Looking back on 2012, my personal journey

1 01 2013

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

Yes, I’m back.

2012 was a year of extremes for me.

January: In the middle of an incredibly busy month, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I started Row80, but was unable to keep up with it due to my health problems.

February: A young friend who was working with us from time to time stayed with me, and I loved her company. I learned a lot from her! She continued to stay with me off and on through the beginning of June.

March: I continued to deal with shattering exhaustion from years of sleep problems, calling in sick frequently. However, better sleep finally began to turn my health around, and by the end of the month I was feeling almost normal.

April: So normal that I attempted Row80 again. Call me a glutton for punishment! I hit my stride in April.

May: Work was overwhelmingly busy, but I soldiered on.

June: I was still on-point with my blogging, writing about my novel and the science behind it. I also took an audition with two weeks of preparation. I don’t recommend that to anyone! It was an exhausting experience, and I will not fly American Airlines again, until they are out of bankruptcy.

July: The Black Dog of depression came home again.

August: There was nothing memorable about the first three weeks of August. I wasn’t dealing well with the Black Dog. At the very end of the month I went on a last-minute driving trip to New Mexico and Colorado.

mountain-55499_640

The Red Rocks of New Mexico, from the pixabay folder of user Brigitte Werner

During that trip I ended up in Boulder, CO for the first time ever. That’s significant because my protag spends 6 years there at CU, and although those years aren’t a significant part of the book as currently visualized, it does shape the man he becomes.

September: I was barely home when my former BFF bludgeoned me in a meeting about work. Within two days I spiraled into anxiety, which danced with the Black Dog as I worked out how to deal with both. I went back to Al-Anon, finding a home group that’s full of recovery, and considered going back to church. The 27th of the month another good friend had a ‘cardiac event’. Did I ever mention that my number one fear is a heart attack?

October: Much of my friend’s hospital time happened in October: a double bypass, four Code Blues, pulmonary emboli, and an internal defibrillator. I continued to deal with waves of anxiety and depression. There was no question of doing anything creative… it was one day at a time at this point. I went to a church which had been recommended to me a couple of times, but didn’t connect. (My friend is currently on the mend, thank heavens!)

November: Our symphony season was in full swing, and my other BFF was back in the US from overseas. She was with me part of the time here at home, and I went with her to Boulder for Thanksgiving with her cousins. It wasn’t terribly cold there yet, but I loved spending more time there with her… and I also got my desire to live there out of my system. My anxiety finally began to wane this month.

December: I finally got the Black Dog under control, and we had some time off from work. To my delight, I found that my creative juices were starting to surface again! Playing the Nutcracker got me in the holiday spirit, and the 25th Anniversary of the publication of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities spurred me to read it for the first time. I intended to study it (and still will) – though I haven’t finished it yet, because I joined a book club at work, and devoured Yann Martel’s Life of Pi in two days for a book club meet. Christmas was spent with my parents, on some of the coldest days thus far this winter. Back home on the 26th, then on December 30th I found my church! I’ve never considered a downtown church, but the moment I stepped into the sanctuary at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church I knew I was home.

Losing my BFF has spurred a spiritual transformation in my life. I turned 55 in September, and made the decision in August to stop coloring my hair. The transformation of the growing-out process mirrors what’s going on inside of me… I’m coming to terms with my age and station in life, now enthusiastic and full of possibilities for personal growth in this second half of life.

I doubt that I will return to Row80 until later this year, but that doesn’t mean that 2013 is goal-less. More about that later on! It’s enough to say that I will be blogging once a week, starting now.

What was 2012 like for you? How did it change you? Let me know in the comments!

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6 responses

1 01 2013
termitespeaker

Julia, I was thinking about the people whose blogs I followed this past year, and thought of you and wondered what had become of you. You went away and came back once before! I have some problems – horrible osteoarthritis in my shoulders and hand, and beginning in the knee – but I don’t have anything like your problems! So I’ll keep thinking of you and wishing you well! I’m still pursuing the elusive dream of getting more readers for my books and publishing more! I’ll never give up! 🙂 P.S. I’ve never dyed my hair! I is what I is!

2 01 2013
Julia Indigo

Lorinda! It’s great to hear from you!
I’ve got some arthritis in my hands, too… ouch. I know that’s not easy to live with.

I’m rather soured on the whole Social Media thing for book promotion, and will scale back a lot for the time being. I will write for myself, and if someone else likes it, or wants to publish it (as in, querying for an agent), then so be it.

I is what I is, too!

1 01 2013
alcie

Whew. Quite a year! I’m glad 2012 is over and look forward to experiments in mindful living in 2013 (last year, I was a leaf upon the water, but this time around the sun, I want to exert more control upon my trajectory).

2 01 2013
Julia Indigo

Yeah, it was something. I forgot the black-eyed peas yesterday, so who knows what 2013 will be like! 😉

I love what you wrote: leaf upon the water vs. mindful living. I tend to be a drowning rat struggling in the water – neither mindful nor placid. I think I’ll work on the placid leaf on the water thing this year. Time to trust myself and the Big U. (and find the partay!)

1 01 2013
Karen McFarland

Hi Julia! You will get no argument out of me. I am soooo glad that 2012 is over! Yay! Yes, it was an awful year for so many people. Now we get to start with a fresh slate. Funny, I turned 55 last summer, but I’m not willing to go gray yet. Nope, no can do Julia. You are a braver woman than I am. LOL! May the force be with you! {{Hugs!}} 🙂

2 01 2013
Julia Indigo

Karen, what got me to the point of stopping dyeing my hair was realizing that it looked like heck – dye-fried. The dye wasn’t doing me any favors. I also got some eyefuls of silver haired beauties on various Pinterest boards, and have altered my personal expectations of my hair. That being said – carry on! There is a lot of support there if/when you change your mind!

Just read your blogpost OMG. You had an awful 2012, too… but like mine, all’s well that ends well. xoxo

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