Ugh. Please bear with me on this. I haven’t written an intensely personal blog post in a really long time – I’m finding I’m awfully rusty. Indeed it’s taken me a week three weeks to get this so that I am ready to publish it.
I’m not one to do public suffering. I admire blogging women who can reach out to their communities in a time of need. Me? I go into cocoon mode. So last year, I fell off the face of the earth. I’ve been rather tight lipped about what I went through, because it’s really not my style to talk about stuff unless I can put a positive spin on things. It’s taken me almost a full year to be able to do so. So finally – here’s what happened to eMom in 2009.
A Disintegration of Life as I Had Known It
During an incredibly horrible and stressful time in March/April of last year (we won’t go into that part), I started having health issues. I’ve never really been sick beyond the flu, and I knew this was different. I couldn’t get out of bed most days. I was starving all the time. My blood sugar was whacked. My usual forgetfulness started getting almost scary. I had insomnia and heart palpitations. It all came on gradually, so it took me a while to go to the doctor. But I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. After all, I’d been healthy all my life, you know?
Within only a few days, I was getting a very-unexpected cancer biopsy. And suddenly life as I had known it disintegrated before my eyes. I questioned my purpose in life and God. I dropped everything. I saw images in my head of my children, husband and parents mourning me, which was far more traumatic than thinking about dying.
I crumbled to pieces.
Before I go further, NO, I don’t have cancer. It’s a thyroid problem. But for one week in April of last year, the possibility of death loomed before me like nothing I could ever possibly describe.
2009 was my year in Hell. Even though up until that point I had lived a life of “no regrets”, suddenly I had plenty to go around. There were the not-so-surprising regrets of working too much, letting assholes rent headspace, and yelling too much at my kids. I regretted not taking care of myself as well as I did everyone else. And I regretted giving so much that there was nothing left for me.
2009 also showed me that when faced with one’s own mortality, no matter how briefly, one can never go back to living life the same way again.
The Silver Lining of 2009
My 2010 resolutions lie in stark contrast to my past, which used to focus on PR, PR, and a little more PR. I really thought that “fame” would bring me the success I craved. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This year I have vowed more family time, friend time and more me time. And getting more organized so that I can have even more family time, friend time and me time. Life is now about treasuring the time I have on this planet and being grateful for every second of it. So far, 2010 has been the happiest, most successful and most satisfying year of my entire life. Every day I wake up grateful – I seriously never had that before.
Which brings me full circle to the point of this post.
2010 is also about finding a way back out of my cocoon to share what I love with the people I love – and that includes the real life friends and online community of people I truly, deeply appreciate. I’ve never been good at coming out of cocoon mode, so this will probably be a messy work in progress (kind of like the rest of my life). I need to get back to doing what I have always done best – sharing my knowledge, helping other entrepreneurs, and hopefully inspiring a little bit of greatness along the way. I may not be running full steam again, but I am indeed back on my feet.
There are a handful of people who have gently nudged me along (or hit me in the head with a brick) who deserve a shout out right now. Some I have known for many years. Some I met only recently and they provoked me to think bigger. Some don’t even know who the hell I am. These people (probably without realizing it) have played a big role with helping me to get back on my feet again.
They were there even though I blew them off.
They reminded me that blogging is about community and giving.
They inspired me by showing up in life and being truly, deeply awesome.
They took care of things I couldn’t take care of.
And they offered help when I was too stubborn to ask for it.
And they reminded me that while we are on this earth, it is our obligation to shine, even when we feel surrounded in darkness.
Char Polanosky, Liz Strauss, Danielle Smith, Steve Johnson, Lucretia Pruitt, Ted Murphy, Aliza Sherman, Patrick O’Keefe, Beth Rosen, Susan Payton, Martin Neumann, Brandi Kajino, Michelle Lamar, Kelly McCausey, Heather Mann, Rachel, Dorothy Stahlnecker, Randa Clay, Jen Goode, Shannon Weidemann, Marie LeBaron, Allison Czarnecki, Lindsay Maines, Katja Presnal, Megan Jordan, Erika Jurney, Lisa Lam, Derek Semmler, Sommer Poquette, Duong Sheahan, Sugar Jones, Jessica Smith, Jenn Fowler, Scott Stratten, Amber Tardiff, Lorna Brewer, Steve Sipress, Barbara Jones, Kevin Carroll, Alli Worthington, Amy Locurto, Kim Janocko, Lisa Marie Mary, Aruni Gunasegaram, Marla Tabaka, Renee Ross, Karen Putz, Janice Croze, Susan Carraretto, Jill Koenig, Jyl Pattee, Kenny Tomlin, Kristin King, Deb Ng, Lori Falcon, Missy Ward, Rick Calvert, Samir Balwani, Aimee Giese, Scott Monty, Alicia Paulson, Ree Drummond, JenJen, Laurie Turk, Deb Puchalla, Margaret Roach, George Manty, Kelvin Kao and of course my dearest husband, kids and the best parents in the world.
You are the real silver lining of my year in hell – strangers and friends who made an indelible mark on my life when I needed you the most. You beamed your light into my life, and now I shine brighter because of you.
(PS – if you think I forgot to include you on this list, then I surely did. Please don’t take it personally, I’m probably one of the most forgetful people you know. And please hit me on the head with another brick and remind me, will you?!)