by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
Before I get started on my ultra poignant review of the past year (yeah – I promise – poignant), I just needed to add an aside to my blog today. For the past year, I’ve blogged almost daily on Paranormal Underground. I actually started on the old site, moved to our MySpace blog and ultimately wound up here when the new site was designed by our wonderful site designer. Anyhoo – blogging nearly every day for a year. And nearly every day I’ve typed my byline – “by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor.” Why is that unusual? Because I can’t even tell you in the past year how many times I’ve almost typed, “by Karen Frazier, Nagging Editor.” Something about the way the letters in the two words “Managing” and “Nagging” are arranged has made it so that least 100 times this year probably, I’ve had to change “nagging” to “managing”. My husband and son might tell you it had nothing to do with the way the letters are arranged. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something…
I included the above because Jim reads my blog. See honey? I know.
This is about the time where every major news organization does some sort of a “year in review”. It is the time of the year when those who subscribe to Oprah magazine (or any other women’s magazine dedicated to tell you what’s wrong with you and how to fix it) get to read about how to make themselves waaaay better in the new year. It is a time, it seems, for looking back and looking forward.
I get it – looking forward is about hope. But when you set those hopeful goals on January 1 only to find yourself lying on in a bloated heap surrounded by red velvet cupcake wrappers while your treadmill gathers cobwebs and your laundry mountain grows to new epic proportions that will require new, expensive climbing equipment – well, that pretty much becomes fodder for your year in review next December now, doesn’t it? Thank goodness your new laundry climbing equipment can also work on that stack of bills that is growing on your counter alongside yesterday’s bread crumbs.
Still – it seems that is what’s expected. Looking back and then looking forward. So strap yourselves in – and away we go.
2009 certainly doesn’t have the look of a banner year for me. January found me being told my job of eight years was going away in a few months. February found me with some legal issues (unfounded – but the other douchebag – um…er…party – thought there was a case). March found me actually jobless. April found my health, which I thought I had finally gotten under control, starting a slow downhill slide that lasted until just this month when I figured out what it was.
Yep – if I look back and I was prone to the maudlin victim role, one might expect that I would say 2009 sucked. Instead, I believe that 2009 was a year of hidden blessings and opened doors.
As I left 2008, I was living a life that no longer suited me. I might have been aware of it on many levels but if I was, I was definitely in denial about it. My job of eight years was one that didn’t make a bit of difference in the world – all it did was line the pockets of the company’s owners. As one who has a desire to be of service, its amazing looking back that I was able to ride out eight years in that situation. And they weren’t even nice people. A few of the people I worked with were, sure, but as for the rest – pfft.
Losing my job hurt like hell at the time. It generated a lot of fear, as well, but it turns out that losing that job was merely me shedding that which no longer suited who I was. And a year later, the financial fears haven’t come to fruition. I’m still here. We still have our house. Sure, our lifestyle is a bit reduced, but who needs all of the crap that we spent our money on? Probably not us. Plus I get to write every day – and I think that maybe sometimes my words just may affect a single life in some tiny positive way. I’m on the right track.
My job loss also led to having more time to really focus in on PUG, to find a new passion (making and editing movies), and to make one of the best friends I’ve made in quite some time. It truly was a doorway. Thank goodness I had no choice but to go through it.
My legal problems in February were stressful. I was angry. I was hurt. And in the end, they forced me to look at a person in my life who had pretty much always been a source of pain and stop giving a crap. What a relief to let go of that anger and to walk away from that person. I haven’t looked back, and it has been a far more relaxed ride since then. I’ve been a happier person because I just don’t have to think about this other individual any longer. If that person hadn’t behaved as they had, I doubt I’d be where I am emotionally right now. Check that off as a good thing.
My deteriorating health in April was interesting. I’ve spent 20 years chasing a diagnosis for what is wrong with me. You see, I’ve had a lot of pain for that long. Physical pain. I’ve been diagnosed with everything from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Fibromyalgia to arthritis to being a hypochondriac. Still, I’ve persisted because I don’t believe that anyone goes to bed one night an active, vital person who worked taught 12 aerobics classes a week, hiked, bicycled and spent two hours each day lifting weights to waking up the next morning in severe pain with zero energy (and then had it persist for 20 years). Seriously – there must be something health driven with that, don’t you think? I’ve been treated for each condition – and nothing ever made me feel better for long. They would start out helpful, but I would only feel better for so long before whatever magic there was conferred by the medication/treatment disappeared.
My most recent diagnosis was a form of autoimmune hypothyroidism called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The treatment for that stopped working in April, and I was back to square one again. But this time I discovered the true issue – the source of every symptom. All of the treatment before had been treating the symptoms only – not the cause. The cause, it turned out, was gluten. I knew it in April. I resisted dealing with it for months, because to truly eliminate gluten (which is ubiquitous) from your life is a huge pain in the butt. Still – finally I made that decision, and gluten free seems to be bringing back traces of the old me. So I’d say that deteriorating health also led to something good – finding the answer. It wasn’t an answer I wanted to hear, but it was an answer nonetheless and now the power for my health lies with me. I can choose whether or not I feel like crap. That’s pretty darn empowering after 20 years of not knowing why I felt so terrible.
And so you see – the year that was was far better than it seemed on the surface. I shed that which didn’t serve me, and I stepped into new ways of being that did. I can only hope that in the year to come, I use my newfound lessons of 2009 as a means of being more self-aware in 2010 so that I can make changes necessary to be what I want to be – to be “of service” in this world without having to have it thrust at me in a way that seems painful or stressful at the time.
And now, if you’ll pardon me, this Nagging Editor is going to go order herself some gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free red velvet cupcakes so I’m on schedule for January 2.
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