passed in the blink of an eye, I'm going to count my blessings, along with squeezing the ones who are right here at home. And I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that 2014 is just as long and just as mixed, because that's what real living is: a mixed bag at best. At its best.


Chris D said...

I look forward to reading more about your family. I was part of yahoo 360 and Multiply for years. Blogger doesn't have the easy way to see people posting on their blogs, at least that I know of.

Thank you for sharing your year. I hope I get to know you better in the new one.

K Wombles said...

Thanks, Chris. If you go to autismblogsdirectory.com, Kathleen and I have over 1,000 autism or disability related blog feeds.

I hope I get to know you better, too. Happy New Year. :)