2014 in review, fashionably late edition

I meant to write this at the end of 2014, but didn’t get around to it. Then I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on my birthday, since that seemed appropriate, but that was weeks ago now. I figured I should write something before 2016 comes along and renders my thoughts on the last year moot.

The best way to sum up 2014 is, “It was okay.” Difficult in some respects, but with less drama than 2013. Quieter. Let’s call it a maintenance year.

I wrote more; I finished a second fanfic novel, a few short stories, and continued working on a third novel. I built a website to house my growing fanfic collection. I drew, dabbled, and enjoyed making things.

It was the year of flippy, happy hair (my hair is still so soft, you guys!), and excessive amounts of fan art.

I obsessed over The X-Files, and the universe rewarded me by hinting at a possible revival, so I take that as a sign I am to continue obsessing over The X-Files. Duly noted, universe.

Work station

On the work front, I moved into a new leadership position, my first time overseeing a group. The job is a good complement for how my brain works; fast, sometimes scattered, holding lots of plates in the air. I made a few new themes of my own design, and helped launch many more. I also took my first two-week vacation, which was bliss.

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Travel-wise it was mellow, with trips to South Carolina, Florida (twice), Utah, and New Hampshire. It was nice to have the extra time at home.

On a personal note, my mental health suffered in 2013, but in 2014 I turned things around with the help of therapy and SSRIs; a big part of that meant trading weight loss for happiness. While I will probably always struggle with my weight, I would rather take care of the body I have and be happy than lose a dress size and be miserable.

I think what I mean by that is, I’m learning to be kinder to myself.

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Meanwhile, I spent another year with this guy, who remains my partner in parenting/life/crime and perpetual best friend through All The Things, good and bad; who supports me at my worst, loves me at my best, and even betas my fanfic:

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And then there’s these two:

Ellie and Gwen amaze me, whether by saying something hilariously apropos or getting into the kind of trouble I couldn’t have dreamed up myself. They’re so independent now! They eat, they play, they laugh a lot, and they tell me they love me. I must be doing something right.

It’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty content.

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I’ve been taking time to practice gratitude; acknowledging the good things and taking a moment to be thankful for them. We’ve started a family tradition of going around the dinner table and talking about our favorite part of the day. It’s corny, but it’s a small, easy thing to do.

This time of year is difficult; I withdraw, I struggle with SAD, I bitch about the weather, but a daily practice of thanks-giving has curbed that. (Hawaii didn’t hurt, but it put Maine weather in harsh perspective!)

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Those are the big habits I’ll work on throughout the next year and beyond: Gratitude, and being kinder to myself.

Christmas craftiness

I went a little nuts making ornaments this year. I blame Pinterest, taunting me with all its “easy” tutorials and perfectly composed photographs.

We have boxes full of ornaments for the tree, so it’s not like we need more shiny, dangly things, but I just couldn’t resist. I bought far too many crafting supplies, got hooked on scrapbook paper (so. much. cute), and only burned myself with the glue gun once.

The results speak for themselves:

This year’s binge also gave me ideas for gifts for next year, and gave Ellie and I something fun and creative to do together; definitely worth the money and time spent.