It’s 8:30am and most everyone is still asleep. The clouds have rolled in and it’s supposed to drop some degrees today. I’m sitting on the floor of grandma’s living room, listening to her labored breathing and knowing that at least while asleep, she’s not dizzy and nauseous. Poor thing fell on her face two weeks ago, was in the hospital for a week, and now has a long way to recovery. Since we’re staying at her house while we’re out here, we’ve also been keeping an eye on her.
There’s also a second cousin rolling around on the floor, eating cereal as quietly as she can.
So while I wait for the rest of the family to wake up and get over here, I feel like it’s an appropriate time to do the year in review meme. It’s a meme I’ve been filling out every year since college over at ye olde LiveJournal, so I feel like it’s fitting to bring the meme over to here as I make this more and more my blogging home.
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Got legally married
Hiked the Grand Canyon
Attended my brother’s wedding (and he’s not allowed to have another)
Wrote well over 300k words (and probably more)
Blogged on a weekly basis for the entire year
An insane elimination diet (AIP)
Was super proactive about depression
Took daily selfies
Sent out a manuscript
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think so. I wrote more than I ever have and continued the cycle of write-query-rewrite. I lifted regularly and figured out my food sensitivities. I did everything that was in my power to meet my goals, even if certain things didn’t come to fruition.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Somewhat close – a cousin gave birth last January. And we’ll have a handful of new family additions in the next six months.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, thank god.
5. What countries did you visit?
No countries this year. Just went all over the states.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Accomplishment. I want more than a manuscript request this year, and I want to either have the TTC stuff pay off or get some answers as to why it’s not.
7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day our friend malanai left. The day we got married (for legals). The day my brother got married.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Writing every day for most of the year. Finishing one edit and being able to turn around and write a draft zero in six weeks, then turn around and (almost) finish rewriting it before the end of the year. Actually doing and sticking with the Autoimmune Protocol, even though it took about seven months to really work through.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting myself go over the summer, in so many ways. Physically, mentally. Becoming too wrapped up in my own problems.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got a cold like, once, but otherwise just suffered from depression too often. Oh wait – I did chop off my thumb in January. But I grew it back so it’s fine.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Cider donuts. Hands down.
12. How did you earn your keep?
Same county job, same county place.
13. Where did most of your money go?
Food. Plane tickets. And finally (thank god), savings.
14. What was your best month?
Not August, for sure. I think I liked March; there was pi day and the book fair and some hiking. I managed to squeeze some queries out too, and it was all before TTC really started, so everything was still exciting.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
TTC. Hah. Also the manuscript request. Like, dizzily excited right there.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Centuries by Fallout Boy and Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. Both… kinda appropriate.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter? A little puffier, definitely. I weigh more (again), but my pants are only a smidge tighter and mostly I can just lift more.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer. We’ve finally been able to start saving again and getting married has changed out tax situation (for the better). Plus the county gave us a raise. So, all together = woot.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Queried more. Smiled more. Gotten outside and hiked more.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Overanalyzed what people said without talking to them about it. Internalized things I had no control over. Wallowed in futures unrealized.
20. What steps will you take to actively change what you’re unhappy with?
Practice focus and mindfulness. Continue to focus on the things I can actively change instead of the things outside of my control. Take moments to center myself and just breathe.
22. What’s something you learned about yourself?
I need competition and if I can’t find it in one sphere of my life, I will seek it out in others, which is not necessarily helpful. I have little patience for mindfulness and yoga and meditation, even though I really really need them.
I am also a pretty, pretty bird.
23. What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2014?
Talk to people about my depression. Not just my friends & lady, but also my (nice) boss.
Also watch my brother get married. That was surreal.
24. What was your favorite TV program (not Doctor Who!)?
Still Hannibal. It was pretty much the only thing we watched. Well, that and Sailor Moon Crystal.
25. Did you know anybody who got married?
Several! A friend in February, whose wedding I shot, and my aforementioned brother. Oh and us. Again.
26. What states did you visit in 2014?
For all the flying we did, it sure felt like a lot, but it was just: California, Minnesota, and Florida.
27. Where were you when 2014 began?
I… don’t remember. That’s kinda crazy. I wrote that we were planning on going out and watching the stars with friends, but I’m pretty sure that didn’t come to fruition. Sorry, 2014! I could’ve sworn we went over to a friend’s and had some snacks or something, though, because I remember budgeting for some champagne in my AIP start. According to my AIP food log, I had an avocado past midnight, so SOME shenanigans were definitely happening. I’ll have to do something more memorial this year.
28. Who were you with?
29. Where will you be when 2014 ends?
I would actually like to do the stars thing. We have a friend who has an easily accessible rooftop and I would like to convince her to do something. If she’s in town. IF NOT, I might just convince people to go for a night hike with me.
30. Who will you be with when 2014 ends?
Friends! And my wife. As is proper.
31. What was the best book you read?
Okay. Okay. I can choose. Five.
Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells (surprisingly good solid fantasy)
Cheap by Ellen Shell (even though it broke me)
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (SO. EPIC.)
Sahara: A Natural History by Marq de Villers
Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie
32. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mozart l’Opera Rock
33. What did you want and get?
So many okra! Beta feedback! Self knowledge! Severely awesome quads! An early morning view of the Grand Canyon! A marriage license!
34. What did you want and not get?
An agent. A baby.
35. What was your favorite film of this year?
Uh… I know we watched things. I don’t know if we watched anything that actually came out this year though. I’ll go with re-watching Emperor’s New Groove. That was fun. 🙂
36. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I took a four day weekend for myself and played it (mostly) chill. We went on a long hike in the Santa Ritas and I made tiramisu again.
37. Where did you go on vacation?
There were few actual vacations. It was a lot of flying across the country for family things. The Grand Canyon was kind of a vacation, and driving out to California for Thanksgiving was pretty chill. Otherwise it was a lot of local hikes that helped soothe the brain.
38. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Still skirt + blouse. Although as the weather cooled I got a craving for plaid and flannel which I indulged to the tune of three new shirts that I have since been wearing all the time. Coupled with the short hair, its a classic lesbian chic.
39. What kept you sane?
Friends. Lifting. Writing. Crying. Blogging.
40. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meh? Didn’t really have one this year.
41. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh god. Ferguson. I’m glad to see that shit finally reaching a tipping point, but now that it’s in the collective consciousness, it’s difficult listening to family and coworkers spout some really racist shit.
42. Did you have to go to the hospital?
43. How many concerts did you see in 2014?
44. Did you have a favorite concert in 2014?
Uh. The one? I need to change this question to something more pertinent but my brain isn’t up to it right now.
45. Who was the best new person you met?
A whole buncha fellow TTC bloggers. My new sister-in-law.
46. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
I was not nearly as supportive of a friend going through some tough shit as I should have been.
47. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2014?
Oooh, all sorts of slips of the tongue. While I’ve gotten better about being upfront about what’s on my mind, I haven’t gotten better about actually filtering and making sense of it and I’m still struggling with figuring out how much bluntness is actually necessary and helpful.
48. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Sometimes everything sucks and nothing seems worth doing, and it’s okay to let yourself feel those awful feelings. But you still need to set that shit aside and actually do something, even if it’s just showing up and being present.
49. What are your plans for 2015?
Staying committed to our bigger plans. Not letting the lack of outside validation get in my way. Plugging away at baby and writing and health as best as I can and allowing forgiveness when I fall.
And more concretely: supporting Lady as she gets her PhD, hosting and harassing visiting friends in January and March, hiking as much as possible, lifting as much as possible, hanging with friends as much as possible, and then in June: SWITZERLAND YES.
50. Quote something that sums up your year:
“When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.”
― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking