Late Resolutions and a Glance Back

(This is a long one, folks. Strap yourselves in.)

Not just to be contrary, but I tend to make my resolutions for the New Year about a month later than everyone else. I think about my previous year and what I want out of the next.

Last year at this time, my mother had just passed. We were never that close, so I felt her loss in ways I hadn’t expected. In the end, I told her I loved her, and I let her go, and any of the bitterness or anger I had went, too. I was glad that when I heard how serious her condition was becoming, I established contact and made an effort, even while lamenting that it took something so serious. It made me able to let things go, and to appreciate what I have in the moment.

Then at work there was the famed Prince Scientist. Good gods, that man was beautiful. I had made so many changes within myself and to my ways of thinking and to my self-esteem, yet I still couldn’t conceive that someone like that — beautiful and educated and smart and kind — could ever be attracted to me. I have since found out that he was with someone at that time, so our furtive glances and sidelong looks and Jane Austen-style across the room longing was all that we could have had.

However, that in no way changes the fact that he wanted some of me. *cackle* It’s that old adage about hindsight being 20/20. The man took my breath away. Every time we would pass the other we would exchange subtle glances, we would stare when we thought nobody was looking, and we both got huge smiles on our faces whenever we saw each other. I heard the following phrases almost verbatim from people who didn’t know there was anything going on: “Wow. Did you see the way he just looked at you?” “He just totally gave you side-eye when he passed! AGAIN! He does it every time he passes!” “Does he always smile at you like that?” Yet he was with someone, and part of me wonders if that’s why nothing more was ever pursued…and it makes me respect him more for it. I’ll probably never see him again, but it was a lesson I hope to put into being this year. Trust my intuition; trust my own eyes; and sometimes hot, smart, nice guys are interested in me. And what could that possibly say about me?

Last year at this time, I was also in great physical agony. Every time I would stand, I would be wracked with painful spasms which felt as though the very marrow and bones in my left leg were trembling from the stabbings of Satan himself…and nobody knew what the issue was. Until I saw a chiropractor. He has fixed my rotated pelvis and my angled spine. I could walk again and was building strength.

Until about a month ago when it all started again. With all the constant pain I was in, my normally perfect blood pressure went insane. When it all started happening over a year ago, my doctor put me on high blood pressure pills, with a diuretic included. Over time I noticed changes. I was getting weaker because of inactivity and had all sorts of aches and pains. We all figured they were normal because my entire skeleton was being rearranged. Then my leg started the spasms again…only it was the opposite leg. I talked to my chiropractor, a massage therapist, a pharmacist, and did my own research…and figured out the problem. With the diuretic, I’m peeing out all my potassium and magnesium and phosphates. I looked at all the symptoms and they described me as though I was being watched by health care ninjas. I have stopped the diuretic and am taking magnesium supplements. It’s been less than a week and I can just get up and walk without stretching and pausing and waiting. I haven’t been able to do that in over a year without pain or spasms or fear of falling down. I no longer have calf cramps every single time I stretch. I no longer have all those inexplicable aches and pains. My mood has improved. I can walk downstairs without fear. I’m young still, and I’m starting to feel like it for the first time in a year. The lesson? Listen to your body when it’s telling you something. I’m seeing my doctor next week.

And my writing? You didn’t think I’d forget that, did you? My first novel (and the only one, so far), Winter’s Trial, was difficult. The writing was easy, but the editing phase was…challenging (and that’s being kind). I left it wondering if I wanted to publish with them again, if I wanted to continue the series, and if I was cut out for the business and social aspects of writing. It shook me, and I pushed aside several concepts and novel ideas because of that suddenly tremulous confidence.

I wrote a short story titled The Snow Queen (which I love now but hated then) for an anthology and the editor was very good and very hands off. Still, I wasn’t sure. Then last year I wrote another story titled Threads of Discord, for another anthology and it was…okay. I’m still really not that fond of it, and it was (at best) just okay to me. But the editor! Sweet gods, the editor! I learned more from her in about 30 pages than I did in hundreds from the others. No fault to anyone, I just think that she and I got along instantly…and she’s very, very good. She is funny and knowledgeable and personable and offers criticism in a way that tells you that you’re working on this together. She was never once condescending (the WORST) or sharp or mean-spirited. She has graciously agreed to edit my next book, even though it’s second in a series. My lessons here are: push forward, toughen up, be true to yourself, trust yourself, and good things will come your way. I’m ashamed that I ever let that first experience shake me so much, and I hate that it stopped my writing, but I think I am better for having gone through it. Now I have that experience, that thicker skin, and a good editor in my corner with whom I am excited to work again.

And so, looking back on my year, I have all this experience and all these things I can do to improve my life. From the pain and the unhappiness and the work and the joys I can start fresh without casting aside the lessons I have learned.

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~ by Darren Endymion on February 2, 2016.

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