Today is the last Tuesday of 2015. Tomorrow will be the last Wednesday. This week contains the last days during 2015 that I will go to work and when I walk out the door at the end of my work week, that will be the last time I'll walk out the doors until next year. Always seemed fun to say, back when we were in school: "See you next year!" as if next year was a substantial amount of time away instead of mere days.
Tonight, I was looking at a link someone shared of beautiful underrated places to travel. I kept thinking to myself, "I want to go there...." I think to myself, maybe in this year ahead, maybe this could be the year I go somewhere big.
(And then I mentally catalog all of the other things that I will need to spend money on before I spend money traveling to far off places and then I wonder what the odds are of winning a lottery one doesn't play and then I think, "Well maybe I really don't need to go to Andalusia anyway... Maybe I should just be content with what I have.")
Some days, being content is actually pretty easy.
I wouldn't have thought so, earlier this year, that I would ever have days where I didn't cry, that I wasn't constantly gripped with some sense of feeling sorry for myself - but here we are at the end of the year, and I'm pretty sure I haven't cried today. Probably not yesterday either. I make no promises about tomorrow - but who can promise tomorrow, anyway?
I think a lot about luck and the lack of.
About time and the passing of.
About fear and the abundance of.
Some days, if I'm not careful, the mind weighs down and I can feel so scared about what I don't know. I don't like those days.
Yesterday, I saw an article about a study where scientists created retinal cells that worked in rhesus monkeys and I hesitate to feel optimistic because a) I'm not a monkey and b) even if it does work, human trials are probably well down the road.
I think about how there's a presidential election coming up in the next year and people are so focused on their righteousness and sound bites that there are big big issues that aren't getting any air time at all - like medical research. I think of how many people who get so bogged down on what the news tells them matters most, that they don't think of the implication of what happens if someone is elected who doesn't see the hope in science. Progress could be stalled and that stalls hope for me. People like me. And people who are dealing with far worse things than me. People who need science and hope and progress.
And when I think of that, well, I get a bit angry.
Just so you know, anger feels better than fear.
(But both feel a bit powerless, if you really wanna know.)
I really didn't expect any of this when I rang in the new year nearly twelve months ago. I feel cheated out of the year I envisioned for myself - a year that was still full of good things but marred by this dark cloud.
I overheard something a few weeks ago about choosing to feel joy, and the truth is, I don't choose joy as often as I should these days and that's probably something I'm gonna have to work on next year. Perhaps scientists can manufacture some of THAT with stem cells.
I really am trying.
It doesn't always look like it.
It doesn't always feel like it.
But I am. I am trying every day to keep on putting one foot in front of the other and to not let myself get bogged down with a diagnosis that changes my life, yes, but does not end it.
And so it goes.