“Time is not something you give back. The very next moment may be answer to your prayer. To deny that is to deny the most important part of the future.” Mitch Albom, The Timekeeper.
Once again the year has come and gone, swiftly for some, agonizingly slowly for others. For me, I celebrated until midnight last night because I could not bear to miss a moment of 2013 while it was still within my grasp. This has been a year of new beginnings, dreams, fulfilled, risks taken and lessons learned.
I will foolishly admit that I have squandered my time in the past. I’ve spent more time hoping for good things to happen, then actually making those things happen. I’ve daydreamed about winning the lottery yet have forgotten to buy a ticket. I’ve made plans for what I will do with my children, instead of doing it. I’ve fantasized about gardens I didn’t get around to planting and nicotine patches I forgot to put on.
I got lost in 2011 and the after-effects of that could be felt right through 2012. So I swore to myself that 2013 would be the year that I did what I said I would always do.
And I did it. I auditioned for the MMCP production of Hairspray and actually got a minor lead. This made me see what I was capable of if I put it all on the line and so I took yet another terrifying step and self-published my novels. I could have waited longer for that right agent but I was sick of waiting for life to happen to me. I screamed when I hit the ‘upload’ button for each book of the trilogy-but I had a wonderful support network ready to catch me if I face-planted, onstage and off.
Life got hectic. I was rehearsing by night, editing by day and taking every spare moment I had to spend with my family-which had grown! Between their dance classes and sports and my karaoke shifts and concert days, it was a year in which my mantra became: ‘Running late but running!’
It wasn’t all fun. I had to throw insecurity to the wind and put myself out there so people could judge me. I could count the amount of times that I’ve gone to bed prior to 2am on one hand. I’ve actually overdosed on caffeine three times and fallen asleep in my daughter’s crib. There were days when I was a limping zombie. I didn’t want to let my family down for my own aspirations so I cleaned the house when I should have been at the doctors, glued my fingers together making costumes for the girls, and kissed my work-out and skin care regimes goodbye in favor of reading to the kids. I’ve gone three days straight without eating because I didn’t have the time-and I didn’t even notice!
But it was worth every bit of insomnia. I’ve read reviews peeking between fingers and then whooped with delight or tried not to cry. I’ve been applauded and booed. (Pointing out that the booing was because I was playing a nasty character, not because I fell into the orchestra pit) and I owe my husband and sister very long holidays somewhere they won’t have to lift a finger for days for all the help they’ve given me.
In October 2012 I was heavily pregnant, hanging Halloween decorations from my roof and day-dreaming of my mermaids and my looming 30th birthday only weeks away, lamenting all the dreams I had not yet accomplished while my 3 year old daughter asked when he half-sister would be visiting next, who she missed constantly.
By October 2013 I was on that roof again, mentally replaying people’s reviews in my heads while singing ‘All that Jazz’ in preparation for my second show of the year with my three daughters pretending to be mermaids on the grass below me. My 31st birthday was steadily approaching and I didn’t care. I had my step-daughter living with us, I had book sales from every point on the globe, I’d combined my social life with my passion for performing and the future held so much promise that I was drunk on possibilities.
There are no words to describe the feeling you get when you see your life from a bird’s eye view and realize that it’s exactly what you always hoped and dreamed to see. Now hubby is getting the idea too and I’m thrilled to see him do things he never would have contemplated before. In 2014 my goal is to publish so many books myself that I am making a living from writing while I work on that ‘Epic’ I want to present to publishers who hopefully will be beating down my door with an actual paperback copy of ‘The Marked Ones.’☺ It might not happen, but I will try my hardest, and then I’ll try lots of other things too! I never want to stop growing! I want to learn sign language and throw knives like a ninja and go on a holiday! I want to take better care of myself and spend more time with the kids. But most importantly, I want to remember that when things go south : ‘Tomorrow is another day with no mistakes.’
When you have a bad year, there is this need to package it up and write it off-as I have done in the past. I hope, in 2014, when things go badly-people create themselves a New Years’s day the moment they need it. Don’t make 12 resolutions in January but one with every breath. Don’t wait until December 31st to start anew.You can divide time with months and days and weeks-but each minute is only a minute long and belongs completely to itself. What you do in those tiny moments that seem so inconsequential are what will define not only your year-but your life.
Thank you 2014, from the bottom of my grateful heart! And thank you to crappy old 2011 as well-I was lonely and bored and upset all the time-which gave me the chance to write after years of resolving and failing.