Hello, 2015!

Happy New Year!!!

It’s been quite some time since I last posted. Last I updated this blog, I was on my way to Ireland for what was to become one of the BEST trips/experiences of my life. I wanted to update immediately after with a barrage of pictures and stories, but of course, got held up by life and the impending holidays. Now that those are all over and we’re well into the New Year, I decided it was time for my annual resolution post and a general update on life itself.

But first, because mentioning it is now causing me to reminisce and because it truly was a fantastic experience, here is probably one of my favorite pictures from the trip:

1375890_10205405361196115_8285323412227177380_nYes, this was terrifying, but yes, it was also exhilarating! This is me sitting precariously close to the edge of Dun Aonghasa on the Aran Islands!

Just for a quick recap, we visited Dublin, County Kerry, County Cork, and Galway. It was absolutely beautiful and an experience I’ll cherish forever. I hope to go back to Dublin one day—it’s easily one of my favorite places in the world. A few of my trip mates and I even went out of Dublin on our day off and visited Bray, a small little seaside town, which was gorgeous—and also a former home of Oscar Wilde!

After the trip, my focus was mostly throwing together a last-minute costume for Halloween, preparing some kind of contribution for Thanksgiving, shopping and decorating for Christmas, and making plans for New Year’s. I’m a huge sucker for the holidays… I can’t help it. I love them, but my heavy involvement in them also means I’m relieved when they’re over so I can get back to my regular life and routine.

So as a result of all that, I haven’t kept up much with my writing projects. The Sprint Shack has been a little quiet, my personal blog has been silent until now, and my creative writing has come to a bit of a halt—although I DID manage to journal throughout my Ireland trip, successfully bringing my Write Chain to 42 before jet lag broke it on the day I returned home!

Looking back on New Years of 2014, I was in a much better place with my writing when the clock struck midnight. I had recently started The Sprint Shack, my writing was building momentum, and I was actively working on a major goal: namely, writing and publishing a short story. That was one of three major New Year’s goals I didn’t meet in 2014, but given the chaos that this year was for me, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Instead, I’m setting new, more manageable goals for 2015 and looking back on this past year as another learning experience.

My writing goals are as follows:

  • Finish the first draft of a WIP (Fleeting OR Underground) and send to beta readers
  • Develop a more regular blogging schedule
  • Fix up short story “The Spread” and pursue publication

In addition, I’m setting a Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge goal to read 24 books this year. That’s only 2 per month, so it should be more than doable! Ideally, I’d like to read much, much more, but I’m starting off low since I’ve never done one of these before (and since I’m an abysmally slow reader given my packed schedule).

The way I describe this year to my friends is a year of severe ups and downs—more so, probably, than any other year before it. The highs were crazy, insanely high: I moved into my first apartment on my own, I got closer to a huge group of new friends, I got promoted at my job, I threw a kickass housewarming/birthday party that made me realize I have an insane number of fun people who really do care about me, I went to Ireland, and I got a KITTEN!

10420293_10206019543550290_7141566048611718547_n
His name is Pongo, and yes, that’s from 101 Dalmatians. The black and white spots were clearly the inspiration.

Given these awesome achievements and experiences, you’d think I’d consider 2014 to be a huge success. Unfortunately, the lows were drastic as well. They really threw me for a loop and knocked me off my optimistic horse, although those issues are a bit too personal to blog about. As a result, I’m aiming for one major non-writing goal for 2015, which I can break down into smaller, month-by-month goals as I go along: Achieve better balance in all aspects of my life.

 The first few days of this year have been anything but balanced, since I had lots planned for New Years celebrations and a good 5 days off of work, but this week began my routine once more. I’m taking stock, planning, and preparing for a year of fun and productive, yet balanced and zen, times. In fact, this picture below is going to be my rock for the New Year. It made me laugh when I saw it, and it might be silly, but it perfectly encompasses the attitude I want to take with 2015 (and my current obsessive Friends marathon on Netflix). So I’m literally printing it out and keeping a copy in my wallet and a copy in my journal:

7544003b9a3ffa52816efc65dd12542aOf course there’s plenty I care about… I just need to be selective about what those things are and focus my time and energy where they matter most.

Now, off to curl up with the new kitty! Happy 2015!

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