I just watched the last episode of season 2 of The Man in the High Castle. At one point, a character is rightfully freaking the hell out, and as he leaves, her husband just says, "I love you."
Everything's about to hit the fan. He really should explain himself. But he doesn't.
All my life, I've been an over-explainer, a justifier. If I've learned anything in the past few months, it's that most people neither need nor want the whole story. If your story is bad or scary, it makes them uncomfortable, because if they respect you, what happened to you could happen to them. I've seen that fear on many faces in the past few months in my daily interactions. I don't care to scare people, only to survive my own challenges.
Sometimes underexplaining is a gift to all parties.
I came up in blogging in an era when raw truth was in fashion, and I am quite adept at that. As I've grown older, my taste has gone, perhaps, from raw to cooked. I now wish to see what will happen first, and as such I've felt less inclined to write anything but fiction. Because, well, fiction is really truth reframed and less personal, right?
I'm at a point now at which I feel less sure of who I am than I have been since high school. I suppose it's my midlife shift. I choose not to view it as a crisis. However, I'm curious as to who this evolving me will be and what she'll care about. Certain things -- integrity, kindness -- have not changed. But others have.
I woke up this morning feeling bad about splatting my negative feelings all over, so now I'm going to end 2016 with the good stuff.
I made a full recovery after breaking my leg and went on to get a personal best time in a 10k this fall. So far, no arthritis, no pain at the surgery site.
The little black cat made a full recovery after the freak blockage that was not supposed to be possible after his surgery and has been doing really well on all prescription wet food. He is still alive, and he's nearly died so many times every day that feels like a blessing.
We spent much of this summer in the lake, much more than we have in the past. I have memories of a lot of Sunday afternoons floating on rafts and in life jackets just making up stories about the ducks swimming around us.
After my car got totaled, my parents graciously gave us their old CRV. With new tires it has been very reliable so far and I didn't have to make a big car purchase right before a lay-off, which has been a huge relief.
The barn where my girl takes riding lessons let us go down to half-time so she was able to continue to ride for several months before we took the winter off. We look forward to going back to full time once things resolve themselves.
We paid off the credit cards right as things got tough, so we don't have any credit card debt hanging over our heads right now. That has made cutting back that much easier.
My family is all in relatively good health.
The weather this year has been quite lovely. I've had a lot more time to be out in it, so I know this for a fact.
All four of our birdhouses have little bird families in them.
My husband hasn't had to travel for work much this year. He ramps back up next week, but he's been here when I was going through the toughest parts initially.
I had time to redo my daughter's room. She turns thirteen in 2017, and it was time for a teenager paint job. My parents bought her a mattress to go with the grown-up bedframe we've been keeping in the basement for this time in her life.
This Christmas brought a lot of gifts of time and effort in my family. We're all going to band together to clean up my grandparents' old garage for my dad to use. My grandfather used it as a shop for his metal art when we were kids and it's fallen into disrepair, which makes all of us sad. We gave that promise to my dad. My sister lives in my grandparents' old house and the wallpaper bugs her. I promised to scrape it off this summer. I am actually quite adept at home destruction. Making people's lives easier is a good gift.
I have been forced to find things about myself to identify with that don't involve work accomplishments for maybe the first time in my adult life. That was eye-opening and harder than expected.
I have had the most sleep of my life. And I.Love.Sleeping.
I read 72 books.
I'm nearly done with another draft of THE BIRTHRIGHT OF PARKER CLEAVES and I have a new beta reader who found me through my newsletter.
So yes, there was a lot to hate about 2016, but there was also a lot to be thankful for. I am very hopeful 2017 will bring a lot to be excited about into my life, and yours. Happy New Year.