Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Year In Review

Boy, I had a lot of posts planned for this month. I had at least three Generic Ensign Vlogs planned as well as a holiday post and a couple of specific episodes I just really wanted to write about. I even made a Trek-themed mince pie!

But then a bunch of life happened. I got really sick. None of those well-intentioned December posts materialized.

Still, I didn't want to leave off this year without at least mentioning something about 2016 and My Year of TNG coming to a close. I'm just about finished with the series. In spite of the fact that I haven't been writing, I have been watching. I intend to watch All Good Things as I ring in 2017.

But before I do that, here's everything I have to say about 2016:
I started out the year with the intention of watching TOS but quickly realized I just didn't have the enthusiasm for it that I'd hoped and, by February, I'd switched over to my old friend TNG. It helped to comfort me when both of my grandmothers died within a couple weeks of one another. And it was there when my no-longer-convenient-to-ignore health issues led me to seeking and getting my Ehlers Danlos diagnosis. Suddenly I understood why a lot of things that frustrated me about my health, my body, my weightlifting were the way they were. And I understood that it was a problem that wouldn't ever just go away. Just as I'd finally got around to coming to terms with that I banged up my wrist and couldn't write or draw. And just when my wrist was nearly healed I started having strange, sudden, nauseating pain in both hands. This went on for six months. In and out of doctors. In and out of Physical Therapy. In and out of my blog. In and out of my house, taking long, long walks because I had to burn off my creative energy somehow and using my hands just wasn't an option. All the while I wondered, but really didn't talk about, whether my career as an artist, an essayist, a writer was about to be over at the age of thirty-two. Nothing seemed to help. Not exercise, massage, heat, cold, anti-inflammatories, or rest. I was frustrated. I cried a lot. I complained to my friends but not nearly as much as I wanted to, not nearly as much as I could and maybe should have. I poured myself into Generic Ensign and that, at least, was a welcome respite.

Now the year is nearly over. At the end of November I realized that I'd also been having some neck issues and wondered if it might be connected to my hands. I went to my doctor and she said, "How long has your neck been hurting?" I said that I didn't know. Things are always hurting. I have a chronic condition and I'm a power-lifter and workaholic with pathologically atrocious posture so it's tough to say. She perscribed a neck collar and physical therapy and I got rid of the foam pillow I'd purchased in May (a week before my hand pain started, I realized) and my hands, I'm happy to say, began to get better. It looks like there's a possibility that the pain is mostly caused by a pinched or inflamed nerve in my neck. Two months ago, I couldn't have imagined writing this post. I couldn't type for more than twenty minutes without excruciating pain. Now the pain is still there but it's in the background, easing in and out, and I worry that it's getting ready to pounce. That this really isn't the answer. I've hoped for so many "the answers" over the last six months and none of them have panned out so I don't want to speak too early and say, "Hooray, it's fixed!" and then catch myself back in the apparently bottomless pit I was in before. I am cautiously optimistic.

I realize, of course, that this post isn't really all that much about Star Trek. But this blog, since it began, has been about half Trek/half me. And the "me" hasn't made much of an appearance lately. So, here I am, telling you about my year. And, yes, in many ways, 2016 was rough. But there were plenty of great things too. I began meditating to cope with my pain and found that I really enjoy it. I started working with a lifting coach who also has EDS and got a new PR in conventional deadlift. I went to the beach by myself and did a ton of watercolors and ate huge slices of greasy pizza. I started riding my bike more often and now I take her (Harriet) out nearly every day. I let my hair knot itself into long ropes and stopped fighting it and now I'm happy with it for the first time in my life. I made new artist and lifter and Trek-fan friends on Instagram. I went hiking with my mom and little brother. I had three comic essays published. I turned in my third novel. I read several great books. I baked bread. I ate cheeseburgers and took long naps and played video games with my husband every Saturday afternoon. I watched Rogue One and cried when the credits rolled. I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation and I was comforted by its enduring message of hope and human compassion.

2016 has been a tough year. For a lot of us. And that sucks. I don't know what 2017 will bring. And that's ok.

I've always said that my greatest, or most beneficial quality, is my adaptability. This year that quality was put to the test and, go figure, I'm still here. So, whatever happens next year or the year after or the year after, I'll figure it out as I go. I'll adapt and keep going because adaptation is, more than a Borg quality, a human quality.

Ok, something extra (because what this post needs is more words) here are the things I loved most in 2016:

3- The Flavia De Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley
4- The Murdoch Mysteries (the Canadian TV show, it's available in the US on Netflix and Hulu in parts and on Acorn nearly whole also on the cable channel, Ovation)
5- People of Earth (the new TBS series)

Go forth and watch/read these things and decide whether you love them as well.


  1. Just think. If Dr. Crusher were here, she could solve this in a minute and a half with a hypospray. Or the EMH could take care of it with Borg nanoprobes. Or Phlox could stick an alien squid to your forehead or something. I think of these things whenever I have to take my kids to the doctor.

    Glad you're writing again!

  2. What a year you had hope the coming one is a great one for you and all you care about


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