For 20 years I would make the trip 3.5 hours north to the Adirondacks (ADK) for my annual Labor Day weekend camping trip. That camping trip was my vacation every year. It was the only 3-day in a row stretch I ever had off.
While in the ADK, I would rest, relax and reflect on the past year. I would do a journal entry to document everything that happened in the past year. I was in college working on my degrees and working 3 jobs trying to make ends meet. Life was moving at a fast pace. I was making progress. I used the time to celebrate my wins and focus on what I could do better.
For me, Labor Day weekend each year was my New Years. It was the time to reset. It was right before, or at the beginning of, the fall semester.
The last trip I made to the ADK was in 2019. Somehow, there was this feeling inside me like I knew it would be my last visit there.
Then the pandemic hit.
Instead of celebrating wins, change, and goals, I’m back to trying to survive. Yes, I did have some big wins this past year. My novella is published. I now have 25 medals. I only have to earn one more medal to achieve my goal of 26 medals.
The biggest win is the fact that I am still alive in the middle of a global pandemic and that the cats and I are still together.
I’m not sure if I will survive another 10-14 years that I need to outlive the cats. There is so much death right now. I am not privileged enough to think I will escape death. After all, I am on the government euthanasia list. The death clinic called me daily for 7 weeks straight in the fall of 2021 trying to schedule my euthanasia appointment.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to access healthcare in this pandemic. How do you live for another 10-14 years without access to healthcare?
My one goal in life is to outlive the cats so I can take care of them and keep them together. For the first time in my life, I have a goal that I am not sure I can achieve. As the covid situation becomes increasingly dire in this country, I just don’t see myself living for another decade.
I have decided that I will no longer do a Year in Review for New Year’s. There is no reason to document or reflect on things that went well or things I can improve. I have one goal. That goal is to survive. As long as I survive to live another year, that is the only thing I have to celebrate.
All my hopes and dreams mean nothing without the cats. I cannot achieve anything without my health. Since the health of the entire human race is in peril right now, my only goal is survival.
If I can outlive the cats, then I will dream. I will leave the country. But right now, as long as I can survive another year and take care of my cats, that is all I need for a New Year’s goal.
So here is to the New Year. I survived 2022. May I survive 2023 as well.