It’s The Final Countdown! A Look back at my 2013…

keep-calm-it-s-the-final-countdownToday I’ve been reading all the Facebook posts from everyone looking back on their year and wishing well to others in 2014. It got me to thinking about my own year in review and how nice it is that we have technology like Facebook in our lives these days to help us, creating a daily recording of our lives (at least for those who use it and post on a regular basis) without us really even seeing it from that perspective. Last night, I went back to 2008 and read some of my very first Facebook posts and even looked up who the first person was that I friended.

But today being the last day of the year and all, I thought I’d take the time to recap how my year was. We’re usually tired and ready to move forward by now. The holidays have exhausted our minds and our bank accounts. The calendar on the wall has grown heavy and there’s a newer, younger one waiting to take its place. So, our minds are heavy with the burdens the year gave us. We are ready to start anew. There will be things to celebrate, but looking back on what made this year special (or not special) is worth celebrating (or at least recounting) too.

In January, like many, I began a “get fit” regimen and went back to the gym!  I also tracked calories religiously online using a site called MyFitnessPal.com.  I’d given up on using the site after about 9 months (not too shabby), but was still going to the gym three times a week until I got sick in October.

Then, the holidays hit and it all went down hill from there. I still managed to lose up to 35 lbs this year and have kept at least 22 of them off!  And yep, I’m hitting the gym and counting calories AGAIN starting next week. My goal for next year is to lose at least another 22!

In February, I signed a publishing contract with Rocking Horse Publishing to publish Dickinstein in October. That gave me something to look forward to the rest of the year.

In March, I got to go to Orlando thanks to a bit of travel I get to do with my job.  I had not been there since I was a sophomore in high school so it was fun even though I was there on business.  Despite getting sick upon my return, it was a nice “soul refresher” that I desperately needed.  I get to go again next March!

In April, I turned 37… Yep, that’s about all I have to say about that.

As May and June came around, J and I installed a new permanent vegetable garden in our backyard and set to planting. We also worked our herb garden again, and added several other new plants to the gardens and beds. If you follow my blog, you definitely saw many posts about reaping the rewards of our hard work outdoors. I’m already looking forward to next year!

July was not a good month as I lost one of my best furry friends. Avery, my cat that I’d had for thirteen years, had to be put down.

In August, I went back to school working on a BS Degree in Business Management all online through WGU Missouri!

September was pretty much devoted to my online coursework, and getting ready for the book launch in October.

October was such a busy month! It started with getting to go to San Diego for the first time thanks to another trade show with my work! And like Orlando, I got sick on the way back – a respiratory infection that would last for almost 4 weeks!

I also completed my third and final required online course for the semester, meaning now I’d get to work ahead since the semester wasn’t over yet. I picked College Algebra – Yuck! – but I wanted to get it over and done with.

My family made plans to come up from Tennessee to visit in late October to attend the book launch party. The party was a hit and Dickinstein was finally published and ready for readers to enjoy!

And a ghost story anthology that I helped edit was also released!

On top of all of this, we rescued a young cat named Elmer from the animal control center, hoping he’d make a good friend to our other aging cat of 13 years, BeauJour. Beau didn’t want much to do with him, but Elmer has still brought a lot of joy to our home.

November was another bad month for me. Despite the success of my book and Thanksgiving fast approaching, I had to say good-bye to my sweet BeauJour.  He missed Avery too much and age had taken its toll on him.

And then like it always does, there was Thanksgiving and Christmas and decorations to put up and gifts to buy and family to see and food to eat!  And there was Algebra! I’m so close to wrapping up this nightmare of a course, and I’m so happy about that.

So what’s in store next year?

I’m going to get back on track with losing weight and I’m headed back to the gym.

I’m going to write. I’m going to work on a newer project and I plan to start by writing it long-hand. More about this later.

The sequel to my second book, Stealing Wishes, is being published as an Ebook only through Exciting Press.  It’s called Feeling Himself Forgotten.

More travel with work…Dallas, Orlando, and Charleston.

I’m starting a new artsy project.  I used to love to paint and have decided to take up paper craft and incorporate it into my painting. Some of my supplies actually arrived today!

More school. My second semester starts February 1st!

Another birthday in April…that’s a given.

And finally, more gardening come Spring!  That’s to be expected too!

What do you have to celebrate from this year?  What are you looking forward to celebrating in 2014?  See you next year!

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