Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Elusive Joy.

She videotaped my wedding for me.
This is the first year I've dreaded New Year's Eve. DREADED it. I couldn't even look at Facebook. It was plastered with bright colors and sentimental drivel about wishes and opportunities and other things I knew weren't coming my way since I'm gearing up for what feels like the hardest year of my life.

Husband still isn't working. Work hours drying up. Bank account shrinking. Impending need to publish, even though I may or may not make a single cent off my work. If I can even figure out all the computer stuff I have to do to get there.

My favorite uncle came to visit, and I tried to make light of it. I don't want to worry him. He's a bit of a hero to me. When I think of my mortgage, I remember him telling me about the years he had to pay 17 percent interest on HIS mortgage. "How the hell did you manage?!" I asked. He shrugged, and said, "We did what we had to do."

We did what we had to do.

When I told him how I was worried about paying my mortgage, at a measly three percent, and that it's half my wage, he assured me, "You'll figure it out." He sounds so confident. After all, I'm his niece. I come from good stock, and a long line of feminists.

As far back as anyone can remember, we had an ancestor named Suzanna, who left her home in Lapland at seven years of age to get a job rocking a cradle for a rich family in England, so they say.  I think she was my great-great-great grandmother. My great-great-grandma was Ida, wife of Captain Mikkelson. I don't know much about her, but I can imagine being the wife of a sea-capatin meant long months alone with the children. Things they don't tell you until you are an adult: My great-grandmother, Lydia Pajunen gave birth to seven children. My grandmother, her sixth,  was her first child to live past three years of age. (She's now 93) Great-grandpa drank too much, so she took courses to become a successful midwife. My grandmother was married to my grandfather for over 50 years, despite the fact that he didn't believe in looking for work. He thought his reputation should bring work to him. They had four boys to feed, so grandma took on any job she could get, including writing articles for the local newspaper.

I want to surrender. I want to just pack in the writing thing and say fuck it. Usually, I embrace change. It's inevitable. It's the only thing in life you can consider an absolute, along with death. Why am I resisting? Because I'm not ready. I don't have the time, energy or money to embrace it. I don't want to self-publish, and I resent the fact that I have to do it RIGHT. NOW.

So tonight, my best friend Mel took me to a movie with gift cards she got for Christmas. The movie was called 'Joy', starring Jennifer Lawrence. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

No spoilers, but a synopsis. Ms. Lawrence's character has a complicated family, and a stressful life. Good thing she's a smart cookie. The story drags Joy through hell, over and over, but she doesn't give up. She uses her smarts to invent a mop, and does everything in her power to make her product a success. She's savvy, determined and doesn't sell herself short. She stays true to herself.

I got the message.

I also got to spend time with Mel, a woman I still can't believe is my best friend. If you knew who we were in high school, you would agree that life is strange. I can spend a few hours with her, and she makes the hurts seems comical and handlable. She makes me happy, and she is good to her core. Time with her today made me realize I'm not alone. And that there are OTHER friends in my life I DO appreciate. As long as I have friends like Mel, Colleen, Kathy, Kevin, The Raju's and the Maguires and so many more, I'll be okay. I'll do what I have to do.

I'll be an armadillo. I feel my optimism returning.


  1. ((hugs)) Hang in there!! Even a small glimmer of optimism is better than none. As a writer, don't ever be scared to ask other writers for help. We should help each other, after all. Let's make 2016 a year of opportunity, instead of one of dread.

  2. That was a great movie, right? You'll do this. Happy New Year!

    1. It was pretty cool! It amazes me that it was based on someone's actual journey to success. Happy New Year, Kathy!And thanks for your help!

  3. Have a year that will surpass you wishes. Each day you have a fresh start, enjoy the adventures that come your way!