I love New Year’s Eve. I’m not sure why, but I just want to party and have good food and be among friends and throw around a lot of confetti (which both makes a mess and is not animal-friendly). I think it’s to celebrate the closure of one more chapter in my life, before moving onto another. If the year has been great, I am grateful and I look to how the next year can be even better. I remember all of the great experiences and how I can replicate them and have new even greater experiences. If the year has been particularly shitty, then I look at the reasons why, and if they were in my control. If they were, I reflect on the lessons I need to learn so I can avoid any such repetitive badness. And if they were outside my control (medical anything, death, etc.) then I take stock at what is around me and what I have. I can’t do anything to prevent such things from happening again, so I just look at how I handled those things, because that I can control. Did I handle it the way I wanted to? Is there anything I would have done differently? I think about this, take note of what I need to, and then move on, hoping the next year will be better.
2015 was a mostly okay year; okay it was actually a pretty good year. There weren’t any major crises to attend to. And there were a lot of nice things and good things and even a few great things.
Some of the nice things included getting a new oven that we have needed since early 2013 (our old oven would cause fires or have multiple power failures, so it really was a need more than a want) and Roy (my husband) paid off pretty much all of his stuff (I am all paid off except for student loans, which after two degrees will be the death of me).
Some of the good/great things? I reconnected with a lot of good friends that I haven’t seen since 2006, and Roy visited Minneapolis, a place he lived so long he considers it home, and reconnected with a lot of friends and other people that mattered to him years ago. I submitted a bunch of pieces (some pending, some rejected) for the first time in my life and worked on my goal of being an actual working writer (because submitting pieces is kind of a key requirement with that). I also took a bunch of workshops and made other steps to furthering my development as a writer. I almost want to call this a great thing, because it really is. There are things I am writing now, that I don’t think I would have been capable of writing even a year ago. I took a workshop nearly every quarter (three in all, plus one hell of a writing conference) and just immersed myself in craft and digging deeper. Being vulnerable on the page… it’s weird, but good. Weirdly good.
We also took a bunch of local trips this year. One to Glenwood Springs, when I kidnapped my husband for a romantic getaway and another to Estes Park, which was an early birthday surprise for Roy (and his parents even joined us). Then I got to back to Nebraska for the first time in over a year to visit family and friends and go to a favorite childhood place – so it was nostalgia overload in the best kind of way. We’re already planning a few trips next year, including one early on to Florida to see Roy’s family, one to California for a writing thing and a few Nebraska trips (as well as a likely second Florida trip later in the year). We both love traveling (not the actual traveling itself, but going to different places haha) so this is a bonus and we get to see people we care about more often – another bonus.
Roy also worked on himself a lot this year. While the work I did on myself was more from a calling/professional standpoint, Roy really worked on himself personally. I won’t go into detail because it’s not mine to talk about, but I’m just really proud of him. He’s working to be more honest about how he feels, particularly if something bothers him. No more talking through me or making it seem like it’s me when it’s not (because I don’t have any problem saying no) he’s owning it. He’s not doing this for any other reason than to be happier and healthier, and I think he is (but again, not my place to say for sure).
At the end of the year, we had a great holiday, perhaps our best shared holiday yet, and I had a hearing/hearing device breakthrough that allowed me to hear and do things I haven’t been able to in years. It’s not permanent (I’ll post later, but the new hearing aids are too expensive to pursue at this time) and there has been some adjustments (mucho headaches anyone?) and a learning curve that I am still riding, but it’s been mostly good and the difference is still clear – there is a big difference. And that’s something. Because even if it isn’t a reality for me now, at least such a reality may exist.
This year has been one of taking chances and risks, of both Roy and myself putting ourselves out there, of personal and professional growth, of wonderful promise and even more potential leading into next year. And without any of the “it could only happen to you” kind of stuff that sometimes, well, happens. And no dire stuff either (death of serious injury/illness) which in and of itself is a BIG deal. Like HUGE. I’m pretty happy with 2015, and I can’t wait for 2016. I’m hoping to continue riding the progress I’ve made and all of the good experiences I’ve had to go on to more in 2016.
As good as 2015 was, I’m ready for 2016 to be even better still! 🙂