It is the quietest New Year’s Eve I have ever experienced in my life. Except for Jordan, all of my kids are old enough to party without me. So I’m having major withdrawals from banging (and breaking) pots and pans, running barefoot in the icy snow, and sleigh-riding on a tube down our pitch-black “shoot” that we’ve spent days creating, just for that midnight moment.
Instead, I sit typing in my cabin in the woods, surrounded by tall aspen trees, blustery winds, and sturdy pine trees. We would be snowed-in if Jordan and Jon weren’t plowing for several hours today. Finding myself snowed-in has always been a secret wish of mine, so I am not complaining or wishing I was smashed against tons of people somewhere, like the year we were in Disneyland and waited for hours to see the fireworks (only to find out, in the end, that the fog hid them).
I am content.
Life has a way of moving ahead and teaching us so many lessons along the way. I wished for this silence for years, and now that it is here, it is rather deafening.
I have always felt that the second half of my life would be filled with writing, music, teaching, and creativity. And now that it is right around the corner, I just found out that I have Pigmentary Retinal Dystrophy and Partial Posterior Vitreous Detachment in both eyes. The eye doctors say that one of the diagnoses is “typical for someone in their mid-forties, but the other one is a genetic condition they only started studying in 2017”.
I found this out a few weeks ago after repeated visits to my eye doctor and learning that even with glasses, my vision is getting worse. They say I can’t do anything to fix it because t’s not in the retina. It’s kind of like macular-degeneration (but not). It makes it increasingly hard for me to see when lights get darker or lighter. It blurs the center of my vision, making faces kind of look like they are underwater, at times “like an 80-year-old”. It is degenerative, so it gradually gets worse. I don’t know if that will happen quickly or take its time. So, I am processing.
Growing older is not easy, but it is a blessing to experience because not everyone gets to. I worry that I won’t be able to see my grandkid’s faces, read a good book, or oil paint like I’ve always wanted to do when I ‘had time.’ Sometimes this genetic condition can also affect your hearing. Although I don’t want to put any energy into the possible worst-case scenario, I feel like I need to process it. I’m trying to remember all of the things I can still do without my eyesight.
I know this is a downer of a New Year’s post, but I chose to share it because I am going on a self-care journey in 2022. At first, I considered making it an experience where people paid to be part of an accountability group (or something). Instead, I’ve decided to learn for myself and share when it feels right. If I promised anyone anything, my energy would go into making sure I wasn’t letting other people down. I need all of my inner power to heal my body.
Of course, I am NOT the only one going through a challenge. We all have our bag of challenges. We choose to pull some out, sometimes, and share, which is why I decided to pull out today. I will probably be sharing what I am learning about myself and my healing on my blog or my Facebook page Humans Driving Change. I don’t have a plan. That is part of not promising anything to anyone. But I know that I am better with my friends around me, so if you are ready to begin self-care for yourself in 2022, I’d love to have you comment and tell me what your focus will be!
Regardless, the most important thing is to cherish every image I can until I possibly can’t. And these grandkids’ faces of mine and sledding down the hill will always be burned into my memory!
Happy New Year! May all of our most memorable moments remain vivid as the day we experienced them.