My first blog
|I hadn't intended to write an end-of-year blog post, but what the heck? I feel like I want to get my thoughts and feelings down, even if nobody else reads this.
Let me start by saying, this has not been the easiest of years. I mean, there were no big events that shook me. Nothing really happened. I think maybe that was part of the problem. I guess this is all part of the Covid-lockdown-hangover. Even though things are pretty much back to normal, and have been for months now, some of the new habits we took on during the pandemic have lingered, and life has felt just that little bit harder. The main change, for me, is not seeing my two best friends as much as before. Pre-pandemic, we had all met up once a week to have a chat and chew the fat. Before Shell and I married our hubbies, the three of us had pretty much lived in each others' pockets. We saw each other most days and knew everything about our lives. Nina and Shell helped get me through some of the worst times of my life. But this last year, I've probably seen Nina three or four times, and Shell only when she takes me shopping. I've found it increasingly hard to open up about my world, and even texting them has been difficult. It's like my thoughts have taken a hike and I don't know how to interact with people any more. Again, I know I'm not alone. These last two crazy years have left out of us with some kind of scars, even if we never had the illness. But I've felt lonely.
I can't even tell my hubby this because he doesn't cope well with "deep and meaningfuls." And I can't tell the girls how I feel because I don't want to upset them. So, mentally, this year has been a struggle.
My physical health has been crappy, as well. Some time in the the year (in the summer, maybe?) I had a blood test that showed my diabetes had got bad, my cholesterol was high, and my kidneys were leaking protein. I felt exhausted. I couldn't sit down for more than ten minutes without falling asleep. And then, I decided to change, to take control of my health. I stopped eating all animal products, I exercised more, and I started to feel healthier. But then, around six weeks ago, I lost it. My dog is ill, and I was stressed and sad. Not an excuse; just a reason. Alfie is a 13 year old black lab, and he's getting weaker all the time. I'm dreading the time I have to say my forever goodbye. My heart is already breaking.
Around this time, I had another blood test. Because I'd been good until this point, the results were all favourable: blood sugar levels way down, cholesterol back to the normal range, I'd lost 24lbs in weight. The only problem was my kidneys were still not right, so I'm taking some tablets to (hopefully) help. But none of it matters now because I've slipped, and when I slip, I do it in style!
Okay. Enough of the negative. I am determined that 2023 will be healthier and happier. When I met up with my friends on Christmas Eve, we agreed to make more of an effort to meet up next year. So that's something that will help. Also, my health ... I have a plan. I'm not going to follow any specific diet or rule out any kinds of foods all of the time, but I have specific things I can and can't eat on each day of the week. Starting Monday. It has to work. I kind of feel like this is my last chance, although I am very aware that I have a tendency to exaggerate. I know that the period when I lose Alfie will be tough. And I may allow myself a little treat when that happens.
Onto writing and books. I haven't written much at all this last year. I've found it hard to focus. I've been tired. Did I mention that already? I've been keeping up (almost) with "Promptly Poetry Challenge" and "The Contest Challenge" . I'm so grateful for these because they give me a great reason to write something. I've written a few other poems.
The main part of this year, I've been running "Rach's Reading Club" and reading the books in that challenge, plus some others that grabbed my attention. I intend to run this activity again in 2023. I had intended to open it for sign-ups in December and start the challenge in January. But, unfortunately, that isn't going to happen. I will endeavour to open it for sign-ups in a couple of weeks, then run it from February, depending on the numbers wanting to take part.
I will keep running "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest" each month, and at some point, I'll open "Second Time Around ~ Birthday Special" .
Now, the "biggie" I'm doing in 2023 is "Unstable(d) Writer's Challenge " . This sounds like a crazy challenge, but as soon as I read it, it set my heart a-racin'. I am a person who works best with goals and structures. I mean, don't get me wrong; within the structures, I tend to veer off track, but it makes me feel good to know what it expected of me and when. Going back to the challenge, it has filled me with ideas. Suddenly, after the biggest dry patch ever, it is raining — no, pouring — ideas. I had a hard job deciding which to do for my first project. Now I've chosen it, I can't wait.
I think this is all my news. If you have read this, and if you've made it all the way to the end, thank you. You have great perseverance. It really has been a funny, old year. I won't be sorry to see the end of it. I have to hope for better next year. I know it's in my hands. But that's the problem; I know me!
Happy New Year, to all my sparkly WDC friends! I hope you all have a healthy and wonderful 2023.