Good-bye, 2022

Happy New Year!

New Year’s used to be my favorite holiday, a pivotal day when everything is seemingly shiny and fresh. New pursuits, new goals, new, new, new! This year the day passed like any other. I had to remind myself on the eve of the new year that it really was the eve of a new year. I don’t know about anyone else, but the so-called “holiday season” didn’t feel like a holiday season this year, in fact it didn’t feel like much of anything. Maybe it’s because of what the past couple months of my life have been like. Whatever the reason, I’m glad it’s gone for another year. Please take down your trees and lights and save on your electric bill.

I got caught up in the Southwest Airlines mess. Instead of flying south to see my niece on the 23rd I received a text at 4:00am telling me to stay in bed because my flight was cancelled, along with 7,000 others. I didn’t make it to South Carolina until Christmas evening. After a couple of good days with my niece (and a big, beautiful turkey feast at 9:00pm on the 25th!) I got dreadfully ill with a sinus infection, made my first out of state visit to an urgent care center, and spent the next three days in bed. A fitting end to a year of many gains that failed to make up for a crushing loss.

No matter how many trips I took or successes I had they can never make up for the loss of my sister Marie. I miss her so badly, wish she could share in the good things that happened to me in 2022. Purchasing my beautiful little house and finally finding domestic peace, resuming international travel, surviving a deadly disease for yet another year; having Marie here to be proud of me would make all the difference, would have made 2022 a different kind of year. No matter what I do now the losses that I’ve dealt with always outweigh the good.

Sorry for being so depressing!

Yes, the traveling was great, I love my home, and I continue to beat the odds of Stage IV Lung Cancer. Perhaps the best thing that happened in 2022 is that my incredible sister Jeanne survived a potentially fatal surgery to remove a huge staghorn kidney stone. Click on the link and read a little about them. Look up some images. They’re disgusting. Jeanne had been fighting infection, sepsis, and constant hospitalizations that only worsened as time went by. Her surgery was a last resort, and she got the best care possible. I’ll just bet Marie had something to do with her success. What a bright spot that I still have her.

I have not formally made any resolutions for 2023. But I have something nagging at me that really is kind of a resolution: to get serious about writing again. Before cancer, all I blabbed about was writing, traveling and writing. Since my diagnosis I’ve managed to pen a book about my journey back to life, and I’ve blogged here all along. Yet I lost the passion and the hunger, and I have not gotten it back to date. It’s time to regain it. I once wrote two extensive books at the same time, and self published seven books in a matter of a few years! Recently I read through my “cancer journey book,” sent it to a close and brilliant friend of mine, and his interest has given me back a glimmer of the ambition I once had. I’m changing my in progress page to reflect my renewed interest in “Destination Life.” Have a look and tell me what you think!

I’m also making lists of publishers of memoires, short stories, and articles on health and wellness, hoping to kickstart my interest again by doing a variety of writing, and maybe even putting some of my old but worthy stuff out there and seeing if anyone bites. So many times I’ve vowed that I would put myself to making a part-time career out of writing. Vows and lists have to be backed up by action. Instead, I play with my phone or watch Hulu. I guess I’ve earned my right to do that. But I feel like I’m cheating myself. No time like the present to light a fire under my own butt, right?

Hey! I just changed the whole appearance of my website, yet another thing that has been on the to-do list for months and only got done now. Yay, me! Could the thirst to write again be just around the corner? My fingers are crossed!

Until then, please enjoy some of my favorite memories from 2022!

Author: barblee

Barb Lee is a native of Western Massachusetts who loves to write, travel and hike the world, and hang out with her beautiful Jersey Wooly bunny Muffin. Her whole life changed when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in October of 2019. By January of 2020, she was bouncing back in a major way. Now, in addition to all her favorite activities, she wants to help others make the most of life following a devastating diagnosis, while she continues to beat the odds.

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