Wait a minute. Shouldn't the title be, "My Year in Review"? As in "Cannon's Greatest Hits from 2014"? All my writing achievements? All my running achievements? All the great and wonderful things I've done, seen, and experienced?
Well, who really cares about that other than me? And isn't it a little selfish at the end of the year to focus on only the things I've done and my achievements? What about all the amazing great and horrible things that have happened this year to other folks?
Folks like some good friends of mine who finally ... FINALLY ... have a daughter to adopt after years of having children placed in their home then ripped from their arms?
Folks like a friend of mine who had the courage to leave an abusive relationship, the courage to learn to love again, and the courage to get married?
Folks like my father who turned 80 who can still outwork any single 30 year old man I know simply out of willpower?
Folks like my 69 year-old mother who can power walk a 43 minute 5k and pick five gallon buckets of pecans the next day?
Folks like my brothers-in-law who both had colon surgery within a month of each other (different reasons), survived, and still kept the family business running. Amazing.
Folks like people in my running community who ran 500 miles, 1000 miles, 1821 miles (his number and the number of his daughter who died from cancer), 2400 miles and those I know who qualified to run the Boston Marathon? Again. Yes, I know people who can run that fast.
Folks like the people who own the local running store who help anyone and everyone who come in with advice and support?
However, this year wasn't without pain.
A friend of mine in his 30s died of the flu. It was sudden and all too real.
A friend of mine lost her father. Another lost her husband. Another is going through a difficult divorce.
One niece's husband's father just died. He was a grandfather and a pillar in the community. He'd survived cancer years longer than they expected, seeing his children grow and his grandchildren born. He died New Year's Eve.
Another niece's husband's grandmother died, too. His job wouldn't allow him to take off work to go to the funeral. So much for "family oriented business."
I know of people who work hard every day in service jobs who are underpaid, under-appreciated, and looked down on as "lesser citizens" by others when they are just as worthy human beings as everyone else.
My mother-in-law is in constant pain and none of the doctors know why or how to help her.
Teachers, nurses, firefighters, policemen: people who make it their JOB to help others and are bashed daily for their incompetence based on the behavior of a public few.
BUT WHY IS THIS IN A BLOG ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY METAPHORS?
Because, dear readers, metaphors are a reflection of our lives. We need to live the story, both good and bad. We can't bury our heads in the sand and ONLY count our trophies at the end of the year and proclaim "I won! I won!" without losing some part of our humanity. As an introvert I'm guiltier than most about hunkering down and hiding when my emotions are overwhelmed, but perhaps that's when I need to get out there and truly feel what others are feeling. Because, dear reader, how am I supposed to write if I can't experience what I'm writing about? And if I lose touch with the world and stop caring, what good am I as a person?
Just some revisionist thoughts on this dawning of a new year. Make it one you're proud to have lived through.
The Anthology Building Red: The Colonisation of Mars
is due to be published summer of 2015 by Walrus Publishing.
Watch for updates and announcements.
If you haven't yet, check out Paradigm Rift a new book by Randy McWilson.
Conspiracy, alternative history, time travel, sci/fi, and thriller never had it so good!
Looking for some steampunk? Check out Brad Cook's Iron Horseman
(I'll be writing a review of it, soon.)