Monday, December 25, 2006

My Annus Horribilis

Now that Chrismukkah is over and we are all now in the whole "annual review" stage of things, where VH1 shows nothing but "Best Child Stars of 2006" and the Food Channel shows nothing but "Top Dishes of 2006," and People Magazine does its "Top Ten Celebrity Whatevers of 2006," I'm now officially ready to start the review of 2006 by rushing right to the end where I officially announce, "No more calls, please; we have a winner!"

I'm ready to say, without even consulting the judges, that 2006 has been the worst year of my life. 2007 cannot get here fast enough for me (I say with a modicum of caution on the off chance that 2007 will leave me longing for the halcyon days of 2006 funerals and medical emergencies...)

They say that the first year without someone is the hardest. I think "they" are right; which is not to say that Year Two is a picnic. But part of me just wants it to be February 21, 2007 so I can stop having First Chanukahs Without My Dad, First Thanksgivings Without My Dad, First Cheeseburgers Since My Dad Passed. The other part of me knows that making it through December 31st, 2006 will be the hardest day of all, worse maybe than even his birthday. As I've noted in these pages before, Scottish people love New Years Eve. It's called Hogmanay and it is a wild scene of crazy whiskey-fueled nonsense, even for grown-ups with kids (except for my mom who had one screwdriver max). Every NY Eve, no matter where we were in the world, we would call my parents and yell, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Here's tae us wha's like us!" into the phone. It was a call we never failed to make, no matter what the time difference between our global location and my parents' house, and no matter how much we maybe didn't feel at the moment like making it.

This year I'll still make the call, if my mom stays up. But it won't (obviously) be the same. Although I suppose that is what new years are for; to mark time and give you the conscious opportunity to do things differently, better, more lovingly. I'll never again take that call for granted, and never again be annoyed that my family has this "dumb" midnight tradition.

The other thing I won't take for granted is my health. Not that I've been smokin', drinkin' and going to tanning booths these past few months, but when I've been feeling healthy I've been a little too eager to stay up late working when I really should sleep, or just in general been complacent about the realities of living with a chronic disease, ie, even if you're having a good week, you are not normal and can't live/work/drive yourself like someone who is, no matter how much compartmentalizing (see previous post!) you do.

These days, every day I'm not hanging out in an emergency room or a hospital bed, I'm effing grateful. I'm hoping this roller coaster of health drama ends soon, but I'm also hoping that I never lose the feeling I have as I write this of being so damn appreciative of the health I do have right now. I'm also trying to not carry too much anxiety about my health around while I am feeling good. I think my anxiety is a result of the fact that my health dramas of late have involved low platelets, which of course means spontaneous bleeding. As you can imagine, there is no health condition more alarming, perhaps, than simply bleeding unexpectedly and randomly from {pick which body part}, and being unable to make it stop. It's the worst kind of feeling, and I would argue kind of psychically damaging, to bleed randomly and profusely when you least expect to. The other night at GW I was reflecting as I sat bleeding on the bed sheets while waiting for my emergency platelet transfusion, that this is not how God or nature intended us to live. We're not supposed to watch ourselves bleed, we're not supposed to hang out for a few hours bleeding till someone puts a needle in us, which makes us bleed out more, so we can get the things that finally at long last stop us bleeding.

But we ARE supposed to take the life we've been given and, quite simply, live it as best we can. Yes, 2006 is the worst year of my life. But I am lucky. Why? Because I turned 34 before experiencing The Worst Year of My Life. I know several people in my social circle alone who would gladly trade places with me to have lost a parent after age 12 or 20, to have a scary disease after age 12 or 20, to have friends and family who help me navigate the fear and heartache that accompany those things.

Call me delusional if you will, but I still feel lucky as we head into 2007.

Sanguine, even. ;)

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

Thanks for linking up to me, E.