Well, that was that: October. I can't believe yet another month has come and gone, when I am still stuck somewhere back around April, hoping that the rain will finally stop and spring will bloom. In reality, we're preparing for the cold all over again, and hoping that the heavy snow they are predicting for this season is inaccurate - As usual, I am way, way behind.
I've been so busy here at Grandmother's house that I haven't written about my sick-a-versary, or my blog-a-versary at all, but trust that I have forgotten neither. This is my 16th year of being sicker than I'd like (of course, anybody who's sick at all is, most likely, sicker than they'd like), and the anniversary of that first debilitating, out of nowhere and never gone back to nowhere illness still strikes me hard. Because one day I was fine, and the next day I was not. And I haven't been since. It's hard to remember, even when things are going ok-ish for me health-wise (as they are now), just how different my life became, and how suddenly.
But, like I said, this year's anniversary finds me with no new major downturns in my health, so that is really all I can ask for at this point. I'm grateful for the level of activity I've achieved, which, at certain points in the past I would've never thought I'd attain. Even if they're still significantly below where I'd like to be (say about 70% below where I'd like to be), any progress is good progress, and I think that this past year I've been most surprised by just how badly you can feel - how much pain or exhaustion or stress your body can be feeling - and yet you still get through the days: It seems a lesson I am loathe to continue learning...especially since I am constantly hoping that this - whatever this may be: pain, hours without sleep, post-surgical infections - is as bad as it can possibly get. Since that is apparently never true (it can always be/get worse), I'm glad that I keep meeting the challenges in ways I never would've thought or expected that I could.
But I also have to think of the positive things that have happened in my life over the course of the past 16 years, and know, that if I had changed this one thing - my illnesses and all of their various effects - I would have changed everything else. And so, holding the little people in my life as close to my heart as I do, and knowing how much stronger some of my relationships have grown because I've had the time to devote to them, and thinking of all the ways I wouldn't like to be any different than I am right now, I have to be glad that we can't change our past, since the temptation might have proven too much for me, and where would I be then?
I also missed acknowledging another pretty important anniversary: The end of September marked my fifth anniversary here at Never that Easy. I think, for me, whenever somebody says "It's been X number of years since Y", I always think that it has simultaneously been a much longer time than that and a much shorter time. It certainly feels as if I have been writing here for much longer, because of the people I've met, and because of how much it has come to mean to me. But I can also recall, very clearly, trying to come up with a damn name for the blasted thing that A) didn't sound ridiculous, B) wasn't already taken and C) I could use anonymously, as a pen name. (And even then, I screwed up on B and managed to hijack someone else's blogger name right off the bat: It was not an auspicious beginning, I can tell you that.)
For five years, I've written about most of the things in my life that are important to me - I won't say "all", because there have definitely been a few times I've been either too embarrassed or exhausted to share, and other times when I just kept things to myself - and it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me. I haven't made a dime doing it, but never figured on doing so - and, that said, I've still lucked out a couple of times when it came to free goods: way back when, Snapfish gave me some free credits just because I'd said something nice about them on my blog. I've never become part of the "A-list" (or B or C...) blogosphere, but I never meant to do that either: I just hoped that what I had to say would find somebody that it made sense to; somebody who understood enough, or thought it was funny enough, or wanted to know more enough and would stick around to hear me say it.
And in that area, I've more than lucked out - I managed to get people to read almost all of the posts - sometimes it's just been one or two, other times more like a dozen or two, and, once or twice, about 1000. And I've wound up with a wonderful core of people who care, who pay attention to where I am and what is going on in my world, and who let me know that they are out there. That's you, if you're wondering.
I know I wouldn't keep doing this, if you all didn't keep showing up and saying so. I'd keep writing - I always have, I always will - but I wouldn't keep putting little (or gigantic) pieces of myself out into the world like this, hoping. Hoping that somebody else feels the same way about something that I do about something, or feels the opposite way, but still cares enough to argue about it. Hoping that I'm not the only one who gets bothered by some damn annoying thing. Hoping that there are happy things happening even when I can't see them. Hoping that there's more to me than just one part, and that people can appreciate them all.
So thank you for showing up, and for making these past five years a lot less lonely. I'm not planning on going anywhere, for the time being. As a matter of fact, tomorrow will find me participating in my fourth NaBloPoMo, and I am seriously considering doing that meme that's been floating around about the 30 days of truth. It seems like another step in making connections - knowing that I'm being honest with all of you is something I strive for here, even when it hurts - and I'm looking forward to the challenge of it.
Plus? It gives my tired brain a little nudge in the direction of writing something, which is often the hardest hurdle for my exhausted self to climb over.