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Monday, January 05, 2009

In with the old, out with the new. Wait, I think I meant- hang on, what?

So it looks like this year's going to be, like, a year.  You know, with days and stuff.  Much like last year, only NOT.

snicker.

Looking back on 2008, I have mixed feelings.  

Soon after the year got rolling, before the long difficult winter was over, I started getting those familiar and awful thoughts again.  I've come to call it the "Kill kill die die" process.  I'd been doing alright up till then, but things started to unravel.  Basically I felt like I was either going to die or kill myself.  Any normal person would likely head off to the doctor at that point, or at least question the normalcy of these thoughts, or lack of, but no, even after having been through this before, I was just looking on like a bystander and thinking, "hmm, look at that.  Evil thoughts again.  Huh."   Isn't that ridiculous?  Like, I knew this was bad, but all those years of conditioning kicked in.  Keep going.  Gotta feed the kids.  Either smile in public or fade into the background.  Get invisible.  Head down, feet moving.   Meanwhile the dishes rot in the sink and the paper piles up on the floor.  

What really told me that it was time to get help?  Once I started thinking that I was going to have to leave my husband- that's when I knew.  I didn't, and still do not, want to leave him!  

I have every good reason to stay hitched.  We're a team, man.  Like, an imperfectly matched team... think, big handsome Clydesdale hitched beside a flighty, over-sensitive, frizzy-maned   pony.


He's all business, throwing his massive chest into the harness, but always up for a nice forehead rub, always happy to soak up some affection.  She's all bursts of energy followed by eye rolling and stubborn fits of inertia.  He goes all day, regardless of time and temperature; she shivers in the cold and melts in the heat, can't function without a nice blanket to wear or a regular drink of clean water from a well scrubbed bucket.  He sinks into a stall full of shavings and snoozes; she turns around three times and makes a nest first before fidgeting and twitching herself to sleep.  Yet these two improbable partners work pretty good together.  With his giant hooves and her dainty muscles they manage to drag this crazy wagon down the road.  

I love him more than ever.

When I found myself plotting an escape, I knew it was time.  I paid my doctor a little visit.  I said I'd never go back on the drugs again, but I needed help.

Help came in a big red capsule that hated my stomach.  I couldn't eat for weeks, and after a few months had gone by, leaving me way too thin and very tired, I eventually noticed that the nattering thoughts had slowed.  Relief.  

In the summer, my big Husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  

I had planned on making 2008 a Very Big Year for me.  I envisioned getting my Riding Instructor's Certificate AND getting myself a literary agent to represent my book.  

Well, I didn't get there.  

Considering how I felt earlier in the year I decided to just be cool about it.  What good are goals if you can't readjust them?  I didn't give up though.  I overcame my nausea and got back in the saddle.  If I wasn't feeling well enough for anything vigorous, we walked.  I sent out about 70 more queries, got some rejections, and told myself over and over again that it's not over yet.  I had so many close calls but no bites.

So if it didn't happen last year, it can happen this year.  

I won't make any resolutions I might not be able to control.  I also have learned not to load myself up on a long list of improvements that will eventually overwhelm me.  (One year I vowed to Get To Bed.)  

For 2009 I've made a simple resolution that might end up being very complex:

KEEP A MORE BEAUTIFUL HOUSE.

Doesn't that sound silly?  Frivolous?  I think it makes sense.  This is my home, but I also do a lot of work here.  It's not healthy in any way to hate my home.  I'm not aiming for perfection, and I'm not trying to be something I'm not.  I just want to feel good about my house.  I think the effects could be very good for us in the long run, because clearing the junk off the dining room table means actually looking at that note from school about the field trip date.  Tidying the shoes at the front door means giving away things that don't fit anymore.  Dusting the bedroom means I'll feel happier about snuggling into bed even when I'm alone for the night.  

I couldn't have done this when my kids were small, with my scattered brain and sad housekeeping skills.  But I think I'm ready now.

Our Christmas holidays were frantic and fun.  Last night Bucky came over to our room at 11pm to tell us that he'd calculated our time on the road over the two weeks:  26 hours.  This included zooming up and down the highway between home and our family and friends, as well as our awesome road trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I might not have wanted to know about how much time we spent driving.  All I know is, it makes sense now as to why my bum is numb.  Geez.

I'm so sick of packing up a suitcase, so tired of loading up the car, but it was worth it, every minute.  

We also got some brief but precious horse time.   I didn't care about saddling up or looking pretty; I just hopped off the side of the hay feeder and onto my horse's back!  We did a very short ride through the snow banks in the corral.  It was better than nothing.


 I had some good stall-cleaning-meditation time in the barn too.  

2008 wasn't easy but you know, I'm not going to call it horrible either.  It was a learning experience just like every other year of my life.  Thirty-eight years obviously isn't enough time to make much use of all that learnin'.  I expect to be very smart eventually, like maybe the time I'm 88.

That's if for today... I have a laundry room to beautify before the dryer repair guy shows up tomorrow.  I think it's time to add to my Captain Jack poster collection.


Happy New Year everybody!

17 comments:

Heidi the Hick said...

I might even get my 2008 Christmas letter sent out this year...

pseudosu said...

As usual, I feel you. I've thought of the bystander thing as someone watching weather approach. "Oh look, about to be overtaken by banks of dark clouds. Huh." Luckily for me, they do pass over. I know they're finite.
Glad you figured it out for you. Maybe 2009 will be the year for both of us.

CindyDianne said...

You write with such nostalgia about the most mundane things. Happy New Year to you and yours!

(BTW, I got my Christmas letter mailed on Dec 31st.)

Kerri said...

I admire you so much Heidi. You're so honest and real, and even when things are hell, you manage to pull yourself out. I don't think you realize how truly unique and special you are.

Heidi said...

As usual, Kerri always says what I want to say, and more elegantly.

Hard isn't fun, but it isn't always bad, either. It makes us who we are. I'm glad you've come out the other side of this one.

And hey - I met all you this year, and we created 4 corners, so I still consider it mostly good for me. despite. 2009 - can you even imagine what great things might be in store this year??

Melissa said...

I love your blog! great pictures, honest, heartfelt, funny narrations-
I'm glad to have come across it!

hayseed said...

Heidi-the learnin' never stops, does it? Sure hope 2009 shapes up to be a good year for you-seems like you started off really well . I also love your horse analogy. Glad you got some horse time and manure-meditation time in too-there's nothing quite like it-and as always, thanks for your openness and for your honesty!

coffeypot said...

2008 is done and gone. All you have to look forward to is moving up, and loving more. Have a great New Year, sweetie. After my post, I have no way but to go up.

Michael said...

You know some of my best writing ideas come to me while I'm cleaning my house or doing stuff that's not writing related. When my brain is on tick over the ideas come thick and fast.

I'm glad that you are feeling a lot better Heidi. :)

equestrian_librarian said...

Best wishes for you for 2009! Good health, peace and a well kept home as you wish for!

JKB said...

Best wishes for 2009! And I'm with Kerri and Heidi on this one - you are great!

The Manic Street Preacher said...

Now that's what I call a horse!

Happy New Year babe x

Trailboss said...

2008 was quite a year for me too. Glad you got through it. 2009 will be good to you, I just know it.

jules said...

Happy New Year to you too Heidi, and to your family.

Nicole said...

Cool, Heidi - I gave my son a keepsake Captain Jack ornament where he is in that pose. Le sigh (though my heart will always truly belong to Orlando).

Love your rundown of '08, and I think many of those sentiments are shared by others as well.
:-)

mugwump said...

Sometimes you can put a flower in a vase in the middle of the mess on the table and the whole house becomes beautiful. Sometimes you can email a friend and make her laugh, it smooths over a bunch of rejections from anonymous people.
I think you do a pretty good job of attacking the planet.

dilling said...

2008 surely wasn't easy...i hope the screen door does smack it on the ass on it's way out...boy, but hard.