NEW New Year’s Eve is Jan 31st, just FYI.

I’m redoing NYE on Friday.
Do you want to know why?

In a nutshell, 2019 was mostly balls. Not like, juggling balls of excitement. More like, the hairy, sweaty, crusty balls of whatever mammalian species you choose to envision (little cute fluffy forest bunnies, probably not included in that list). Suffice it to say — the 2nd half of the year was pretty crappy, and ended on a spectacularly horrible note.

The months from June to December 2019 brought the following highlights:

* My beloved dog Sasha, 14, suddenly had heart, liver, and kidney failure, lingered in bouts of misery, and had to be put down the day before my first full-on no-kids airplane related vacation in literally 15 years. That was just lovely, excellent timing.

* My ex bf (now forever referred to as False Captain Wentworth) broke up with me for reasons still ambiguous — notably, the cliche of “it’s not you, it’s me” was cited. (Are you all gagging collectively? Yes? Thank you.)

* I broke bones for the 2nd time in my life — also since moving here to New England, but entirely not ice related this time. I managed to break 2 bones on the left side of my left foot. I didn’t realize I had broken it, I thought it was a bad sprain until I got an x-ray WEEKS later. My bedroom is on the 2nd floor BTW, and my office is in the basement. Stairs suddenly became MY ARCH NEMESIS for quite a while. I now intimately know why senior citizens with mobility issues need single story homes. (Or just those of us who don’t have larger adults to help them up and down stairs!)

* November brought INTENSE, and ENTIRELY RIDICULOUS family drama surrounding Thanksgiving that I will not even document here so as not to incriminate those (total nutjobs) involved. However, despite the reasons for the drama being baseless, illogical and toxic, the stress was still extreme, and not able to be ignored. Happy Holidays!!

* Speaking of Happy Holidays. December brought a great deal of freelance work for me (huzzah!) and a pretty decent Christmas after the horrors of November. Until, quite suddenly, my half sister was discovered dead in her apartment after Christmas from what the coroner suspects was a heart attack.

There was no will, no access to funds, and no pre-done funeral arrangements. I am on the opposite coast and arranged everything remotely for what ended up being 21 days of the most intense panic-attack inducing stress I have every had, aside from my divorce, but much more concentrated as time was of the essence. When you get a call on New Years Eve night that arrangements need to be made for your sister’s body to be sent SOMEWHERE (when you thought that was being handled) — you fully realize there is no downtime in that process. So I rang in the new year alternately weeping and panicking and wondering why this had all been thrust upon me all of a sudden.

The funeral (3 weeks and $9,000 later) brought little resolution as my older living sister (also on west coast) who was needed to attempt to finalize my deceased sister’s estate — RAN AWAY, the morning after the funeral. (You can’t even make this stuff up folks.) She checked out of her hotel, hopped a bus, and took off. Police in 2 cities were called. Hospitals in 2 cities were called. Her home phone appeared to be unplugged and no one at her home. Three days later, the police finally caught her — she had/has been hiding inside her home since the funeral. Hiding from all of us, including from police who made multiple welfare checks but had not broken the door to enter. She still hasn’t made contact with anyone, and thusly our deceased sister’s affairs are in disarray to the point that I guess her mail is even bouncing back to senders and bills are just compounding, etc. At the publication of this post, there is still not even a death certificate I can use to at least notify social security she has passed as the funeral home insists on handing them directly to my incommunicado west coast sister (next of kin) instead of the family friend who actually paid for the bulk of the funeral arrangements. It is a cluster F of the highest magnitude.

Please note: MAKE A WILL. CHOOSE RELIABLE EXECUTORS. And if at all humanly possible, have prepaid funeral plans or easily accessed money set aside for your funeral (I’m an expert on this now — for cremation — have about 10K, if you want embalming and all that you are really looking at closer to 20K!). One day (you know, 100 years from now when we pass on) we want our family to be able to grieve correctly, not be incurring PTSD or going socially catatonic from the stress of our departing. Sudden grief is horrible ENOUGH. Do not make your relatives make a gofundme page for you while grieving (I know 2 people who did this). Please leave your things in order if at all humanly possible.

Anyway! So since my shitty 2019 couldn’t even end on a clean note of refreshment and renewal and most of my bright new January was a flaming hot manic mess, I’m re-doing NYE this Friday January 31st 2019(+1), and my new year will begin February 1, 2020. Just FYI.

I sincerely pray for a stress-free year full of good things, including most of all excellent health for all of us and our loved ones, and a positive outlook on the days and years to come. Also, go hug your beloved and tell them they are friggin’ awesome. ❤

And with that,
it is most *definitely* time for a coffee,
perhaps in France. Something!

–Maddy