Treading the water of okay.

By the middle of last month I had written almost 20,000 words of a disjointed speculative fiction manuscript before my momentum guttered and died. We don’t say things like “I lost NaNoWriMo,” but I certainly feel a loss whenever I do not complete what I set out to do.

November 30th turned into December 1st, and that day brought the start of Holidailies, in which online diarists and bloggers attempt to write a post each day in December. I have no idea if I am up to this challenge, or if my momentum is any less susceptible to outside forces merely by turning a calendar page, but here I am with you now.

I’ll follow the lead of my dear sharky friend and try to sum up 2018. Another friend recently asked how I was doing and I spewed a bunch of words, then immediately regretted not answering with a simple, “Okay, how’s by you?”

I am okay. I have been less okay and I have been more okay than I am right now, but still: I am okay. And the fact that I am okay is my shining accomplishment this year.

2018 was a year of treading the water of okay which irritates me because I want always to be moving forward. There were some highlights:

  • In April, FunkyPlaid and I had a stupendous holiday in Scotland, chock full of adventures and visits with dear friends. It is hard for me to write about this without tearing up a bit because it was that good.
  • FunkyPlaid and I made more time to play board games with our friends, and to extend ourselves socially a bit more. It has been more challenging than I thought it would be to make new friends here in Portland, and a few friendships I expected to be strengthened by geographic proximity … weren’t. But we are trying.
  • In May, I graduated from a nine-month leadership program in the city where I work, and I was named Employee of the Month for the city in September.

There was also serious upheaval. The local option levy for the city failed, and with it came budget cutbacks for the library. A few outstanding coworkers left for other jobs. And my darling tortie Zen, who has been my wee furry touchstone for almost twenty-two years, is in declining health.

Zooming out a bit, I don’t even have words for the daily impact of living in this deeply divided and excruciatingly atavistic country, and if I did have the words, would I be brave (or foolish) enough to share them here, where I run the risk of my family and friends being punished simply because I expressed an opinion that some online mob doesn’t like?

So I’ll wage my quiet war against ignorance, keep my head down, and be okay. That’s what I’ve got right now. I hope you’ve got more.

Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Billie Eilish.

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