Should I say it was inevitable? Should I talk about all the projects I never followed through on? Should I call the Improving Raven Project of 2011 a failure?
No, because I am not self-defeatist. No, because I’ve proven many times now, I can see a project through to its end, and even have good results. No, because I learned from what I accomplished, and even from what I did not attempt.
I had a whole plan laid out for what I’d begin doing each new moon, and how I’d progress. It didn’t happen. I even slid back on some of the good habits I’d begun incorporating. However, I am more and more returning to the healthy habits I initiate. I brush my teeth daily now (I used to forget, or get tired, or get too busy, and ew, I know.) Most days I still remember to take my supplements and get enough water to drink. Some nights (not tonight) I remember to go to bed before midnight.
Also, thanks to a bit of luck or readiness or some divine force, I have a friend in my life who is a certified trainer, who is helping me regain some of my mobility through simple stretches and exercises that re-train my brain. Although my health is far from perfect, I finally feel like I have hope again for the first time in a long while.
Thanks to 2011, I have learned how to garden a little, how my body responds to certain vitamins and enzymes, what certain pains in my body mean, what my limitations and potential are, and how much better it feels to stop eating foods my body finds toxic.
I also learned how important it is to me to make my writing a priority, not just in the creative process itself, but in sharing those stories with the public. I am, at this very moment, quite giddy and nervous. After years of considering submitting excerpts of some of my writing projects to a critiquing workshop at the local sci-fi/fantasy convention (and failing to the make the deadline), I actually put forth the effort, and submitted pieces, which I will then have the opportunity to improve thanks to the work of people already succeeding in the field. I’ve also submitted short stories to several publications. While nothing’s been bought, thus far, I’ve received helpful feedback from several of the editors, some of whom encouraged me to submit for future collections.
As for 2011, it wasn’t the failed end of the Improving Raven Project, it was just the beginning of what will be an on-going journey to dance again, minimize the obstacles created by chronic illness, add beauty to the world through art, and take all the other steps to get me from where I began to the person I want to see in the mirror every morning.