Several other blogs I follow have done ‘looking back’ year end posts I’ve enjoyed reading. I wondered why it hadn’t occurred to me to do something similar. Then as I thought about what I might include in such a post I began to see that I didn’t especially want to look back at 2016. It was a rough year.
I turned 42 in 2016. I had been looking forward to my 42nd birthday for a long while, as a serious Douglas Adams fan. When it came however, I was in no mood to make a fuss. For 6 months out of 2016 I had my ileostomy, including on my birthday. I don’t remember if thing were going smoothly with the ostomy at that poin or if I was dealing with one of my many struggles with it, but I feel even in the best of times I was not sleeping well, and in a constant state of worry.
I was unable to exercise or eat as well as I wanted with all the restrictions that were on me, and I still feel like I’ve hiking uphill to get my healthy good habits back. I’ll get there, but it’s not fun. I didn’t write as much as I’d liked to, but I did finish a first draft of a short novel, that is turning out far better than any of my previous attempts. There is still lots of revisions I want to make, but it will get there too. I didn’t sew as much as I would have liked to. Stress, and just maintaining myself took more energy in 2016 than normal. There wasn’t as much left for the things that make life satisfying. I also didn’t read as much as I would have liked. This one surprised me. Being ill so much should have given me plenty of time to read, I would have thought. Yet, doing normal things took so much more focus and energy, I often found myself too mentally exhausted to do much of anything but try to sleep.
But the glass is also half full. My perforated colon was a very serious problem. I read many medical papers and studies to learn more about my condition. I was in denial about the seriousness of things in the beginning. If my doctors hadn’t been so aggressive, so insistent in caring for me, if I had put off visiting the doctor longer than I already had, it is something that could potentially have killed me. So while the journey was ugly at times, and more of a struggle than I like to think about much, I made it. My family and my medical team got me though it.
Maybe I didn’t get as much done in 2016 as I would have liked to. Still, sometimes ‘not dying’ is enough of an accomplishment for a year all on it’s own. So if you made it through 2016 – a year that many of our beloved artists didn’t make it through – even if it was a ugly success, be grateful. I am.
Let’s make 2017 more fun if we can.