2018 | 2019

Image Description: Weathered stone cemetery statue of a woman dressed in a draped dress holding a wreath. Green trees in background.

My great-grandmother was born in 1918. She passed away at the age of 88 in 2006. Though I did spend time with my great-grandmother when I was growing up, most of her life was a secret to me. I knew she worked for many years at a restaurant until it closed one day so she came home, threw her shoes away, and retired. I knew she wore her wedding ring after my great-grandfather had died young and she still believed she was married to him. I knew she made the best Christmas peanut butter fudge. I knew most of her life was lived under a shroud of alcoholism and abuse and I’ll never know the whole story.

I’ve thought about my great-grandmother a lot this year. She was born 100 years ago. As 2018 draws to a close, I realize that once this year is gone, it will be just as unreachable to us as 1918. Once a year has passed, you never get it back. Once a lifetime has passed, you never get it back.

2018 was a year of healing for me. I refer to 2017 as the worst year of my life because, in many ways, it was. There were certainly some things in my life I was grateful for in 2017, but overall I just remember a lot of sickness, shame, disgust, and pain.

In 2018 I started sewing my life back together. I hit the lowest part of my life in 2017 and in 2018 I took that perspective to truly go after the things I need to be happy and healthy.

Some things were fun: writing and publishing in genres I thought were too “weird” to write in (hello, mpreg). Investing in studio grade equipment for my video reviews and other projects. Wearing dresses literally every day of my life.

Other things were not as fun but they have definitely been worth it: taking control of my nutrition and working out. My husband helped put together a weightlifting regimen and I’ve been doing seated wheelchair aerobics, which work very well for me. I’m going to smash all my 2018 obstacles with a kettle ball swing then eat them with spinach on top.

Still other things were a mix of the sweet and the bitter. My husband and I sold, donated, and threw out everything in our house we didn’t use or need. I gave up things I’ve been holding onto for decades and some of that was difficult. But the clarity and peace of being organized has been amazing.

I also returned to working at a library after a three and a half year absence. Though it’s been hard being in a part time position, not having health insurance, and cutting my income in half, I have felt at home being back in a library and I can get my career back on track by working in the field again.

Finally, the reason you’re here, I took some time to evaluate what I wanted The Unlaced Librarian to be. There was a short time in which I considered deleting everything and not continuing. But my drive to read, promote, and share sex books has not diminished. And after a lot of growing, learning, and setting some boundaries, I think I can do just that while still maintaining a balance in my life and a dignity with my ever-changing outlook on the world.

I was planning my relaunch of The Unlaced Librarian for November of 2018, but the year wasn’t quite done with me yet. My husband was in a car accident and though he is making a full recovery, it really slowed down our production schedule as he now runs most of the technical side of The Unlaced Librarian. I also received some news about my day job that has been very stressful and won’t be resolved for another month or two.

In the past I threw things together and put it out there even if it was rough around the edges. And for just starting out, that was okay. I learned, sometimes the hard way, from my mistakes.

Now, I’m going to take my time to do things as best as I can. I would rather push back the relaunch rather than make any major compromises.

Because for the first time ever I have the energy, the resources, the experiences, and the attitude I need to not *have* to make major compromises in my life. Something I would have never had if I had grown up in my great-grandmother’s lifetime. Something I did not have even a couple years ago.

I don’t have any goals or resolutions for 2019 other than to continue to nurture the seeds I’ve planted in my life up until now. The year ahead is the last we have before the one-hundred year anniversary to the roaring twenties. And, oh, baby, am I ready. Because it’s my lifetime now. And I’m not going to let it get away.

So, please, stay tuned. I’ll make it, somehow. See you then.

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