Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reverb 10: what defined this year

For Dec. 29 -- Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

Oh, hands down (pun intended) it was Jan. 4 when I fell sideways onto the pavement at the Redding Convention Center parking lot and when I sat up, my wrist was in an 'S' curve. It was not just a little break either -- but one that required surgery, a plate, and seven screws to fix. And some six months to recover from.

It changed everything for me this year.

I 'retired' -- at least I began to draw Social Security, although I'm busy doing many things. I stopped freelancing because I couldn't type and couldn't take interview notes, and my head wasn't in a good place to be able to do that anyway.

I was dependent on others to help me drive, wash, cook, even dress myself, and I learned to use my left hand, sortakinda, to eat, to operate my trackball, to sign my name, to dry my hair, to apply makeup. I hated it. I felt awkward and old and wobbly and mortal.

All of the other stresses were still there, too -- providing support for R on her bad days, finding an attorney to help with her disability claim, taking care of the house and kitties and so on. I did most of it pretty well after the first month or so, and while the physical injury healed and I was done with physical therapy by mid-April, it left me with a fear of falling, a wariness that has yet to leave me, and an awareness of how very fragile we really are; how quickly life can change in a moment.

It left me tired. Weary. Not energized. Afraid of something else happening.

That, and dealing with R's ongoing illness -- appointments, phone calls, ER visits, doctor visits, etc. -- were the overwhelming thoughts and feelings I lived with this year. There were some good times, some nice moments. But mostly it was one day at a time, one month at a time, just getting through as best I could.

I do not want 2011 to be a re-run in any way. Things are looking better and I'm feeling more optimism than I have all year. I'm glad to see the end of 2010.

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