Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Year of Suck and Awesome

I told myself that the next time I posted, it would be something funny and semi-irreverent, something old-school Carol and totally inane.

And then I got the news that we'd had a death in the family. That two people I love very much had just suffered a very tragic, very devastating, unexpected loss.

Things were kind of tough for a while. Less for me than for others. But.

I was still so sad, you know?

So. I haven't posted. I made lasagna instead. Like a stupidhead. Like that fixes a damn thing. Like their freezer wasn't already packed full of food.

Then yesterday, I went out by myself. Sat in my car in a parking lot listening to the windshield wipers going swish swash, swish swash. I rested my head on the steering wheel and watched headlights pass by.

Eventually, my thoughts turned from the funeral to my children. How Bigger Bean said to me the other day, "I'm glad you're not like other moms." How Little Bean likes to brush my hair with lotion and reach into my coat pockets digging for Hershey Kisses. How my radio is almost always set to Radio Disney and how my calendar is jam packed with my children's names and how there's almost always a light on in my house or noise to remind me how not alone I am.

Right around the time I remembered my children laughing about their creative alterations to the lyrics of Jingle Bells, I realized: 2011 is not The Year of Suck. It is merely 2011, in which Suck happened right along with Awesome. Here's the epiphany I had:

Suck can only outweigh Awesome if I press a thumb to Suck's scale.

So. I chose: happiness. And then I went home.

2012, be there suck or awesome, I'm going to be happy then, too.

*************

P.S. Here's a bunch of other stuff.

Dude. I'm on Inky Fresh Press. Bridgid Gallagher, editor and founder of IFP, interviewed me, asking really pointed questions about my upcoming trip to Haiti. Some of those questions were super hard to answer. Some of them...uncomfortable? But also awesome. It wasn't until this interview that I really even had an inkling of why. Or even stopped to think about how it all came about. If you're curious, wondering WTF someone like me is even going to do in a medical work camp in Haiti...and what I hope to accomplish there, well, go visit Inky Fresh Press. It's all there, all the stuff I didn't post in my Haiti blog post.

But don't check out Inky Fresh Press just for my interview. See what Bridgid and others have to say about writing and publishing. They also host author interviews and giveaways--and they're currently looking for guest bloggers for next year. Cool, yeah? Go go go!

AND

MAJOR congratulations are in order for Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner on their pretty damn massive 
book deal. Here--check it out (click on the image to see the full display).



WOOOO-HOOOOOO!! I'm a little late to wish them both well, but I hope they'll forgive me. Although I'd be just as thrilled for them even if they held a grudge (which they won't, because they're amazing). Can't wait to read this new series. Sounds supreme.

AND

MAJOR congratulations to Robin Bernstein Reul on her new agented status! Robin recently signed with Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman Literary. YES!! Way to go, Robin! Best wishes on this next leg of your publishing journey...

AND

MAJOR congratulations to Shelli Johannes-Wells (S.R. Johannes) on the release of her new YA UNTRACEABLE, which debuted at #10 on Amazon's Hot New ebook Releases. Fantastic! So happy for Shelli!

Okay, that's all for now. Come back tomorrow. I've got something for you.

38 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful, utterly true sentiment: "Suck can only outweigh Awesome if I press my thumb to Suck's scale." Even though we all have wonderful things and people in our lives, choosing to focus on them is exactly that: a choice! And a wise one. I love this post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So sorry. Loss is so hard especially when we see others hurting. I hope 2012 is filled with less suck! But we really don't mind these posts either!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a great way to look at sucky times though sometimes hard when you're in the middle of them. But they do come with life. I've had some and am going through one now. Trying to stay upbeat. Thanks for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so sorry, Carol. I'm thinking of you and hoping 2012 is full of more awesome than suck. Have a wonderful holiday and hold your kids tight. <3

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your attitude and perspective, Carolina. Many awesome blessings to you and your family at this time and in the new year!

    ReplyDelete
  6. *hugs* for everything you've gone through this year and for your attitude. And it's great you've got those wonderful memories of your daughters. It's the little details that really count.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so sorry for the lost of your family members!
    We choose to be happy or miserable. Glad you've decided on happiness.
    And this would've been an excellent post for the IWSG today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so sorry for your loss Carol, even if it might have been harder for others than it was for you. I've lost a lot of people in my life, but thank god I've never had to endure losing a child. That's not something I could handle.

    You're right though, there is no light without darkness, no joy without sorrow, and I think you're wise to remember to focus on the balance between them, rather than one or the other.

    I'm on my way to read your interview. I miss you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can't find your post on Inky Fresh. Maybe it's not up yet?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your interview at Inky Fresh is up now! Yay! Awwww I just know the kids there will love you and will be forever with you! Your own kids sound just lovely!Awesomeness always wins though.

    I'm sorry for your loss too. Hugs! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a beautiful, and true post. I'm do sorry for your loss. I'm wishing you much peace & happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So true! Both happen, but we choose what we dwell on and how it affects our outlook. Good for you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Toronto, we'll see in you in less than a year ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'll admit, I've been wallowing a lot this year, when I should be appreciating what I've got.

    Thanks for the reminder, Carol. Sorry for your loss, but I'm glad you have enough love in your life to stay positive! (hugs)

    ReplyDelete
  15. So true! Thank you for saying this. Happiness is so important. It's why we're here. And even though suck happens, we can get through it and appreciate the happy on the other end of it.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you so much Carol!!!! You're so sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for the awesome mention, Carol! I am so glad you were up for the interview! It was 100% my pleasure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Suck happens. I'm glad you're finding a way to defang it. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  19. I had a very similar epiphany last week. My 3mo nephew had a very serious medical situation and had to be airlifted to Seattle for emergency surgery. He made it, but it just made me hug my children tighter and gave me a new perspective about my other ambitions. All that to say, I know how you feel!

    ReplyDelete
  20. {{hugs}} Attitude makes all the difference in the world. Trust me, I know. Still, it's okay to wallow in grief just a little. As long as you remember to climb out of the quagmire. <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. Life is what we make of it. Tragedy is awful but it is also a good time to remind us to seize and appreciate life. I'm so happy you found that light in the darkness.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm so sorry for you... I hope everything will be OK...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a family member who always focuses on the bad. When ever I leave I say to myself, "I choose to be happy. It's the right choice." I'm sorry for your sadness, but am so glad you see that it is only a part of life. I'm off to read your interview now.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh lady, I just love this outlook. From one person keeping her thumb off the suck scale to another.

    Hang in there and remember:

    -Lasagna is always a good idea.
    -Lotion isn't so great for hair but is great for memories.
    -You are so loved.

    Big fat Hershey kisses to you. And your pockets.
    XO

    ReplyDelete
  25. Carol, I'm sorry for your loss. But I love your outlook. I have been lamenting that 2011 has been a sucky year, but the truth is, so much awesome has happened, and I need to remember that. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Inspirational as always, Carol. I'm sorry to hear about the loss you've been through, but you're right: Suck can always outweigh awesome if we let it. 2011 has been quite a challenging year for me as well, but I'm going to adopt your outlook on it: It's just 2011. Hopefully 2012 will be slightly *less* challenging. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. It is our choice, isn't it, Carol? I'm so glad you chose happiness! *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  28. (cue my off-key singing and whistling) Always look on the bright side of life... :D

    There is so much to be happy about in 2011...not the least of which is a good moisturizing hair brushing. :) (i love having my hair brushed, played with)

    Love you,
    L

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love it. There are sad things in life, but things just keep moving on. Enjoy these days and keep a positive eye on what's to come. Happy is a good mindset to have.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  30. Really appreciate your reflections, Carolina. First, how'd I find you...was over in GoodReads (I'm darn new) and saw you linked to another reader and bounced to your blog and stopped...and then left...and then came back and read. About your loss. About your decisions for the awesome. I had two thoughts. First, wow, I'm thankful for people like you...you will help those in grief and help those around you with joy. Second thought...my gosh, there are lot of writers I don't know about. Glad to get a hint of you. By background, I'm a United Methodist pastor...a favorite perspective of mine comes from writer Frederick Buechner: "In the Kingdom of God, the worst news is never the last news." Toss out the religious sensibilities...suck can never overcome the awesomeness of life. Write on!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I choose to focus on the awesome, and I'm happy you've chosen to do so as well! ^_^ Besides, we met each other this year, so that alone should weigh down the "Awesome" side just a wee bit ;)

    love you, dear friend xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  32. You are so very right about not letting the suck outweigh the awesome. Sometimes it's hard but we have to choose the happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm so sorry for your loss. And yes, I agree we can focus our perspective on the negative things or lean towards the positive, so glad you're kicking suck in the butt.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sorry for your loss. I'm so glad that you saw that there was a lot more good than bad in 2011. Your kids sound so sweet. May 2012 be all that you want it to be.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thaaaaank you for the shout out! Now I'm one step closer to my very own CVM review! And think of me for a moment wrapping you up in a huge hug. I'm so sorry for your family's news--you've been in my thoughts.

    Choose happiness, and choose awesome. 2012 is going to be a good year.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Man, Carol, I've had the same kind of year: Suck and Awesome. So many tears over a couple of tragedies in my family as well as excitement over my unexpected major book deal. So much craziness. So much travel visiting family. It IS hard. The emotional ups and downs. Trying to stay sane.

    YOU are so awesome to go to Haiti, too! I read your post about that and gosh, girl, you are brave and generous and completely amazing. I am donating right now so you can bring medicine and supplies. I can't wait to hear about your experiences there next month. Wishing you a lovely Christmas and the BEST of New Years!
    xoxo,
    Kimberley

    ReplyDelete
  37. Aw sweetie - I am so sorry. I am just catching up on posts over the last couple of weeks. I love you and Im sorry for your loss. :( Thanks for the shout out!

    ReplyDelete

Make your comment stand out. Use bold words. Or italics. Whatever.