A friend has picked out one word to focus on for each of the last few years. This time, I decided to follow her example. My word for the year? Savor.
It's a good word for me. To begin with, I've recognized lately a fair amount of built-up resentment as a result of the dog attack in June, during which my life partner got between me and a pit bull that had lunged into our back yard with hate in its eyes. The pit bull went to live with Jesus a few moments later; and I took Michael to the doctor shortly thereafter. That Tuesday a return visit to the doctor ended with hospitalization, massive antibiotics, massive painkillers, and, on Wednesday, plastic surgery to clean out the infection, which by then was sending red streaks up and down his arms. Five days in the hospital and nine weeks out of work wiped out all of the year's vacation time, personal time, etc., which is no doubt the reason my resentment escalated in December. I'm accustomed to being surrounded by dozens of friends and family over the holidays, but I wasn't going to leave Michael alone; and Michael had no options for taking time from work.
That brings us again to savor, which, it seems, to me, is the antonym of resent. I'm willing to let the dead past bury its dead; and to let the pit bull rest in peace, having learned that, as vicious as pit bulls are, cocker spaniels are notorious for attacking pretty little two-year-old girls -- and they always go for the face.
Cocker spaniels, I'll admit, are less capable of ripping a child's limbs off or dragging it home to gnaw at the bones in peace, but still I think the problem is owners who don't know that dogs, descended as they are from wolves, can turn in an instant, and do, and therefore must be constantly overseen.
Because in Kentucky it is illegal for a dog to chew on a human being's arm, we've been subpoenaed three times to testify as the witnesses to the event. A fourth subpoena is in the works, because so far the case has been continued each time.
Our attorney advised us not to speak of these matters, and I haven't, but it's now 2013 and neither this year nor last year will make an iota of sense if you don't know about the dog attack, including its savage nature and distressing conclusion, as well as the weeks Michael spent in physical therapy to end up with one scarred hand and one severely scarred arm.
So there it is. The pit bull changed the complexion of 2012; and if I don't acknowledge that fact 2013 will also be tarnished by the incident, so I'll tell you one additional thing. You know that thousand-yard stare that military personnel, police officers, and firefighters can display? That savage dog had a 2-thousand-yard stare when it turned to me. Nobody was home behind those eyes. The dog had become a savage throw-back, and he'd tasted blood; and I was next -- except that Michael, who is former military, has a concealed carry permit, and is always armed, had a loaded pistol in his pocket; and he knew how to read trajectories and angles; and therefore the dog died - instantaneously, one carefully directed shot into the brain through the mouth -- and I lived without a scratch on me.
It was a rough summer, with panic attacks and fear that somebody would retaliate by killing my Labrador in a drive-by shooting and hours in hospitals during which I constantly called Michael "Fred" -- the name of my late husband, who died in 2000 after a lengthy illness involving hundreds of days in the hospital. PTSD takes lots of forms.
In August I finally felt physically recovered, for the first time since a medical procedure in the spring on 2010; and in September I was far enough removed from giving up cigarettes (5 years) that I thought I could withstand the modest deprivation of a diet. I've lost 17 pounds, using a miracle method I developed ALL BY MYSELF but will now share with you. Here is is:
no ice cream
no eating between meals
after putting your meal on your plate, scrape half of it onto another plate to eat the next day.
in a restaurant, ask for a go-plate when your meal is served, put half the meal in it, and save it for the next day
That's pretty much it. I did join a wonderful site called Bitch Yourself Thin where you can track your weight and hang out with the two wonderful developers; and that's been a fun tool to use; but the four items I listed above are the ones that actually matter. Also, I haven't felt deprived at all. Maybe that's because compared to quitting nicotine, most of life is a breeze.
I haven't been blogging because not eating takes up a lot of time. Further, I've come to suspect that blogging, while useful, does not equal writing. I can blog with one eye shut and my brain sent out to the cleaners, which is the opposite of the kind of writing that is worth the trouble.
Finally, I might have blogged myself all the way to spring to show off my Christmas tree photos, but once again google is demanding money if I want to publish more photos;. and personally I think they monopolize too much of the world's money already.
All of this is to say I'm going to be out of pocket for a while, giving my time to understanding what it means to savor each day; and to notice what is to be savored in each day; and how much. Best wishes in the new year. You can keep in touch with me on facebook; and I'd also appreciate your liking my business page -- Way Ahead Threads -- on facebook if that suits you. Otherwise, all is well; and here's to the best for each of us in 2013.