Read this on galpod.com.
This is a tricky category right off the bat. Of course, my insecurities are quick to hackle from the back of my mind. I had several accomplishments this year. I’ve written just over 17k words in my work in progress (only 17k?). I wrote 57 blog posts (including this one), of which 30 were writing prompts. I like the writing prompts because I hear they encourage others to write, and that’s a ripple effect. I went to see 19 theatre shows that I can see on my calendar; I’m pretty sure I went to more. These shows inspired me to read more widely, write more boldly. I read 45 books to date (my Goodreads profile says 44, but I read one that isn’t on Goodreads, and I’ve been having issues adding it). I still have a couple more weeks in which I plan to read, so I’m hoping I’ll be closer to 50, which was my challenge for this year (yes, there will be another book parade). All that, in addition to raising children, doing a lot of personal work, and, oh, yes, we started a foundation this year. I’m not putting a link to the website because it’s still horrendous, but we’re on the charity board’s list.
My biggest challenge this year was accepting my physical limitation and working with them. I had a meniscal tear early this year, with a flare-up in April that finally pushed me to get it looked at. I had to stop running and start physio, and I’ve been at it basically all year. I’ve worked hard and got stronger. I’m not quite back to running yet, but I’m active and feeling better in my body, which is good news.
Time Well Spent
Hands down, it’s the morning pages. I’ve done another round of The Artist’s Way this year and returned to the practice of morning pages. I don’t do them first thing in the morning (sorry, Julia) because I just can’t. My brain isn’t working until at least an hour-and-a-half-plus-coffee after I wake up. Yes, I’m not supposed to use my brain for the pages. It’s supposed to be a stream of consciousness. I honestly have no stream of consciousness until the coffee. I tried. Anyway, the morning pages ground me, clear my head towards a writing session, and help me with my personal growth. It’s a space to find myself, and I’m grateful for it every day.
Definitely during my vocal lesson. I’m back to singing, and I have a new vocal coach who advocates connecting singing with emotions. This concept has been challenging for me over the years, but I’ve done a lot of work in the last couple of years. And in one of the lessons, I suddenly did it, and everything made sense. The physical and emotional work and therapy all became a part of one whole that was me. It was sort of an epiphany.
I looked through pictures for this prompt. First of all, a year is a VERY long time. And we’ve done a lot this year. We went to Mallorca in April, US and Canada in the summer, and managed to pop to Greece in October. We went to various events and music concerts and did all sorts of random things. I would say that hiking on Mount Washington was my favourite, both because my favourite memories are almost always hiking and because, at that point, I could hike despite my injuries, which made me extremely happy.
I’ve established two habits this year: doing the morning pages and exercising. I’m proud of both. I also deleted all stupid phone/tablet games, and I’m currently doing ok with that, but it wasn’t consistent throughout the year.
Out of my Comfort Zone
Writing songs and sharing them with others. Only a few others so far. But that was a leap way outside my comfort zone, and sometimes I’m still trying to find ways to go back. But of course, I can’t. Nor do I actually want to, only in moments of fear.
What have I learned?
I’ve done a post for the end of the school year. I would add to that two things:
Singing is good for the soul.
Don’t be afraid to start. You’ll get better in time.
Theme for 2023
Voice. I’m starting to find my voice now, both in the literal and the metaphorical way. Next year will be a continuation of this journey.
Finishing my work in progress and sending it out is my top priority. But I also want to read, cook, bake, sing, write songs and short stories, spend time with the kids, explore new places, see plays. My intention is to do each of those fully, be present for them, and not worry about all the other stuff.
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