I woke up this morning feeling like Dorothy fresh from her victory over the Wicked Witch. I wasn’t holding an empty water bucket, but there was a small fluffy dog at my feet, and I could practically hear a chorus of Munchkins singing:
“Ding dong the witch is dead! Which old witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding dong the Wicked Witch is dead!”
While Dorothy’s witch was known for her high-pitched cackle and green complexion, mine was branded with only numbers: 2…0…1…3.
I knew I was in for a rough patch as soon as I flipped the calendar last January. That ominous number 13 seemed to stare back at me in defiance. I have never been particularly superstitious in regard to the number 13, but after enduring the last 12 months, I’m glad I’ll never live through another year ending in those two digits.
Not long after the New Year, I learned my boss had been fired, and I was reorganized into a new department led by someone whose management style leaves much to be desired. That poorly managed reorganization left me with sleepless nights and stressful days. When I finally came to the realization that I had just taken three steps back in my career, I was rewarded with a Crohn’s flare.
I spent most of 2013 in doctor’s offices and hospitals trying to pinpoint the source of my newest pains. I was in good company though. 2013 also forced my brother into an intensive care unit for a drawn-out battle with pneumonia. My MIL had surgery for a cyst in her neck and then we all got to watch her suffer through a TIA. My mom had to dust off her walking cane because her 2011 knee replacement surgery didn’t quite work, and my dad found out through a routine stress test that he had had a heart attack sometime in the not-too-distant past.
2013 was apparently in an alliance with healthcare companies across the country.
Back on the job front…I returned to work in October after seven weeks of medical leave for major abdominal surgery only to be told my job was moving south and somebody else would be doing it. My official layoff date was also my birthday, which turned out to be the same day I found out I would have to undergo a second surgery because one is apparently just not enough for 2013.
There were, however, some bright technicolor spots among all the wreckage of 2013.
Even though I and many of my family members suffered through serious illnesses and health problems, we’re all still breathing and on the mend, and that was the biggest victory in this war of a year.
Take THAT 2013!
The Young One started Kindergarten, and to my great relief, she is enjoying and excelling at it. She has made friends and discovered the joys of chapter books. (Thank you Magic Tree House.) I have watched her personality take hold this past year as she declared war on not only skirts and dresses, but hoodies and sweaters as well. Her independence is blossoming with unsupervised bath time, and her chore list is growing as trash detail has officially been passed from the Older One to the Young One.
A word to the wise, 2013, my daughter wears a cape, calls herself Super Girl and travels with me down our little piece of the Yellow Brick Road. You don’t stand a chance against that!
I also had the joy of watching the Older One fight battles on the gridiron, including the bucket list-worthy behemoth of all football rivalries, America’s Game…the 114th Army Navy game. Yes, I sat through snow, sleet and freezing rain to watch Army fall to Navy for the 12th straight year (I’m sure 2013 had a hand in that too.), but I have a hard time finding anything else that induces as much joy as sharing a hot meal with my son after witnessing him pore all his heart into a sport he loves so well.
Here’s another note for you, 2013. You may have tried to keep me down with two surgeries this year, but you failed to realize I manage my own calendar. I scheduled both surgeries just days after seeing my oldest child on football Saturdays. Those were visits with my wizard, and they gave me all the strength I needed to overcome you.
As far as being newly unemployed…I have to admit there are worse things than having entire days with nothing on the to-do list but Christmas shopping, decorating and baking. I also now have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom for a while, complete with daytime book reading in the car pool line and week-day, mid-morning grocery shopping adventures–things about which a working mom can only fantasize.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason and that no matter where you are, you are right where you are supposed to be. I’m finally starting to feel better…just in time to devote myself to finding out exactly what I want to do next.
Last year did it’s best to steal all the ruby slippers from my walk-in closet. But guess what, 2013… I’m still here, and you’re not.
The Wicked Witch is dead!
Long live 2014!
Happy New Year!