The end of 2016 was overwhelming for me. In November of 2016, I went off Prozac after realizing that it was making me very, very ill. I had too many projects with deadlines on the go and a raging case of anxiety stood in the way of my completing anything in a timely fashion. I had disappointing interactions with some of the people in my life that put a spotlight on what needs weren’t being met. I ended a few relationships. I sat, stewing in the reality that I’d rendered myself a lone wolf right before the holidays.
And then I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and got on with it.
I finished the things that needed finishing. I started the things that needed starting. I spent Christmas eve with my son & Christmas day with my ex, my ex-mother-in-law, and my son. I made dinner for my ex & my son. I Skyped with all my other far-flung babes.
New Year’s was spent on the couch with my ex*, watching OA.
And the year proceeded to delight me.
My mood shifted out from underneath the Prozac fog. My work became my primary source of joy (and how many of us can say that?). I received invitations to participate in things that really thrilled me. I made art. I made changes that meant more of my needs for self-care were being met.
I cooked beautiful meals for myself (and my kid). I had my daughter down from Ottawa and my best friend up from New York. I got a wicked fabulous undercut (thank you Sarah!). I started the #MiniMoleyDaily project (click here for the Facebook Group). I loaded up Journal52 with the first month’s worth of prompts so I wouldn’t be stressed out every Friday morning like I was for all of 2016. I bought The Wild Unknown Tarot and fell in love with it. I treated myself to a good set of knives and a new cutting board. I watched This Is Us in three tear-soaked binges. Switched from true crime audio books to fiction (Kushiel’s Dart first, and now I’m on to The Witching Hour by Anne Rice). Did my annual re-watching of Battlestar Galactica (which I watch while arting because I practically have it memorized!). I rarely left the house (delicious). I paid my kid to house elf for me on a regular basis (win/win) so I could skip things like doing the dishes and taking out the garbage and recycling and trudging up and down three flights of stairs with the laundry.
I bought a blue tooth speaker that lights up and flashes beautiful colours. I bought a cool mist humidifier to take care of the chronic cough I get from radiant heat. I set up an altar to Brighid in the corner of the living room. I burned candles and nag champa every day of the week. I taught two live classes on YouTube for my Book Of Days peeps <—–click that link for a steep discount. I discovered the joys of Jane Davenport’s Mermaid Markers.
I went through my collection of pens. Five hours later, I had them all in labeled bins.
I began without a lot of fanfare for the passing year. I began with a gentle push in the direction of ‘what’s next’ without making a lot of fuss over what I was leaving behind. I tip toed in. I whispered my wishes to the new year.
I’m saying ‘no’ more. I’m saying ‘yes’ to things that excite or delight me.
I lost my will to blog at the end of 2016. Even my newsletter got neglected (even though the list is everything, or so they say). I managed to continue to support myself despite those failings. It was *right* and *good* to mostly stay quiet, because I needed the time to wrap my head around what had happened – the election, the disconnections, the relationships that turned out not to be what I’d hoped. I needed to look after myself – not necessarily ‘radically’, but close. Fiercely. I needed fierce self-care. I needed to guard my solitude with all my might. I needed to pick my battles and expend my energy where it was most worthwhile. I needed to shift my attention away from the things that terrified me towards the things that were within my power to impact. I can’t do anything about the election, but I can continue to create and facilitate safe spaces for my peeps. i can’t do anything about realizing I’m not cut out for being a part of a ‘dating pod’, as fun as it was except accept that about myself and move on into more peaceful (lonelier, but far less fraught with other people’s drama) pastures. I can’t do anything about loving who I love, besides simply loving them.
There’s so much peace in all this, and not ‘peace’ the way I used to mean peace (a kind of egg-shell walking breath held limbo between disasters). Peace *this way*. This waking up without anxiety. This love of my own company. This in-my-own-skinness. This choosing things carefully. This self-possession. This ‘this is my life now, and I love it.”
And here we are. The year is only 20 days old but it already feels like a much different time and place. I feel like a much different person. Looser. More likely to break into song at the slightest provocation. Easy laughter. Simple pleasures.
I just wanted to touch base. I just wanted to feel what it might be like to poke my head up out of my hidey hole and say hello. I’ve been very active on Facebook because that’s where my tribe lives, but I wanted to pull the duster off the blog, shake it out, and open the windows.
Hi! Hi hi hi! I’m here. <3 I’m alive. I missed you, and I hope you missed me, too.
*We’re not calling him my ex anymore, by the way. He’s my friend. I’m his. He’s family. “Ex” doesn’t cover the relationship this has become. I call him Crow. Or my friend. He is still the love of my life, but I have pulled in all the longing (with varying degrees of success depending on the day) and transmuted it into something gentler. Less demanding. I’m mostly content to see him once a week. Cook a meal. Watch a thing. Let him go his own way.