2013—My Year In Review
By Dr. Maxine Thompson
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (NLT)
Proverbs 3: 5-6
All year, as I thought I would be following a new dream, I would take one step forward, then two back. The forward step was, I had more editorial clients than I’d had in several years, most of whom showed up in February 2013. Good? Well, there was a plus minus effect. With all this extra work, which I loved, I had to pace myself for health reasons. But I kept having crazy setbacks.
For every set back, I had some perks along the way. I finished my third novel in the series, LA Blues 3, in April, 2013, and it came out in August 2013. I content edited Wahida Clark’s hardback novel, Honor thy Thug, which made the NY Times Best Selling list in April 2013. Also, the novel, I Ain’t Me No More, E.N.Joy’s latest novel, (which I content edited the year before,) won Best Book of the Year award through Ella Curry’s EDC Creations. Congratulations, Wahida and E.N.Joy.
Plus, I began to help clients set up their own publishing companies.
So those were some of my ups. On the downside, though, three writer friends/colleagues died in 2013. May they rest in peace. So that was just a reminder how short and tenuous this thing called life is and that, as writers, we have to get our work published.
But the upside is that, as writers, their words will live on forever. We are mortal, yet our words and our works of art are immortal.
Anyhow, just when my co-producer and I were ready to make some moves on our film project, in July, 2013, I received word from my sister-in-law that her aunt was diagnosed with an advanced stage cancer. Due to my similar symptoms, they both advised I go check myself out. Not thinking about it, and knowing I hadn’t had these preventative tests done in 3 years, (during the time I was care giving for my husband,) I did two tests in one day. To take my mind off the tests, I did something I’d never done here in LA. I went to a free local jazz festival that evening until about 8 p.m. I put the results out my mind. I’d been doing these tests for about 30 years now and they had just about always been okay.
Well, a week later, as I was scheduled to go to the Hollywood Pitch Festival to pitch some books-to- films for other writers (as a literary agent ), I received a letter from the Imaging Clinic, which said I had an abnormal reading….What? My heart started galloping. At first, I freaked out.
Still, the next evening, I went on to the Pitch Festival (I’d spent $700 of my money for this event) and made some good contacts over the weekend, but….)
Talking about the oxygen being taken out the room for the next month. The universe shrank and my world centered around my health for the next 30 days. I felt vulnerable. I felt fragile. I realize how weak we are as human beings, which sometimes I forget. I’m also a senior now, which I forget since I enjoy my work so.
It wasn’t a good look in that I already had 2 brothers—one who, at that time, was still undergoing chemo, but, who thankfully, is in remission now, and another brother’s whose cancer surgery was successful more than 5 years ago, right after a sister who passed almost 6 years ago from 4th stage lung cancer. Considering my family history, (three members out of seven siblings diagnosed with cancer) the odds were not favorable.
Anyhow, I had to go for a more conclusive test. To say I was upset, no, truly scared witless, is an understatement. It took me two weeks to get the strength to even go for the follow-up ultrasound.
At first I froze, but then I took action. During the interim, I read up on the subject. I fasted, became silent, I prayed, I consulted with two different herbalists—I came off meat completely. I juiced. I lost weight.
Now I understand why a lifelong friend’s world has become so claustrophobic since she was diagnosed with a benign slow-growing brain tumor. Your whole world changes with a cancer diagnosis, or even a threat of one.
From this vantage point, you re-evaluate all your priorities. I made a vow. “Lord, if I’m okay, I won’t let anything bother me. I’m going to trust in You to handle everything. I have some dreams I’d like to see come to fruition, but if it’s not to be, let me accept it.”
Well, my prayers were answered and I am fine. The results were negative. From that point on, I try to see life from a higher plane now. Of course, I keep slipping about my vow not to let anything bother me. But it’s made me slow down.
These are my mantras. Take life slower. I can’t let anything or anyone bother me. I can’t push. I have to go with the flow. God is in charge. Not man. Not me.
I still get upset. I still make plans for my dream, and I’m still forging ahead, but I’m not going to forget the lesson.
Life is short. Enjoy each moment. Set boundaries. Exercise the power of No. (I’m saying no to over work. I make time for exercise each week.) I’m saying no to crazy. New motto. “No more room for crazy.”
You don’t have to have everything etched in stone. We are not in charge. God is running the show. Look for the lesson.
1. Women, men, get your exams for cancers (mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, blood work, and Prostate checks) and health check ups on a regular basis. )
2. Last, things work out the best for those who make the best of how things work out.