January 13th, 2015

The End of 2014

I’ve long meant to write a post on the advantages of being a writer with a day job–I thought perhaps in December. Then December turned into one of the time that my day job mercilessly devours my life, leaving me only with scraps and fragments of both free time and the mental energy to use such free time productively. All of both went into my book and seasonal frolics–there was none leftover for the blog, or due a variety of other things. Sorry about that. But the dust is clearing and the big work project is (touch wood) drawing to a close, so…I’m back!

Despite my long silence, the end of the year was actually pretty fun for me. Many parties, visiting friends, good weather, nice presents, delicious foods. I was sad that I had to do the pre-Christmas week sans both cats and husband, as they had started their vacations earlier than mine (due to aforementioned work bomb). But with the also-aforementioned friends, I survived until I could jet off to PEI and be with Mark and family (still no cats until New Year’s Day, though).

This year, I got a grown-up menorah to replace the itty-bitty baby one I’ve had since I was 19 (the grown-up-ness undercut slightly by the fact that my parents gave it to me). I love it very much and lit the candles every night this year, sometimes taking it on the road with me to ensure appropriate dusk-hour lighting. I even brought it to PEI for the last night, so Mark didn’t miss out entirely…

I lit the candles at my inlaws on the 8th night.

I lit the candles at my inlaws on the 8th night.

On a literary (slightly) front, I guess I did do some stuff beyond my own book. I contributed a “bests” list to the Little Fiction 2014 Year in Review and item to the books of the year list that Canadian Notes and Queries did.

But actually, mainly I worked on my book. It’s been really hard, though I am happy with the new pieces I’ve produced and am now wading tentatively back into the full manuscript. But I’m nervous and all the rest, which is making it hard to envision real new years resolutions for 2015–basically, if I can complete this manuscript to my satisfaction as well as everyone else’s, I’ll be satisfied.

But I think I’ll put off the view of 2015 a little longer, and concentrate on shutting the file on 2014 in this post. Shall we go over the resolutions from last year? I’ll have the actual resolution in boldand the end-of-year update in plain text (if you want to see how I was doing at the midyear mark, it’s here. Here we go…

1. Mini M&Ms charity. This works better in summer than it does in winter–my mid-year report on this was sunnier than I am now. I’m just not out strolling as often in the winter, though I still do try to give when I see someone in need, and my mini-M&Ms canister is ever at the ready. Plan to continue this resolution.

2. Learn to play the guitar. This is a long-term thing, I guess–there’s still far more I can’t do than what I can. But it’s been an interesting process and I have learned a lot. Plan to continue this resolution.

3. Possibly file the papers I’ve had stacked on the floor of my office for over a year. Maybe. Fail. But will continue this resolution because I will at some point need to move out of my apartment.

4. Clicker train my elder cat, Evan, to give him something to focus his energies on so he isn’t such a pain all the time. The mid-year report on this was very positive but then we kind of tapered off. Possibly Evan learned as much as he could, but it would be worth trying again every so often. Not continuing the resolution, but will make it an occasional thing.

5. Knit a thing that has an actual purpose. Fail. Abandoning resolution as do not actually care.

6. Something about my manuscript-in-progress. I finished it, I sold it (well, Sam sold it) and now me and the wonderous Anita are making it better. As I say above, finishing this and doing it well is the only truly important goal I have for 2015!

7. Cook lots of new recipes. This one was easy–I love cooking new stuff. I don’t think this needs to be a resolution anymore, as I’m happy to do it without prompting.

8. Blog more frequently than once a month. Not really, but I was close. I think I’ll maintain this resolution. I always enjoy blogging once I get into it.

9. Floss daily. Didn’t make it, but close. Will maintain this resolution, because the alternative is gum surgery!

10. Plan to socialize a reasonable amount every week. This one didn’t work out exactly, but on average it did. This week, for instance, i’ll be out every night but Wednesday, which is unfortunate but I really wanted to do all those things. I didn’t really go out at all last week, though, so I have the energy. I’m going to abandon this resolution, because I want to see people more than I want to keep resolutions.

And I think that’s all I have to say about 2014. Hopefully I’ll back relatively soon with something fascinating to say about the year upcoming!

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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