2013: The year of rebirth.

“2013 has your name written all over it, Scorpio. Thirteen is the number of the Death archetype in the tarot card attributed to your sign. It’s about the death of the outworn aspects of yourself and your life, while the sunrise of rebirth is always waiting on the horizon. Transformation, metamorphosis, passion and sexuality are all heavily pronounced this year for you. Saturn, the great taskmaster, has taken up long-term residency in your stars until 2015 to give you and your life a complete makeover. Add to this the fact that your ruler, Pluto, is in what is known as a ‘mutual reception’ with Saturn (mutual influence by means of swapping signs) and the force for rebuilding your life from its very foundation is doubled. This is a year for uncovering your greatest resourcefulness, and relinquishing any skeletons from your psychic closet. Death and rebirth become daily themes as you shed layers upon layers of the former you.”

This is my horoscope for the year. Normally I take such things with a grain of salt, but this particular prediction sounds really good to me. This is mostly because I have completely control over making it happen, which was already a big goal for the new year anyway. There is no more sitting idly by and allowing yet another year to pass without seizing every opportunity to make my dreams realities. I have to boldly claim my right to do so.

It occurs to me that I kinda hafta bury the old Ginger in order for that to happen.

Death has always scared me. I mean, I know it scares most people… which is why we all walk around in complete denial that it will ever happen to us. We make plans, we talk about the future, we dream; all with the hope we’ll have time to make it all happen.

Ten years ago I realized that time is not guaranteed to us. My first husband, Dan, died at age 43 of a massive heart attack. It was such a shock to lose such a strong person so quickly and so young. I personally thought he was invincible. He had lived through so much that the ongoing joke was he’d stub his toe and drop over dead.

I just never expected it to happen at age 43. There was still so much he had left to do. He had kids he had to see into adulthood (and grandkids beyond.) He had never made some of his life goals a reality, though he did slay some pretty big demons in preparation of such.

It just shocked the mortality right into me that we are not guaranteed a long life, or the realization of our dreams just because we have them. It’s put me on a bit of a deadline since then. I made a bunch of promises to myself what I wanted to do by the time I was 43 so that – if fate should strike a similar blow to me – I would not die unfulfilled.

That year after his death I made a pretty impressive transformation. I lost over 70 pounds, despite some really big pit falls. But then I got complacent again. I got distracted again. The corpse of who I was still hung on my back, weighing me down, and I fell into the same old bad habits and allowed the years to linger. It took my having some serious health issues that removed the status quo of working at a menial job for me to finally make some serious inroads in my career.

There’s nothing like having no plan B to keep you motivated and innovative. In ways I couldn’t expect back in 2003, I managed to find a way to write full time and still bring in a paycheck WITH the writing.

It’s interesting how that happens. If you simply change your perspective, you can turn the negatives into positives. You can find those little hidden pathways in the giant maze of disappointment and discouragement to lead you right back to where you go in ways you never could have foreseen. Miracles lay in wait all around us, all we have to do is pay attention to the opportunities, rather than the problems.

Watching how that has happened in the past few years especially has been pretty cool. Last year was the coolest of all as my writing finally started to build a small but significant audience.

But 43 still loomed. In the back of my mind it was going to be a benchmark year. If I could live through it, I could bypass the curse that had befallen Dan. And I’d never be able to rest easy until November 21, 2013, when I hit the magical age of 44 alive and kicking.

It took reading that horoscope to realize I’ve been looking at death the wrong way. I have been fighting death (and loss) tooth and nail since 1980, when I lost my dad. I don’t like things being over. I cling to things far beyond their usefulness because nothing is sadder to me than finality. And nothing is more final than death.

Yet the only way I can truly give way into this new life is to die to the old one. That girl may be really and truly gone, but a new, stronger, braver woman is born in her place. I can burn those old fears and traumas to the ground and explode from the ashes as a beautiful, new phoenix.

I never have to be over as long as I can be renewed.

I just have to be willing to lay to rest all that I used to be to become what I want to be. To hear, from any source, that this year can be one of transformation to do that – was life-affirming. Instead of worrying about how things will end, I need to focus on how things will start. I need to take that picture of who I want to be and make her happen. No excuses, we’ve already done the emotional work to figure out why I do what I do. I need to make better choices, and that’s all on me now. No more beating myself up for not being someone else, when who I am is pretty darn cool.

Where I am is pretty darn cool. Where I’m headed, cooler still.

When my family headed into 2012, we were in for a rocky year. We flew into it on a wing and a prayer, and the first few months were tough. There were some devastating lows and too many losses to count. Looking back I see the problem. The old life was shaking free, but we were still trying to navigate the future on past failures. It took some pretty big changes, in attitude and behavior, to set us on the right course. I learned how to set boundaries and accept others for who they were (and who they could never be.) As a result, I lost some so-called friends, but the friendships I kept grew stronger and closer in ways I never thought possible.

We were in flux with finances, but once we got real about money and what we needed to do with it, Steven got promoted and I saw my first significant success as a published writer.

If 2012 was a cocoon year, then 2013 can be nothing more than the transformation. Old habits are dead… old expectations are dead… there is nothing to do but emerge a beautiful butterfly ready to stretch her wings.

It’s really hard to do that with a bum back and that same old dead corpse around my neck in the shape of 100 extra pounds.

For me, this year will shed who I was in many ways. And it’s more than time to lay that part of my life to rest. Instead of dreading death, I’m embracing rebirth.

There’s no more wishing, waiting, hoping or fearing. I’m going to make 2013 my year.

This phoenix is ready to rise.


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