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Well, 2021 sucked more than 2020. Who could have guessed? Anyone paying attention.

Our future is definitely Idiocracy and not anything grand and lovely.

I miss 2020. It was very nice to me despite the injuries and being worse than 2019, which was simultaneously the highest and lowest points in my life.

Oh, well. Onwards and downwards.

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Middle of October, my mom fell and broke her hip. One of my sisters and I went to help. About three weeks later, my dad’s health crashed. He already had congestive heart failure and kidney disease and has several issues related to a stroke nine years ago. His kidney function cratered, and he lost half his blood.

The cause of the blood loss?

Colon cancer is almost blocking 50% and growing. Several other serious issues also need to be addressed. He is so strong. Hopefully, strong enough for the surgeries he needs. He is truly incredible, but even he is starting to show signs of being worn down. It is worrying.

It is hard. The kidney and heart issues have competing diet needs, and it seems impossible to balance. His pacemaker went off seven times in three days because of it. He is in and out of the hospital. It went off a few more times and needed urgent minor surgery on Christmas Eve. He went into the hospital on his birthday.

Out of all my siblings, I am the only one that should be there constantly. Of course, one particular sister is amazing and puts me to shame. There are only three of us within a reasonable distance, and it feels like I haven’t done half as much as I should. I have been there for the better part of two months, so far.

It seems weird that it is New Year’s, I don’t even remember Halloween.

It seems that everything is spiraling into darkness.

I am writing this on Christmas day, at home, alone, because I am so burned out and stressed. I thought that writing something would help clear my mind. I wake up in the middle of the night with a panic attack and don’t calm until I realize that I am home and not at my parent’s house. There has been a lot of minor seizure activity in my head in the past month, painful muscle tightness, joint pain going haywire, bad psychosis, and terrible headaches. It seems as if I am causing others more problems.

Perhaps sleeping forever is an option?

(In my sleep, I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver

I am learning that darkness is a gift. I find peace away from the light - where I do not belong - and away from trying to find happiness - an impossibility. It also means that I was given a short opportunity to experience wonderful things and people. Who could ask for more than that?

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Given the current stresses, none of this list will likely happen this year. That’s okay, because not coincidently, those will be my goals for every year that I have the misfortune to be breathing in. There is nothing else for me to focus on or do other than things such as reading 2-3 books a month or finding new fishing spots.

I still maintain that New Year’s resolutions are lame and mostly pointless but with everything going on right now, enumerating them will help keep them in my mind. It is not really a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is something like that.

I have new recipes to post here when I can. There are lots of new recipes to try from around the world.

There are new exercise goals. Not just goals on my bicycle which hopefully I can increase speed a bit more and also distance this year. I have new strength exercises. It feels impossible, but I am at a point in my various joints where I can start to build muscle and tighten up. Maybe I will feel better about myself. Probably not, but it is something to keep me busy. That is the real goal.

Programming projects that I have talked about before are on hold with the constant family emergencies but are waiting to be picked up again. I would very much like to create some animated programming tutorial videos. That might be fun.

Projects around the house. Painting and more electrical work inside., refinishing the doors, trim, and cabinets. I need to get rid of the ugly brown and change them to a mix of light grey, and charcoal black.

I have more rose plants ordered and will arrive in the spring. What would be nice is extending the raspberry patch and add more grapes with a trellis on the opposite side of the yard. Redo the grass in the backyard. I figured out a way I might be able to finally put in the stone path from the front and back patios without destroying my knees. If I have any time at all, there may be a Bigfoot statue in my front yard before summer is over. Is that cheesy?

Training Ragnar. It seems that - with the help from one of my sisters and observing him on walks at my parents where there are lots of farm animals in the area - a possible solution to his prey drive was found. It seems that it might not be a prey drive but a protective response. Ragnar is extremely protective of me and the people I know. We got him to be calm around a small dog for a day, which is no minor thing! I am also swinging back to the idea that he is not part pit bull but a black lab. Not that it matters. He is a sweet dog.

That is pretty much my life going forward. Talk about a wasted life, eh? I wish I knew why I felt compelled to do any of this when it won’t change a thing.

It is hilarious, I need to be gone, but I just cannot. *sigh*

I still need to get a hybrid SUV. It is difficult waiting for the right car during this shortage. It is nerve-wracking to think of buying something that expensive even though I can afford it. I might wait until next fall. That way, I can save more money for a larger down payment. Hopefully, I can have at least $7k to put down and still have around $10k leftover. We’ll see. Might have to forgo the Bigfoot statue for another year or two.

This brings me to my thankful list this year. I am very thankful to my parents, siblings, my kids, and grandkids. What would I do without them? I am also grateful that I can afford a new SUV and have a home. Not many people in my position can say that. That makes me feel very fortunate and guilty. I am grateful to the best girl in the world, always. No matter what, it was the most amazing adventure, and I finally got to see what happiness truly is.

This is not a great New Year’s write-up, even by my low standards. Sorry.

I hope anyone that reads this finds themselves in a better place and has a great year. For normal people, it can only get better. Right?

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