The final blog post of the year is always a strange one; it’s that time when I feel compelled to look back on what was while also making plans for what I want the coming year to be. I’ll just say that 2018 was a very strange year, though each year now seems to fall into that broad category. Some strange was good. Some strange was bad. That’s how it panned out and there’s not a huge amount I can do about it. One stand out piece that I am grateful for is the wide and varied collection of lovely people I got to meet over the last 12 months. They, and the long term people that I’m happy to have in my life, made 2018 a lot better than it would’ve been otherwise.
One thing I do have control over and I can do something about is my writing. I have actively taken steps to make sure that I have more time than I’ve ever had to focus on writing in the coming year but it is kind of terrifying. It doesn’t mean it’ll all somehow magically work out, but it does mean that I should be able to get more words on the page and that alone will be something positive.
Attrition continues to progress and, without putting unnecessary pressure on myself, I feel the first draft will be complete in the first quarter of the New Year. I still love the story, as horrible and dark as it is at times, and Kitty despite her multitude of imperfections, keeps me returning to the keyboard to tap out the next piece of her story. I don’t really have a choice in the matter and I hope someday readers will be as intrigued by her as I am.
Earlier this year, when Cody went blind overnight, I posted a video of him struggling to make his way down stairs. Since that time, he’s come on in leaps and bounds and if you didn’t know he was blind, you certainly wouldn’t guess it immediately. Beyond the obvious improvements for him, even though he remains totally blind and won’t get any vision back, is the knock-on effect it’s had on me. Despite everything else that has happened this year and all the wonderful people I’ve met, I’ve learnt the most from a small, blind, 14 year old Jack Russell Terrier. Being brave sometimes means getting bumps.
Taking a risk can pay off, even if you’re terrified of it. Feeling that fear but knowing that the only way is forward and, even if you can’t see where you’re going, knowing that it’s where you’re meant to be. Accepting the help of others when you don’t know the way isn’t a bad thing- it’s smart and will help you survive. When you make a mistake lick your wounds, take some time out for recovery, and then move on with the knowledge you’ve gained. Bumps hurt and are frightening but they don’t last forever. Being brave is continuing on, despite the fear of the unknown, and keeping at it when things seem rough. Obstacles are there to be overcome. Lessons are there to be learnt, sometimes hidden in the most unexpected of places.
This canine wisdom is what I want to carry with me into 2019 and what I wish for everyone else too. Whether it turns out to be a good-strange year or a bad-strange year, there’s no way of knowing and no way of stopping it. Be brave, get bumps, accept help, allow healing, and carry on. If a terrified old blind dog can do it, we can do it too.
Happy New Year to everyone, from Cody and me.