Saturday, February 11, 2023

Hope you can make best of new year

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 28, 2022)

As seems to happen more and more frequently, the curtain is dropping on yet another year. Rather than looking back at the year as it winds down, I want to look ahead without trying to predict anything.

I don't know if the past year was a good one for you, but I hope it was. Either way, you've about made it through. This is no finish line; only a checkpoint. The good news is, you're still here and you're still going forward.

If you want this next year to be an even better year, you've got to make it better yourself. Don't ask politicians to do it for you. Life is homemade.

Your own choices always make a big difference in how your life goes. Even when things happen outside your control, how you respond is up to you. It will make all the difference in how you feel about life. If you respond like someone who has some power over your life you'll do better than someone who sees themself as a powerless victim of circumstances.

Just recognizing that you are in control of your responses gives you some power over your circumstances. Seeing yourself as a pawn isn't a good feeling. What will a pawn do to make his life better? Waiting for someone else to rescue you will usually end in disappointment, and may mean you've waited too late to help yourself as the problem grows bigger.

Which do you think would be better: a world where everyone is waiting for someone else to rescue them, or a world where everyone does what they can to solve their own problems? Which world has more people able to help others?

If a dragon approaches and corners you, you can cry for help, or you can pull your sword and stand your ground. I know which one feels healthier. It's OK to ask for help, too. Maybe someone else will show up to stand beside you, but pull your sword first, then yell. Make this the year you refuse to be an easy snack.

I don't know what the next year holds, but whether the circumstances are good or bad, make sure you do what you can to make it the best it can be, whatever comes at you. At the very least, don't do things to make life worse. I hope you're able to face down the dragons, too.

Thank you for helping support

Update of updates, cat and human

Whiskers waiting for my daughter to come out of her room.
He doesn't realize she's not home.

I'll try to make this the last personal post for a while. Here's hoping nothing else crops up!

Whiskers the cat is doing better. He didn't have an intestinal blockage or a urinary blockage. Just a fever and signs of infection. That's concerning, since without a reason it brings up questions. I'll keep those to myself instead of worrying my daughter.

But he's on antibiotics and pain medication and got anti-nausea meds at the vet's office. He's back to acting normal again. Happy and loving. Not thrilled about the pill he's getting every 12 hours, though. I'm hoping he doesn't catch on to the schedule and start hiding when it's time for meds.

As for me, I'm still improving. Still coughing up whatever ended up in my lungs, but at least my throat is largely healed. It's a little sensitive, but it no longer hurts. Wednesday evening, I couldn't imagine the shredded remains of my throat ever feeling OK again. Even though I knew such tissues usually heal fairly quickly. Plus, I was just sure I would end up in the hospital with pneumonia. So far, so good.

So far I'm 50/50 at having rough complications after these procedures. I guess that could be worse.

But I also have the surgery hanging over my head, which really bothers me. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I now have a tattoo...inside my colon to mark the polyp so the surgeon will know which part to remove. I guess that makes it a temporary tattoo. In the long run, they are all temporary.

My daughter and her mom have headed off to the comic-con without me. Which is fine with me. I really still needed some time to recover. And now I'm on cat-medicating duty, giving Whiskers his antibiotics twice a day (at the same time I'm taking my antibiotics) and his pain medication once a day. They aren't staying two nights as originally planned, though. They were able to cancel Sunday night's reservation. My daughter is a little disappointed about that, but the cat is important enough to her that she was willing to give up something to make sure he got to the vet. They couldn't get a refund on tonight's hotel reservation or on the comic-con ticket anyway, so they might as well use them.

I borrowed the money for the vet visit, and I now have about enough donations to pay that back, so I thank all those who donated for their help.