Whenever something surprises my 4-year-old niece, Aubree, she says, “I did not see that comin’!” in her trademark raspy little voice. I find myself saying that on a more than daily basis this year. At the end of 2014, I looked up my horoscope for 2015 and it emphasized that this year would be tumultuous to say the least. I dismissed that prediction as sensationalism, laughed, and moved on. Or at least I thought I did.
A word to the wise: when you doubt the stars, they get ticked off and feel the need to make their presence and power known. For entities that are over 4 light years away, these little buggers bring their force right to the doorstep the moment they feel disrespected.
We’re only one month in and the first word that comes to mind when I think of 2015 is “mayhem”. Nothing’s going the way I thought it would. My pup, Phin, had surgery, some of my clients are throwing curve balls at me right and left, I’m contemplating new career opportunities in new places, and some of my nearest and dearest people are having deep troubles and challenges. What’s going on?
What’s saving me now is what’s always saved me—the authors I read, the characters I write, and my friends. They give me hope, courage, inspiration, and the will to keep going. They’re lighting the path ahead of me one step, one word, at a time. And I’m learning that this slowly advancing light, however frustrating, is something to be treasured. It’s teaching me to trust in every day, in every experience. It’s not easy, and it’s about as fun as having my wisdom teeth removed. Still, I’m willing to go along for the ride. I’m willing to lift up my head and squint into the distance to see what there is to see.
Last week during a particularly low day, my friend Alex said that whenever she feels down she tries to envision her life 3 months from now. That quick technique helps her to keep going. The challenges of today are the victories of tomorrow, and the course of those victories largely depends on what we do right now with the resources we’ve got on-hand. We do what we can with what we’ve got.
I may not have seen the events of January coming, but I am equipped to handle them whatever they are. One at a time, day by day. In the words of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, I’m getting by with a little help from my friends, real and imaginary.