Revelations from 2012: Red’s survival list

I don’t do resolutions for the New Year. I’ve tried that shit before and it doesn’t work, so why waste the time. So instead what I do is look back at the last 12 months and figure out what I’ve learned, if anything.

One thing I can say is that 2012 was one of the most challenging years of my life. Even when going through my divorce in 2004, I don’t remember shit hitting the fan as much as it did this year. But what doesn't kill you makes ya stronger, right?! In that case, I’ve died a thousand deaths in just 12 months. But I’ve also had my heart lifted in ways I never imagined.

Ok, enough of the corny crap, here’s my list of the top 5 things I’ve learned:

1. Don’t ever take your health for granted ~ I’ve seen too many people I love fall sick with deadly diseases and/or die from health conditions. Even more people I know have needed surgery to correct things, involving a long, painful recovery. I myself had major surgery for the first time in my life, and I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy. Ever since I turned 40, my body has been slowly falling apart, eh. Guess the warranty is up. But I am thankful for that fabulous little drug called vicodin….WEEEEEEEEEEEE!

2. Friends and family are still human, and can be assholes at times ~ This year, I’ve witnessed more shocking behavior from people I thought I knew. Whether it was a disagreement about something completely ridiculous, behavior that would shake the foundation of a marriage, making decisions that would negatively effect my entire family, or taking complete advantage of my skills for their own gain to then turn around and stick a knife in my back – what the hell are you people thinking?!?! It was as if the world was smoking crack, leaving me to sift through the smoke. My patience and faith in people was truly tested, to the umth-degree. I’m not perfect either, far from it, but I’m proud to say that I’ve relatively managed to keep my decorum. It took a HELL of a lot of screaming and crying behind closed doors. Oh, and wine. A lot of wine!

3. Karma is wonderful – Watching Karma in action is an amazing thing. She can either be a complete bitch or the most forgiving angel. Do bad things and eventually it will come back to bite those that deserve it. So in other words, BE NICE PEOPLE! On the flip side, I’ve witnessed bad things happen to good people, only to have things turn around in their favor, because that’s what they deserved. Once again – BE NICE PEOPLE! Love with your heart, respect others and give more than you receive. That’s a great start.

4. Don’t ever give up on your passion ~ A lot of mamas out there will understand this one: when you become something to everyone else, you spread yourself very thin. To the point where you not only forget to take care of your own needs and nurture your own interests, but eventually forget who the hell you are in the first place. And that is not a good place to be. I’ve been a writer for 22 years now. It has always been my first love, my consuming passion and eventually, my career.  There have been times when I’ve had to fight to continue on my chosen path, either because some don’t consider what I do a “real job”, or they just don’t understand it (or in some cases are jealous of my talents.) Whatever the case is, whatever your passion is, don’t ever give it up. If it moves you, defines who you are and rocks your soul, then stick with it. You’ll be a happier person and people will respect you for it.

5. I have the most amazing support system. Ever. ~ I don’t have hundreds of friends, but the small group I do have, have been chosen carefully.  Whether I’ve known them since childhood or acquired them recently, their loyalty and compassion have blown my mind. Each and every time life has smacked me in the face this year, they’ve been right there to send words of comfort and encouragement. Even a small “hey, been thinking about you” on Facebook was enough to put a smile on my face. I felt cared for, felt loved. That is huge in my book. And I will always treasure my large, crazy family. We all may be quirky in our own way, but we share the same blood, and that blood is beautifully thick. Even the family I married into, that shit is real. We protect our own and love with ridiculous passion.

I’m hoping that 2013 will be a bit easier to handle, with less drama and more good stuff. Because I like good stuff, and warm, fuzzy feelings that make my heart smile. And farts that produce glitter, and poop that produces butterflies. And wine…lots and lots of wine.

Namaste.

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