Year in Review: 2015

Image courtesy of Dwell Beautiful

Dear Internet,
Here we are almost to the middle of January and I still have not written my end of year review. (Some may scoff at doing these things, but I like having a list of what I’ve done and where I’ve been as my memory is often terrible.)
2015 was not as bad as 2014, but it still wasn’t stellar. January saw me moving alone into my own apartment for the first time in six years (in which I was then living with my ex-husband), February saw the amping up of my job search. The #Teamharpy case was dismissed in March, my divorce came through in AprilJune was my birthday month. AugustSeptember, and October were the months I began selling writing pieces. In September, I moved to the cabin in Northern Michigan to close it down, ended up getting a terrible strain of the plague including a cold in my eye. TheBassist and I split in October, and that’s when I started writing in my paper diary. November was a pretty intense month: I moved back to Louisville, I started my “getting healthy” plan which is still in effect, and Thursday arrived. In December, I had second interviews with two institutions, of which I have only heard back from one. The tl;dr on that boiled down to: They absorbed the job back into existing staff, they are re-writing the description with the new duties and they want to make sure that person fit the description. But hey! If all of this had not happened, I would have been offered the position. Of course.
There was also criss-crossing across the U.S as I interviewed for jobs, a wedding, and an epic trip occurred where myself and Kristin drove to D.C. to see Angela Landsbury and I ended up adding a few more trips on that same week.
There was loves lost, friends gained, plans added and changed. It was not a stellar year but it had its moments.
So, 2016. What are my resolutions? On one hand I think making resolutions is bunk — we should be trying to be a better person throughout the year. On the other, having goals can keep you on track and can be added/changed/ditched as things change. I’m well versed how your life can change on a dime and you may never know what it will bring you.
Tada! My top five goals for 2016:

  1. Get a job and get all the accouterments that go with said job (apartment, pay down student loans and credit card debt, so on and so forth).
  2. Continue on with the healthy plan, which entails:
    1. Continue changing eating habits (No sugar! No dairy! Less carbs!)
    2. Quitting smoking (Again and again and again)
    3. Continue with meditation (181 days straight!) and DBT
    4. Continue exercising
  3. Travel more. I’ve been to a zillion places and I want to be at a zillion more, but this time I want to absorb those places. I’ve been considering finally taking the plunge and road rally with MINI Takes The States, which is a cross-country tour with a pack of MINIs. I’ll probably start in Minneapolis and continue on to Atlanta, then back to wherever home is located.
  4. Write more and not just in my paper journal. Write true, write what matters, write what you love. Selling a few pieces last year really bolstered my ego, but I know i can do better. I want to be better. I’d like to finally sell a fiction piece, get into the bare bones of writing and start up. My damned book still languishes and it might be trunked, but I want the love of saying, “This is a thing I have made and completed.” I’ve been knitting like a fiend lately and the feeling of accomplishment is brilliant. I don’t want it to ever end
  5. Per the graphic above, Be Fierce (I know everyone says that, but we stop saying it and just live it?). And we can’t forget one of Mr. Neil Gaiman’s a yearly wish to us all:

Wherever you are in life, take chances. Be kind. Have compassion. Love hard and more, love bravely, love fierce. See and do more. Connect more. Be alive and discover the world. And most of all, remember you are human. This is something we all tend to forget – if you make mistakes, make big ones, and do that thing all over again.
That is my New Year’s wish for you.

(Previous years in review: 2014, 2012 20022000)

The last couple of weeks of holidaying have been quiet. I was alone on December 25th and it was what I wanted. TheExHusband and I exchanged gifts, then off with him to his parents for dinner. I sat in my jimjams with Thursday glued to my right hip, ate sausage cornbread stuffing for dinner and trifle for dessert. I mainlined TV shows, knitted, and enjoyed the peacefulness of the world I created.
I sent out a slew of holiday cards this year (and got some in return). I walked more, got out and explored Louisville for a bit, read a few books, and mainly just enjoyed myself. This was my holiday season.

I’ve mentioned writing in a paper journal and I’ve cranked out 150 pages since October. The emotions vacillate, but as time moved on it became less of a “woe is me” and more “this is what I’ve done and this is what I’m going to do and here is how I’m going to do it.” I’ve quipped I wanted to be known as the Anais Nin/Samuel Pepys of my generation. “The Life and Times of an Aging Alternative Spinster.” (Yes, I’ve seen Bridge Jones’ Diary recently. Why do you ask?)
I’ve been journal writing steadily online for the last 20 years (!), so the migration over to paper seems a bit backwards; this I do not believe. Sure I cannot correct spelling mistakes, cut and paste pithy quotes, or add graphics but it’s raw. It’s freeform. It’s life. There is a line, astonishingly, of what I put online (much to some chagrin) and I need to have a place where that line can erased. Paper journals it is.
I have quite a few journals laying around that are half used. Some stretching back five or so years where I was writing an entry every couple of months, or notes, or something of that kind. Those journals I’m picking up where I left off and writing to the end, using Roman numerals to indicate which order they go in (green journal in the image). (I have no idea what I have in storage these days, but I do know that there are many, many blank journals for me to dig into.)
The black journal in the picture is my writing journal. Lines, quotes, or whatever I come up with, separated out from my paper journal for easy access without having to thumb like mad in said paper journal.
The pink journal is my Bullet Journal, which I was recently reminded of its existence (again). The easiest explanation is it’s an analog planner with massive amounts of flexibility. The only digital planner I can use is Google Calendar as it syncs across all of my iDevices. Pre-packaged paper journals and my Filofax bit the dust, so Bullet Journal it is!
The modules I have set up outside the legend and index are: monthly spread, habits tracker, gratitude page, goal settings page, book/movie list for that month (I am terrible at remembering what books I’ve read for that month), weight tracker, and then the daily spread. I love how I can add modules as I go, remove what I don’t need for the following month, and customize the fuck out of how I want it.
And it fits into my bag. (I first thought the bag was too small, but I did not return it because shipping it back to the UK would be expensive. Amazingly, I’ve been able to cram a lot of shit into that bag. Highly recommend. A++, would buy again.)
While I’m not working, I do have a lot to do (errands, appointments, paperwork for various entities, grocery shopping) and I forget all the time what I need to do, like get Thursday’s dog park tags, errands I need to run, projects I left undone or need to start. There is loads for me to do before I relax, as the kids say, and I want to use that time wisely.
So if you’re into finding a good solution to keep your life on track with massive amounts of flexibility, cheap, and without frills – Bullet Journal is the way to go.

My medicating therapist sent me in for blood work some weeks ago and the results came back perfect. This is not hyperbole, scouts honor. There are ranges for things (cholesterol, vitamin levels, thyroid levels, etc) which are considered normal and the sweet spot you should hopefully land. Despite the years of body asbuse (terrible eating in my youth, smoking, etc), everything came back perfect. I was pleased as punch because to look at me, know my weight, you’d think I was a walking diabetic waiting to happen. (Still not diabetic despite the uniform heredity of it passing on my mother’s side. Go me!)
Go fuck yourself, fat haters.
I went and had a physical, which also came out astonishingly well for being a fat chick (blood pressure excellent, confirmation of my blood work is excellent) and no fat shaming from the doctor.
My ob/gyn appointment went off without a hitch. With a history of cervical and vulva cancer, I have to be diligent on getting the vajay looked at. This ob/gyn gave me a rectal exam as apparently rectal cancer runs high in women over 35. Both my cunt and my ass were textbook perfection.
She was able to find the benign lump in my right breast, discovered a year ago with my first mammogram. (If you recall, I had a total of six mammograms including an ultrasound over six months and it was decreed everything was fine.) The lump is located at the intersection of my armpit and my breast, so I would not have found it if I was doing a self-exam.
Speaking of which, I go in for my yearly mammogram this week and hopefully the benign lump is still benign. I shudder at the thought of getting a biopsy to make absolutely fucking clear it’s benign.
LADIES! Get your tits checked.
Eye doctor also well. Textbook optical nerves, my eyes haven’t changed other than the moving astigmatism. New (progressive) glasses were purchased. I wanted your standard black frames and apparently this was neigh impossible, ALMOST.
Great health all around, I have good friends and chosen family, a roof over my head, a pug to call my own, clothes on my back, and food in my belly. All in all, I’m grateful for my life.
How are you?

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2001

year in review: 2014

Dear Internet,
Working at home today and getting supremely in the groove. Re-discovered that I used to do a round up, by month, of things that went on in the previous year as a year in review. This seems like a good idea to continue insofar as giving me a perspective for the year and helping me figure out what I need to improve or cut back on.
Previous years: 2000, 1997, 1996

Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish for 2015:

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

It’s been a helluva a year. Here’s to 2015 being boring and slow.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 1999