First things first: END OF YEAR BOOK SALE!
Want some free e-books? My novels are currently available for free over at Smashwords until the end of the year! That’s all three books in the Bridgetown Trilogy, Meet the Lidwells!, and In My Blue World, available in all formats. Go on, you know you want them!
So. What else has been on my mind this year? Well, something dark and dreary. With sunlight at the end.
I have an extremely terrible and self-sabotaging habit of planning (and often overplanning, and overthinking) but not always following through. Most times I will, but when it truly counts it doesn’t always measure up to the hype I try to make myself believe. Whether it’s high standards, perfectly nailing the landing or realizing there’s a shit-ton more work I need to do before I get to where I’m happy with it, it rarely pans out the way I hope. I’ll get frustrated and wonder why I’m even trying. Or the opposite: I’ll think I’m at a really great level but get told that my standards need to be higher.
I also have an extremely terrible and self-sabotaging habit of deferring to the happiness of others, often to the detriment of my own. I know I’ve spoken of this before. It’s just the way I wired myself as a kid and I’ve spent most of my life ignoring it or working around it instead of trying to do a major rewiring job instead. Because, y’know, feeling guilty about changing myself might bother someone else’s image of me. Big words, coming from someone who’s been a big fan of nonconformity since they first discovered college radio as a teenager in the 80s, yeah? It’s one of my life’s biggest paradoxes.
So what does this have to do with 2021? I gave it a name this year: anxiety. I decided, why not call it what it is, instead of trying to paint it as something else less scary? It isn’t crippling, thankfully. At least not anymore. [There’s a reason I don’t talk or think about the details of my life in the early to mid 90s all that much other than when music is involved, or just to acknowledge that yeah, that was a dark time for me.] It’s a part of me I’ve always thought was a bit broken. Not dangerously so, and I’ve created healthy workarounds that keep me running at a decent speed. Not always at everyone else’s most of the time, but enough to keep up when needed. I don’t take anything for this, as I don’t feel I need to, though I do notice that my blood pressure meds did somewhat chill it out a bit, which helps.
My point being: I’ve played mental and emotional games with myself for years to remain functional. And in the last four or five years I’ve fixed a lot of those issues, and 2021 was the year in which a lot of those games finally came to a close. I don’t need to depend on them anymore. I can face whatever personal demons that might still linger, and I feel all the better for it when I’ve conquered them, or sent them packing. Or more often, just let them vanish like ash in the wind.
I still have a long way to go. I still have a few self-built barriers that need to be torn down. But the way keeps getting clearer as time goes on, and that makes it so much easier.