Goodbye, 2014. Hello, 2015.

A new year approacheth!  I feel like a summary of 2014 would read much like my summary of 2013.  It makes me sad to think that not much has changed.  I didn’t stick to the resolutions I made for the year, and I honestly feel that maybe setting resolutions, especially many (and sometimes difficult) resolutions is like setting myself up for failure.  I struggle with a lot of the things that I tend to focus on when I set goals and resolutions, so maybe that’s not the greatest idea.  But, enough of that.  I just want to talk a little about some of the things that happened this year, and mention a few of my hopes for the coming year.

Not to start off on a sad note, but because it is one of the first things that occurred this year, we had to say goodbye to our kitty Hide the day after I posted my New Year’s post and mentioned that he’d been sick.  So, we’re coming up on a year since that happened, and I still miss him so much that it sometimes brings tears to my eyes all over again.  However, we have now given a home to a new family member.  Not that Hide can ever be replaced.  But around the middle of the year, Simon came to live with us from some family members who couldn’t give him the life he deserves.  He’s only about two years old, and Sebastian is loving having another cat around again.  They wrestle all the time, and I’m so happy to have Simon as part of our family.

This year marked my first time to cosplay.  I dressed as a punk-rock version of Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time.  My A-Kon crew joined me for an Adventure Time Princess Party! There are some things I would have changed about my costume, looking back.  However, I had a lot of fun!  Of course, I always have a lot of fun with my babes at A-Kon.

I set and reached my goal of writing 25,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.  That was a HUGE accomplishment since I’ve struggled so much with my writing recently.  Of course, I haven’t written much since then, but it certainly made me think a lot about where my story is going.  I just need to get back to it and make writing more of a priority, even when it’s difficult.

I participated in GISHWHES for the first time!  It was an exhausting week, but I had so much fun with Lilian, Chantel, and all our wonderful team mates!  I was kind of nervous going into it, but we accomplished a lot more than I originally thought we’d be able to.  And aside from getting dehydrated and almost passing out from being buried up to my neck in sand at the beach in the horrible South Texas heat, it was a great time!

Additionally, my little car that I’d been driving since it was brand new in 2002 started to act up on me.  Driving it was getting a bit scary, so I finally got into a newer (2012) car.  I’ve been super happy with it so far!  And the fact that it has heated seats for when it’s cold, like it has been this week, makes me even happier.

And as usual, I’ve read lots of good books (hello, obsession with The Mortal Instruments series), and listened to lots of great music.

On top of that, I’m expected a new mattress any time now.  I’ve put off getting a new mattress for far too long, and I’m extremely excited to be starting off a new year on a comfy new bed.  *Presses face to the window watching for the UPS truck).

As far as my hopes for the new year, here are a few:

Get a new job, dammit! I’m so tired and frustrated with where I’m at and have been for way longer than I should have ever let myself stay there.  It’s time for a change.  I just need to stop doubting myself and being so scared.

Lose weight and get healthier.  I know I’ll feel so much better in so many ways if I do.  On that note, I’m going to incorporate Shakeology into my eating-healthier-diet.  I figure it doesn’t hurt to give it a try and see how I like it.

Write!  Write so much more, and do something with it.  Figure out what I need to do with a potential children’s story I wrote for one of my creative writing classes, and keep working on the many stories I’ve started and have yet to finish.  Focus and get something finished!

Blog more, see friends more (even though this is sometimes hard because of schedule and location conflicts), read even more, be kinder to myself, learn more, spend more time outside, save more, and smile more.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I could say I want to do  in the coming year, but maybe I should just go with the flow.  Take it a day at a time.  A week, a month, a season at a time, and set my goals accordingly.  I’ll probably be asleep before the arrival of the new year since I have to work in the morning.  And I know it’s going to be a long, busy, and tiring day tomorrow, but I’m going to try to welcome the new year with a smile.

I hope any of you who happen to take the time to read this have had a beautiful year, and I hope your new year starts with a spark and is filled with love and magic.

Reflections, Resolutions, and Winter Goals

Reflections

We’re a week into 2014 now, and I’m a bit behind on the whole reflecting on the previous year and stating resolutions thing, but I figured now is as good a time as any.

In general, when I think back on 2013, I feel like I didn’t really do much, like things sort of just stayed the same and I didn’t really move forward in any way.  Additionally, there have been a few rather rough spots for me.  Aside from fighting off the occasional brief bought of depression and anxiety, I lost my grandfather on my dad’s side of the family and an uncle on my mom’s side of the family.  Also, I found out late in the year that Hide, my 9-year old cat, likely has a tumor/cancer.  It’s very difficult to think about, but something I must acknowledge.

However, as much as I may not be 100% satisfied with, and may be a bit sad about, how my year went and where I was at as it came to a close, more happened than I thought, and I accomplished a really awesome thing!

I got my Bachelor’s degree in English!  It felt so good to be finished with school and know how much hard work and dedication I put into earning that degree.  Sure, I have yet to put it to good use, but it’s something I am incredibly proud of!  A few other good things I remember are as follows:

1. Making Jambalaya, which is time consuming, but oh so worth it!  In fact, I made it twice:  once at home and once in San Antonio for my dear friend Cynthia’s birthday.

2. Having LOADS of fun at A-Kon in Dallas!  Going on a music-filled road trip with my sister and spending time geeking out with Liz and Bobii is amazing, and I somehow always feel more confident when I’m spending time with these lovely ladies.

3. Enjoying many a wonderful afternoon having tea and snacks and chatting with the wonderful Lilian Brennan.

4. Reading lots of good books and discovering some great new music!

Resolutions

I’m really bad about keeping my resolutions.  I’ll just put that out there from the start.  However, I always find myself wanting to set goals and try my best to improve, be better, and do more with each year.  I’ll keep this simple, with just a short list of some of my goals for 2014:

1. Find a new and better job.

2. Write A LOT MORE and spend less time doing unproductive things on my computer/the Internet.

3. Be more active and eat healthier.

4. Work on my confidence.  I need to love me more.

5. Save money (in my 52-week savings jar and elsewhere).

6. Be a better blogger.   Perhaps I could use some ideas or advice on this one, but I really want to blog more and about more things than I am currently.   If you have any tips, send them my way!

Sure, there are more things I’d like to do throughout the year, like travel and see friends and practice/relearn German, but that’s the simple list of the things I’d most like to do.

13 Winter Goals

Despite being two and a half weeks late in starting this, I’m going to go ahead and set 13 goals I’d like to achieve between now and the end of the season.  I’m posting this as a simple list, but you can click here to view the guidelines according to which I set my goals.

1. Stick to a mostly Paleo diet.

2. Buy a new mattress.

3. Make a donation to a cause that is important to me in some way.

4. Bake Paleo-friendly bread.

5. Attend Anime Matsuri.  One of my favorite Japanese bands will be performing! (This will be an additional finance-related goal as well).

6. Undecided group/social activity.

7. Write a winter-themed story.

8. Read a selection of winter-themed poems.

9. Find/listen to some winter play lists on 8tracks or Spotify.

10. Draw/scribble/doodle in a sketchbook.

11. Paint a canvas.  (I carried this over from my autumn list since I didn’t do it last time.)

12. Start a Radical Self Love Bible.

13. Make a play list of some of my favorite happy songs.

There we have it!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and started 2014 with lots of love and sparkles!