The Aftermath of “All Hell Broke Loose”


A couple weeks before Christmas, my side of the family blew apart.

Without going into details, the fact is the whole family dynamic shifted. The drama was a long time in coming, but unexpected in it’s method of arrival, and certainly didn’t end in a satisfying way for much of the family. Really, when do these things ever?

Once the immediate fallout cleared, I was still reeling, bouncing back and forth between confusion, deep anger, sadness, numbness. Normal stuff. But it also capped a half year of lows and I was sick to death of it all.

Then goal-oriented New Years’ rolled around.

Not surprising, it served as a catalyst. Life does have a way of jerking us back to focus on what’s important, doesn’t it? Suddenly, ferreting out who left cracker crumbs all over the living room furniture and making them pay wasn’t so imperative.

I thought about the progress I’ve made over the last few years breaking myself out of bad patterns of thought and behavior — and felt pretty good.

However, before the family crisis, I had generally felt stagnant, bored, worried. At the time, I blamed it on burn-out from revising my novel, stress, the dismal state of the country and it’s finances. There’s always something. But after D-Day I didn’t think it was only that.

Maybe I needed some big honkin’ goals.

For a long time, I shied away from making serious goals and plans. It seemed silly to make 5yr, 10yr, 20yr goals when all it takes is a pink slip or a catastophic illness or an asshole in the family to drop everything out from under you. Besides, “it’s all about the journey.” Right?

Yes and no. Or, rather, it takes a little bit of both. At least for me. Yes, I know my Libra roots are showing (I can’t get away from those damn balance scales!).

I find it very easy to slip into reacting to life around me, rather than actively living it. Maybe I plateaued, like in exercise. I came a long way, but need to go further to feel the benefit.

I thought about it, and, with some help from Jennifer at Inkybites, finally admitted to some pretty big goals brewing in the back of my mind for some time. Bigger than anything I let myself dream of before. Scary big. Energizing.

But if I jump too fast or too deep…well…There Be Madness. For me, that is. I envy people who can just dive right into things and make a success of them. But I don’t operate that way.

I need to start with little cat feet. (Baby steps have become so cliche, don’t you think?)


As a matter of fact I WAS looking for another excuse to show off my kitty. Aren’t his little cat feet cute!

Small goals over time will add up to my big stuff in the end. Some of these I plan to share in future posts.

And if the big stuff changes over time, so be it. It’s not written in stone. It’s a work in progress. Like me.

But I plan to aim high.

Honestly, it’s taken two weeks, three different starts, and lots of editing to get this one banged out, so feel free to discuss whatever strikes your fancy. Have a nice day 🙂

image courtesy of Cavin at Flickr


15 comments on “The Aftermath of “All Hell Broke Loose”

  1. Ugh, family meltdowns. *hugs*

    Kudos to you on taking the leap to set goals! Just remember, it’s important to focus on what you DO and not obsess over what you may not achieve in any given year.


    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thanks for the hugs, Leah. No worries. In fact, I wrote out a list of what I accomplished last year, even though I thought it was a bad, bad year. Turns out, I got more done than I thought!


  2. Taking life lessons from a cat can’t be a bad thing. They never work and everyone loves them.


  3. Angela says:

    Family drama is very tiring and somewhat traumatizing especially if it starts over nothing or out of nowhere. You have my sympathy. Our family dramas always seem to start up around holidays. I’ve got to where I dread them. The holidays, I mean. And it’s always from one person.

    She was sick Thanksgiving and Christmas so beyond making sure she had everything she needed it was a wonderful and peaceful break. That sounds awful doesn’t it? It’s sad the entire family felt that way. We love her but she’s so difficult and unhappy. There’s nothing we can do except love her anyway and deal the best we can.


    • E.K. Carmel says:

      It’s amazing how destructive one person can be. For years, I’ve hated the holidays for that very reason. I’m glad yours were so peaceful this year! Don’t worry how it sounds. You aren’t the one making everyone miserable.


    • Liberty says:

      "In defence of the barber in question, who should have been honest, society teaches white people they cannot say ANYTHING regarding race without getting in treehlu."pub-leezo.White people say stupid clueless shit about race all the time.They just hate being challenged about it.


    • Bill, if you think Cameron was bad, and he was, wait until Osborne gives his December statement. All indications are that it will be awful, a further egregious attack on the poor, with all the usual bullshit justifications.


  4. Sorry to hear about this. Hopefully it’s nothing too destructive?

    As for goals, as foolish as they can be, I find it helpful to set overarching aims, to avoid getting lost in the minutiae of day to day plans (get this blog post finished, finish this chapter, etc.) Adding something bigger can stop you getting bogged down.


    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I have to agree on getting mired in the minutiae. For me it’s a bit of a balancing act. I needed something big to break me out of my funk, but I also need to break the steps down to make it manageable.


  5. I know what you mean. One day, I just realized that I had to start doing things to make me happy and haven’t looked back since.

    All the best!


  6. Phil says:

    Families are God’s way of telling us to get out more

    But what about these big scary goals? Are you going to tell us or just keep teasing us?


    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Hehe – need to get out more, yes, I have to agree. As for the big, scary goals – those have undergone a bit of a change which I’m going to address in an upcoming post. I am sorry to be such a tease!


      • Clarinda says:

        Steve Montador is 33 yrs old and has been out for about a yr due to a consucsion, I seriously doubt he will be playing NHL hockey anytime soon. I’m not sure the CBA rules on buying an injuried player out but its doubtful( in my opinion) he suits up for the Hawks this season.


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