Today is my birthday. Yay, not dead, another year survived, blah, blah, blah . . .
Except life is mostly lived in those blah, blah, blahs. So here are a few of mine:
1. Know what I was doing one year ago today? Returning at dawn from an overnight flight out of Seattle. Where parents, grandparents, girlfriend, and two professionals staged an intervention for a twenty-two year old. It was not pretty. It was, basically, hell. And it was not immediately successful. This time last year I'd left my son on the Seattle streets. I spent my 47th birthday afraid he would die before he accepted treatment.
Spoiler alert: he accepted treatment. He is eleven months clean and living just two hours from us in a wonderful program. He is working and volunteering and applying to transfer to a college on this coast to finish his degree. After that . . . well, we live one day at a time in gratitude. Today is a good day :)
2. Finished a book. (Writing one, that is. I finished reading 120 of them in the last year.) A book I was terrified to write, certain that I could not switch gears and do something a little different from my lovely Tudor characters. But I wrote it. And now I'm revising it. And my editor loved the bones of it, so already I'm less afraid than I was last year.
3. Worked on a second book, a spec manuscript probably for the YA market. About a hundred pages in and getting close(er) to submitting. I love this project with unshakeable passion--so much so, that I told my agent I would write it whether it sold or not.
4. Went to Dublin, London, and Edinburgh with my daughter. Best part was very possibly the night train from Euston Station to Waverly. Why is there romance in sleeping in a steel bunk bed bolted to the wall in a space smaller than a walk-in closet? I don't know. There just is :)
5. Went to Iceland for Thanksgiving week with my husband and two high-schoolers. Who knew spending days muffled up in coats and hats and gloves could be so fun? Sunrise at 10:00 am, sunset at 4:00, three days exploring glaciers and ice caves and two extraordinary nights of the Northern Lights . . . I count myself so lucky to have been there.
6. And what did I do the rest of those 366 days? Sleep. The bare minimum in housekeeping and food procuring required to keep my family alive. Netflix. Working with doctors and therapists for myself and others. Cuddling the stuffed black sheep I brought back from Ireland. Slowly emerging from darkness into light. Which brings me to my favorite image of 2016:
I took this photo at Pingvellir National Park in Iceland. I call it "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Here's to dawning joy for all of you!