Exactly one year ago today I woke up crying. Doom and trepidation flooded my soul, as I clutched my husband and poured out my terrible, and more than a little superstitious, hunch. Something deep inside told me I was in for the hardest year of my life. So hard, survival itself was not guaranteed. Along with this certain knowledge came a big, fat pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow. If I managed to outrun 2013, I've made it through the worst of times, and will be free to move ahead with life.
A self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps, because this year almost did me in. What's odd is I've had "harder" years. For a long string of them, bad stuff, in the way of multiple and life-threatening illnesses, kept happening to me. I liken that phase to the moment the hurricane actually hits. What more can you do but hang on for dear life, and pray something worth rebuilding remains at the end? That first day, when the rain clears and the floods start to recede, is heartbreaking. Destruction and devastation as far as the eye can see. Somehow the strength to put one foot in front of the other is mustered, and the thankless path of rebuilding takes the first tired and weary steps back to life.
Determination carried me through a pretty chaotic patch. Pretty soon all I had left was outrage. Incensed, furious anger surrounded my every effort. I suppose that's what 2013 was for me. And then I found a whole lot of freedom, and realized the ability to stop enduring, and start living, was within my reach. Holy smoke, did I actually get to the other side? Today I say yes. But if there's anything my life has prepared me for, it's the importance of knowing how to stay on my toes.
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