Happy New Year

Sarah Gilbert, a very smart friend, recently shared her personal mantra: ‘do what you can, when you can.’

I REALLY needed to hear this.

I REALLY needed to hear it right now.

2022 could best be summed up as ‘the year I lived in a dark cave’. Living with chronic invisible illness is frustrating/isolating/depressing/enraging at the best of times. Having my ‘normal’ life as a chronically ill person derailed by an unrelenting two-month migraine over the summer was tough. On my mood as well as my physical health. My mood is a fragile thing given to rapid cycling that can fluctuate from ‘hangry grizzly bear that has just been stung by a hive of bees’ to ‘depths of despair depressed’ to ‘crawling out of my skin antsy’. I do hate to be bored…

Add in several close family members dealing with frightening health crises of their own, the disruption of what little structure and routine I do have, and the stress of the holidays made for an exhausting end to 2022. I longed for 2022 to end while simultaneously dreading the arrival of 2023 because people would expect things out of me in January. Because.

I feel like I spent most of 2022 alternating between feeling guilty about everything I wasn’t able to do, especially when it came to Indie Blu(e) and Diversity in Stitching, and not giving a fuck. About anything. Except for my family. And my dog. He is a sweet dog. Except when he’s an asshole.

2023: I formally declare you the year of ‘do what you can, when you can.’ Because otherwise, the guilt is going to give me ulcers and no one is going to pin medals on my chest for pushing myself past my limits on the daily. I will do what I can, when I can, and work on cultivating gratitude for what I CAN do on any given day. Even on those days that I have attention span and focus of a guppy. Even on those days where I can’t find the words I want and communication is reduced to grunts, charades, and ‘that thingy’ (it is truly astonishing how much ground you can cover with ‘that thingy’). Even on those days when I need to lay down, as still as I can, in my dark cave playing Animal Crossing because I have ANOTHER fucking migraine and I don’t have the cognitive juice to learn any other games. Even when the email is piling up and DMs are unanswered because I can’t even.

Wishing you a 2023 filled with grace and the absence of guilt and self-recrimination.

That shit is exhausting.

Image: Crocheted afghan I made in the Fall of 2022 while lying in bed, watching YouTube on my iPad, and doing what I could, when I could. It is really soft and squishy and I smile every time I see it.

5 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. I’m sorry to hear 2022 was so hard for you, that’s awful. I found it to be a roller coaster, so many highs then lows, it was exhausting. So your mantra for 2023 sounds so perfect 👍🏿. May all beings feel
    Peace, Wellbeing & Safety 🙏🏼
    And creative blessings to you especially, from here in Australia, G 😊


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