Karen Janowsky

Superheroes in Love

Hey 2020: What on Earth were you thinking?!

We are finally in the home stretch for what has got to be the weirdest, and for many of us, the most difficult year ever. So much suffering happened, whether it was because of a loved one (or yourself) contracting a debilitating, potentially deadly disease, or because of job loss, or myriad other things that could have gone wrong in 2020. The list of things that went wrong seems somehow more devastating this year than most.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you already know my slant on the politics of it all. However, at the end of the day…at the end of the year, really, we all are just human beings trying to muddle through this lifetime, and this was a rough year.

For me, it hasn’t been all bad. I’m fortunate, and I know it, and I’m grateful. So, for this blog, I just want to share the counting of my blessings.

–My fourth book, probably the best written one so far, comes out mid-December. I’m so proud of the work, and so glad people have shown interest.

–I turned fifty in November. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. I don’t feel fifty. I forget that I’m not in my thirties until I actually spend time with people much younger than me, and then realize how much I’ve changed—and how much I’ve remained the same—since then. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a little freaked out over the number, and I’ve doubled down on my wrinkle serums and my supply of hair color. On the other hand, I’ve gained so much perspective in the past twenty or so years. I can’t complain. I’ve still got a lot planned.

–We’ve added a sixth cat to the family. He’s a Maine Coon kitten who I’ve named Catsanova (see what I did there?!), and he makes me smile all the time. I’d also thought of naming him in the superhero tradition: Robert Meowney Jr., but my husband and son nixed that idea.

–I still got to take two trips, all by myself, to meet a friend and spend a few days at a time in the middle of nowhere hanging out, catching up, and working on writing stuff. The poem in this month’s newsletter is a product of one of those trips, and a new, collaborative work in progress has developed from the other.

–I was laid off from all three of my yoga jobs, which bummed me out (and still does). Teaching yoga was my happy place, and I’ll admit, my personal practice has suffered since the job loss. My big resolution this year, aside from the usual, “lose ten pounds, manage my time better, procrastinate from writing a lot less,” is to remember why I began doing yoga in the first place. It made me feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. I got certified to teach because at the time, there weren’t many yoga teachers near where I lived. I have a much better idea of what I’m doing now. It’s time to take up my personal practice again.

–I eventually picked up a few writing courses to teach, and that made up for a good deal of the income loss. I remembered that writing was my first love, and I love teaching (most of the time, anyway).

–When social distancing restrictions were rolled back a bit over the summer and fall, I was able to see one of my friends and resume our weekly lunch date via takeout rather than a restaurant, which I really think saved me psychologically. I don’t leave the house much otherwise, these days. Lunches are on hold again for now, but it’s okay.

–I was able to stay in touch with most friends via social media as well. While occasionally things got dicey with politics, we were there for each other more than ever when push came to shove, I think.

–I am surrounded by people who love me, we’re all alive, and we’re all healthy. Above all else, this is what counts most. Nothing else much matters without that.

–Finally, there’s you guys, my subscribers, who have stuck with me, accepted my newsletters every month, bought or borrowed the books, left reviews, and have supported my work. I can’t even tell you how humbled I am.

I’m wishing you all the health and happiness you can possibly have this holiday season and New Year. You deserve it. Be well. As Ram Dass so beautifully put it, in this lifetime, here and now, “We’re all just walking each other home.”