2015 in Review

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So, this is the time of year that I generally do a big end of year wrap-up and some resolutions for the New Year, and this year will be no different! It’s a little late and a little abbreviated because my December 31st ended up far busier than I planned for it to be. So, without further ado:

(Note: This was originally written as one post but has been split in two for easier readability, since it ended up so long. This post has my Year in Review. Here are my goals for the New Year.)

The Year in Review

2015 was a year that ended up being a crazy see-saw ride of ups and downs that probably ended with little Timmy hitting his head and his mother suing the city for allowing such a dangerous toy at the park. (It has now been replaced with a foam brick that is bolted in place. Timmy managed to break his arm jumping off of this onto the soft rubber padding that replaced the wood chips five years ago. Legislation from his mother is pending.)

Some of the big ups include:

– Getting to see not one, but TWO of my stories hit print. The Ones We Leave Behind was accepted last year but came out this year in the Tales from the Stop anthology. It was my first story ever accepted for publication, and I’m so excited to see it out there in the world. His Name Was Pumpkin Spice was a blast to write and is now in the Coffee: Hot anthology. It was accepted this year, which means I had one whole story get accepted this year. Woo hoo! It also meant I got to write outside my usual genre, which was really fun and now I want to do it again.

– Meeting PK. This is a personal romantic thing, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail (sorry, all 1.5 readers), but PK has been great and wonderful and so supportive of me in all my endeavours, even when he thinks they might be a little crazy. So yeah. Definitely an up. 🙂

– Figuring out my next step career wise. I will be off to get an MLIS degree in the spring, which meant a lot of research and applications and freaking out about what schools to apply to and which not to. But I love books and I love helping out people, so being a librarian seemed like a good fit. I’ll start classes at SJSU in about a month, and while I’m rather nervous about doing this whole grad school thing, I am very excited indeed.

– I started weightifting and have been working out overall much more consistently this year, which has been a positive change. I’ve been in pretty good shape since about halfway through college, but going more regularly instead of my usual 3 months on a couple months of 3 months on again has been very good.

– Lots of travel. Even if it was mostly to Idaho, I traveled more on my own (and more solo, at least in the getting to/from the destination) than I had in years previous. This probably helped me grow as a person or something. 😛

– Writing! My writing group (go Team Tentacle!) continues to be amazing and supportive and kind. I feel like I haven’t pushed my writing as much as I should have, or submitted enough places, but I continue to make progress on both those fronts and hope to kick it into high gear next year. Though that sort of talk is for the next part of this post… I should also note that my total word count for this last year (except for a few hundred words I haven’t transcribed out of one of my notebooks) is 314676. Not all of it’s good, and some of it was technically completed after midnight last night, but I was definitely able to sling some words this year and seeing that total feels good.

Big downs, which I will probably dwell on less include:

– My anxiety roared back in a huge way this year, and took on new and insidious forms. I’ve found some decent ways of coping, thanks in large part to having restarted therapy, but it still feels like a slow downhill slide. (The recent very short and cold days probably haven’t helped anything, as SAD affects me pretty hard some years.) This next year I’ll be continuing therapy and hope to try out some meds, which might help.

– I’ve had stomach issues for a while, and this was my first full year on the low-FODMAP diet. It hasn’t been a magic bullet that cures all ills, and while it is definitely helping, that’s still somewhat disappointing. (I couldn’t realistically expect it to magically solve my problems, but hope springs eternal.) The main down of this has been that being on such a finicky diet has been pretty isolating at times. It’s a real bummer when nice people make food for you or a group and you have to turn it down because you can’t eat it, or when you can’t order food after a long day because the only delivery food you can eat costs >$20 just for one person. On the plus side, my home cooking is slowly getting more variation in it, so at least things are improving on that front.

– I’ve felt very overextended and stressed this year, especially these last couple months. I’m bad at limiting my commitments or cutting myself slack about getting this done, which resulted in a ton of stress for me. I’d do pretty much all of it again, but in the future I need to work on making sure I have time (and give myself space) for self-care in all its forms.

– I didn’t manage to finish the first revision on The Shivering Deeps (the fantasy novel I’m working on) or the next draft of Nautilus. I’ve felt super-stalled out on both due to simply not giving them enough time at work, and have had a hard time focusing on them, all of which led up to a ton of frustration. I’m hoping to budget more time to them next year and stick to some self-imposed deadlines.

– Along the same lines, I felt I didn’t do enough writing that really pushed me or even got finished this year.

– There are probably more? But some of it feels inappropriate for this space (family stuff that’s not bad, just sad), and the rest of it is more bunches of little things scattered throughout the year than any big problems).

And that’s the long and the short of 2015. A good bit of good, a good bit of bad. Hoping for more good next year! With that in mind, onwards to my goals for 2016.

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