Sunday, December 31, 2023

The old year is out

and the new year is so new it hasn’t even started yet. 

A friend says instead of making resolutions, we should choose a word for the year and her word is Wellness. I like this word. After a year of not-so-good health news, I could use more of it. Here is something I’ve learned about learning about scary health news. First, there is a gut punch. Next, a scurrying around online for more information, after which you think, Okay, I can do this, 

and then you do this. (Public service announcement: if you notice a weird spot on your shoulder that was never there before and it doesn’t go away for five months, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.)  

My husband’s word is Connections and I like this word too. Over the past year I have been reconnecting with old friends and I’m making new connections with new friends. I also do the Connections puzzle in the New York Times puzzle section every day. Have you done that? It’s a puzzle with sixteen words and you have to figure out how to group them. Some days it is very tricky. Some days you can’t figure it out and you want to fling your phone across the room. It’s fun! 

I’ve also been making a lot of connections in my therapy, uncovering the past and having lightbulb moments about how much I’ve carried into the present (talk about gut punches!) and working to break old, unhealthy patterns. It’s hard, but I recommend it. 

(Another Public Service Announcement: It is called the Three C’s. And it refers to how to approach being in a relationship with a person who has an addiction, but I think it could also include anyone you love who has a mental illness or is struggling from dealing with their own trauma. You can’t Cure them. You didn’t Cause the problem. You can’t Control the situation.) 

(I am thinking about having this tattooed on my arm so I will never forget it.)

My word for the year is Trust. One of my therapy gut punches was learning that I don’t trust people. This lack of trust extends to the world. And it extends to myself. But I would like break this pattern. Times are scary. There’s war and illness and climate emergencies and another crazy election looming, and then you add in health screenings on top of it and who knows what is going to happen in the new year. 

But I trust that I—we can do this, whatever comes our way, and together, old friends and new, we will make it through.

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