I have heard several people say 2013 was a bad year for them. That's very sad to hear. I honestly don't know if we do ourselves any favors when we compartmentalize our experiences into years in that way, though. After all, the calendar year is just a system of organization. In essence, it means absolutely nothing. I like to think about life in a more abstract sort of way. I divide my life into portions connected with my memories. I have a lot of good memories. I have a lot of bad ones, too. But I can't seem to streamline things into the confines of a year. A year is such a fleeting thing, isn't it? 365 days to get it right or wrong is not nearly enough time for us all to turn the Titanic choices we make around, this is one thing I know to be true. For example, my sister split from her husband over three years ago. Meanwhile, I am still reeling. This was the most traumatic thing I've experienced in a long time. It affected me more than the death in our family (we lost Sherry last summer). A divorce IS like a death, after all. The death of a family. A very very sad thing, to me. I am still trying to figure out if everyone is okay. I still am not sure! I didn't realize it had been that long until my husband (with his Rain Man memory) informed me. I almost passed out. That long ago already!? My heart sank a little over this. I know how I feel. I can't imagine how my sister, her children, or her ex, feels. Another example of how time actually flies is the fact that we've lived here in Bristol for three Christmases. I can't say I know where the time actually went. It seems like we've lived according to the ebb and flow of my husband's work schedule more than the calendar year. He works for four days, he does not work for four days. I do everything I do from home 24/7, as they say. The cycle begins and ends, begins and ends. We live like teenagers for two days or so, we get right to work for about four days, then we rest. We start all over again. Sporadic in nature, our life is not the norm. But we get shit done! It's impressive! We don't think in terms of weeks and months. We think in terms of four day cycles in our household. It's a little weird.
Then again, I think about the past and I know there's an important reason why people mark time like they do. I look back at how ill/sick/down I used to be and I know time marches on and, potentially, time heals all wounds. I've never kept quiet about the fact that I have suffered a crushing-CRUSHING- depression associated with PTSD. Now that I know how good I am able to feel, I know how bad IT actually was! I've dealt with anxiety that was completely off the charts. I've been there. I know exactly how it feels. You all know I know. But now? I am on the other side. I don't know if it was simply moving to a new house that was not so isolated from the rest of the world that did it. I don't know if it is the fact that my husband's job has worked out better than anything we've ever known before, or maybe it's the fact that my life isn't riddled with the anxieties of raising small children... whatever it IS or WAS, I can say with absolute certainty that I FEEL better today, at 36 years of age, than I EVER did in my twenties. I am so much better. This is good news! So, for me, if I were to compartmentalize my experience into the confines of a year, I would say that 2013 was one of the best years of my life. Ever.
As for the effects of a year? I say this: walk slowly past the graveyard of your fears. Whistle a little tune. Let your footfalls make the loudest echo. It will be alright. You will make it home. Safe and sound.
Sane? That's entirely optional and not necessarily preferable.