Every New Year's Eve, I stare out the window feeling exhausted by the past year and dreading the new one. It's been this way for so many years I've lost count. When I wake up in the morning on new year's eve I feel so depressed I can barely get out of bed. Every year is a battle to keep myself going, keep a roof over our head and food on the table, keep the car running, myself running, my family thriving. Every year I fight to get my daughter what she needs: specialists, therapists, equipment, support, an education and medical care. 2009 was a particularly impossible year, so this year's New Year's Eve depression was worse than usual. It's just too much, sometimes. And next year is looking even more difficult.
How did I think I could go to grad school and raise my daughter at the same time? Last year was an exhaustive juggling act, one which has pretty much destroyed my publishing company (Medusa's Muse) and halted my own writing. Pure stubbornness has kept me going and kept my press alive long enough to finish our last book (for a while. I refuse to shut my press down completely! As I said, I'm stubborn).
And now I've been told that these last semesters are the easy ones.
You have got to be kidding!
On New Year's Eve 2009 over my morning cup of decaf, I made the mistake of looking at everything that's coming in 2010 and suddenly felt my heart pound like it would bruise my ribs. The class load for Spring 2010 is intense, followed by a Summer crammed with as many classes as SF State will provide (which due to the State budget cuts may not be that much), and then I do two, ten week, full time internships in the Fall of 2010. All of this on top of taking care of my depressed, fourteen-year-old daughter who's struggling with her disabilities and who needs more care now than she did when she was five. Plus, both my hubby and I are unemployed, but it will be a year before I can get a job. How the hell are we going to keep our house?
Breath, Terena. Breath.
But then on New Year's day, I woke up feeling strong and eager. It was a brand new year and the eternal optimist in me kicked off the panic stricken hangover from 2009 and took a deep breath. I have no idea how I'll manage school this year, or how I'll find a way to help my daughter, but I know I will. And I don't know if we'll keep the house or pay our bills, but my husband and I are a great team and we've always found a way. Again, I don't have a clue how we'll do it, but I know in my bones that we will.
One month at a time. Don't worry about anything else. Just get through 2010 one month at a time.