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2015I always write around the holidays, usually about the holidays. The days of joy and happiness that so rarely are just that are great fodder for the creative pen. Dreaming of a white Christmas, finding love on Valentines, even the frustration of not understanding how the local school system can honor Columbus Day but for some reason forgets Veteran’s Day.  All of the holidays bring such incredible passion and yes, even thoughts of the desperation and desolation that this journey really brings.

Its close enough to New Years Eve that I thought I would speak to it.  The first thing I did was go back a year and read my post from December 31st, 2013.  It surprised me, that post.  It surprised me because many of the same words I was going to use on this post I wrote one year ago.  The same sentiments, the same beliefs and truths I held for myself, haven’t changed.  And if that isn’t depressing I have no idea what is.

Last year I mentioned that I don’t believe in resolutions for myself.  Still believe this. Let’s be truthful, I am not going to lose weight on a concentrated plan, I am not going to get healthier, and unless the voices in my head decide differently I am probably not going to write any differently than I do right now. Pesky voices.

I mentioned that all I really need in life is my children to be safe and healthy.  I got that this year for the most part.  And today it is still my number one hope.  Sorry, but I am a mother and the truth is those children are more important than I am.  I don’t care how many posts or magazine articles I read about taking care of myself, spending time on myself, my children come first. Even before those pesky voices.

I wrote extensively one year ago about how difficult 2013 was, and how I hope that 2014 would be better.  These words hurt my heart and I have no idea if I am supposed to laugh or cry.  They are words that I can say with as much conviction about 2014 as I once did in 2013. The same painful truth about 2013 resounds in my memories of 2014.  I didn’t think when I wrote those words a year ago that the world, or at least my part of it, could get worse, but man did it.  And it hasn’t abated yet.

I wish there was one thing I could point to either to show you how bad 2014 was, or one thing I could point to that shows why it was as bad, if not worse, as 2013.  There was no single moment of this past year that came through in neon lights to alert me that the bad was getting worse.  There was no single incident that I can look at and bury my head in pure self-preservation to avoid.  This past year was bad.  The year before that was bad. Not sure what this next one will have, but if we are working on the premise that bad comes in threes – I am in real trouble.

I believe working towards change is the only way you will get change.  I don’t believe that praying to a God that already knows how you feel and already knows what is going to happen will change anything.  I don’t believe ignoring the bad, the dreary days of your own reality, will change anything.  I don’t believe that winning the lottery will make life easier and I don’t believe that surrounding myself with the hopes and dreams that come naturally to a writer will affect the truth of the life I currently lead.  Only my hard work will change anything.  I accept that.  (Although I want the universe to know that I am perfectly prepared to accept a winning lottery ticket if you feel like dispersing it to me).

I am sitting here listening to great music of today and yesterday wondering many things. How much harder can I work? Where should I point my very awesome skills in order to enact that change so that my year won’t be in the same pursuit of despair it currently is in? What is that one thing that I can do to change things for my family, my children, my husband?  How can I give them not only what all the Jones’ seem to have, but what they deserve? How can I make sure the bad luck that is a part of my last two years does not effect the beautiful innocents I am trying to bring up in this world?

I have bad luck.  Most of the time it is actually kind of amusing.  For instance, to this day I am pretty sure that my husband won’t gamble around me. Instead he waits until I am not in the room/casino/same zip code before he plays any games of risk.  I have always had pretty bad luck.  If I am rooting for a certain football team (go Georgia Southern) they will not win if I am watching the game – this does not matter if I am watching the game on television or sitting in the stands.  It simply has always been this way.  Again, something to laugh at in most moments…except when we are talking about life itself.

I don’t know if my bad luck is just part of the life I lead.  I don’t know if like those football games I simply choose the wrong team over and over or if it is just the way the cards fall.  I really don’t.  I accept my bad luck and I have always found ways to move on. I am the first to admit I like when my husband comes over with a hundred dollar chip while I was planted in front of the penny slots in his attempt (probably) to hide me away.

Last year in my post I wished for many things and lamented for many paragraphs about the previous year.  This year I don’t think I am going to do either.  It is what it is. And there will be times when the beauty of God and the laughter of my children come together to bring all the good things; and there will be times when I can’t find my way out of this mess that we all live.

Instead today, I am going to mop the floors and listen to some of the incredible Ella Fitzgerald and continue to move on.