Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

I have never been so happy to see the end of a year.

I know, I know, relish the time you have, but... honestly, I didn't have TIME to relish the time I had in 2011.  The year of chaos.  Yes, much of the chaos was good chaos, but I'd be happy for a little bit of calm.  Maybe even a lot of a bit of calm.  :-)

New Year's Resolutions?

I'm going to do my best to have more than just coffee for breakfast.  And I'm going to try to remember to brush my teeth before I go to bed.

Yup, that's it.  And it's kind of pathetic that I have to actually make resolutions about those two things, but... such has become my (lack of) habit.  Looking after myself has once again fallen by the wayside.

Eating breakfast and brushing my teeth are as big a promise as I'm going to allow myself to make.  Because the overarching big promise it to not expect so much of myself -- to not continuously set myself up for failure.

I thought I had figured this out last year when I promised to set myself only three goals per day.  Three ought to be manageable, right?  Well, they would be, if I picked reasonable goals.  My three daily chores tended to be more along the lines of "establish world peace" and "save the planet from environmental destruction" and "write a Pulitzer-prize-winning novel."  Which would leave me angry with myself at the end of each day, for failing to accomplish three simple tasks in a day...

Eating breakfast and brushing my teeth.  Easier to accomplish in a day.

Yes, looking after myself -- Extreme Self Care -- seems to be part of my resolutions every year.  This year, it isn't even that extreme, though!  Even the basics have flown out the window, with all that was happening in 2011.

OK, bonus resolution: I'm going to try and look decent in a bathing suit by May.  That is when my sister and I take our families to the BVIs to celebrate having survived all there was to survive in 2011.

There was so much unknown last year, so many last-minute changes of plans, so many last-minute emergencies... it feels very strange to be able to plan ahead for a vacation.  Five whole months in advance.  It's been a long time since we've been able to do that.  Heck, we missed celebrating our first anniversary, because family drama and cancer kept us from making any plans.  (We will make up for that this year!)

2011 began with a cancer scare (mine), was taken up with a cancer reality (Don's) and ended up with a cancer death (our littlest cat, Tough Cookie).  In the middle of all this were the final touches of a five-year battle against an evil little man who has spent the last several decades causing us great harm -- which of course has led to emotional regurgitation of the last several decades, and trying to put old hurts to bed one final time.  We had to cancel a tour with our friends Heather and Ben, because court and hospital appointments shifted around like acid-crazed silverfish, and we didn't know which end was up for months at a time.  We didn't know if we'd be able to keep our house, we didn't know how to keep our careers going with all the cancellations, we didn't know if keeping commitments would cost Don his life or if cancelling our commitments would cost us our future.

It was a whole year of not knowing.  Of waiting for other people or circumstances to decide what we would do any given day.  Of trying to trust our guts when we were having trouble keeping our guts still.  Of not making any plans.  Of not daring to dream about the future because we didn't know whether we'd have one.

And yet, in the middle of all this -- there were some pretty amazing adventures!  Perhaps it was the threat of death that made us leap where before we would have hesitated.  But man, we sure leaped!

I played in concert with Victor freaking Wooten (and he called ME a virtuoso!).  We both played in concert and wrote a song with Eric Bibb.  Don recorded a kick-ass solo CD (just waiting for final mix & master).  He met a long-lost cousin he never knew existed, until they ended up playing a duet together.  We did our first tour to BC and a second one including the other western provinces, and met some incredible new people -- many of whom are going to be close friends for a very long time.  We fought many dragons, confronted many demons.  Out of all the chaos, we were forced to face what we no longer had time for in our lives, and focus more clearly on what we did want in our lives.

And here we are in 2012, with all the chaos of 2011 behind us.  We are planning a vacation.  We are planning our anniversary.  We are planning how best to pursue all that we want and need from our lives.

First: calm, rest, quiet.  Then: eat breakfast, brush teeth.  This will, in all likelihood, be followed by chaos.  But it will be chaos of our own choosing.  Changes are coming.  We're no longer living under affect of our lives.  We are living our lives.  Making decisions.  Some of them are pretty huge.  And chaotic.  And pretty darned exciting.

Hello, 2012.  It's great to meet you.  So long and good riddance, 2011 -- but thank you so much for all you taught us.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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