2014 has been a tricky old beast. Planes keep falling out of unsuspecting skies, one unhinged lunatic makes Australia feel the spiky fear of terrorism and the acid aftertaste of xenophobia, Ebola gets mobile, Robin Williams takes this own life and we all try chia seeds to make it all feel better. All the good news gets a little lost in the more primal morass of loss, war and death. But good things did happen in 2014. Really good things. A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Simply, he made both his new arms move by thinking about moving them. An Ohio teen took his great grandmother to the prom because she was far too poor to go to such a thing when she was young. Couples who fought through multiple miscarriages finally made their miracle children. People who should be dead from cancer are still with us.
I’m not here to give you a modern history lesson. I’m just saying, globally, we had our highs and lows. And my year failed to buck that trend. I ran over my 20 year old cat on the way to a gig and still had to do the gig with the image of her final moments on a loop in my head. I’ve been ill more than I’ve been well and spent quite a deal of time and money getting my physical and mental health on track. I didn’t get the job I’ve long dreamed of and worked my ass off to earn. But I’ve also spent the year getting to know my daughter. She was a cute baby, but she’s an astonishingly awesome little girl. She’s funny, she’s crazy smart, just plain crazy and now looks me in the eye and says “I love you very much, Mumma”. Those exact words. With those meltingly beautiful hazel eyes. And followed by a “big huge cuddle”. I’ve had some great words said directly at my eyes before. “You got the gig”, “its not thyroid cancer”, “your mum and dad will both make it out of this awful day alive”, “I do”. But nothing prepared me for the incredible lightness of her love. And falling more in love with her daddy as I see him through her eyes.
My closest friends saw me laid completely low. And they still love me. I went back to sea for the first time since Rorsa was born. My beautiful husband has had his livelihood challenged, and his heart bruised. I’m just hoping 2015 is a little less mercurial for all of us. And that I have the strength to be clearer in what I need from the people in my life, and what I can’t and won’t accept. I’ve never been good at that. It’s equal parts not wanting to hurt them, and garden variety cowardice, I think. But it isn’t serving me well. I hope all the promises I’ve made myself about listening better, running more and stressing less come to fruition. That I do well in my new course, that I get to teach more lovely students this year, that my Rors and her dad stay healthy and happy and that a new kitty might be in our futures would all be tops. Of course, an end to the fighting in the Middle East, no planes falling out of the sky, less bigotry and fear mongering in my beloved Australia and a good year for all the people I love would be good too.