This year has been a downer, hasn’t it? It’s amazing, how much down can be packed into twelve months (less than twelve months!) but it’s amazing how much up has been packed into this year, too. I told Arielle this morning that whenever I have a negative thought about something, I try to counter it with a positive thought about the same thing. But we’ve also acknowledged that I’m usually a ‘small picture’ person and thus, I’ve failed to apply the usual ‘positivity’ ploy with the year.
So, upon realizing that, I thought – why not list the amazing things that 2016 has brought?
- I published a book. Granted there were downsides and I wouldn’t ever recommend indie publishing (ever. Just don’t do it – in fact, after my less-than-stellar experience with them, various authors I know stepped out to claim similar experiences with their indie publishers) but an actual publisher published one of my novels.
- I finished the largest novel I’ve ever written, and I’m still head over heels for it. In fact it’s hard not being in that world anymore, although taking a break is for everyone’s good. Writing this book showed me what I love to write – that I need to stop caring about ‘which genre does this fit in? Is this too weird?’ and that it’s okay to ‘push the envelope’ if I’m convinced it’s an envelope that needs pushing.
- The best friendships I’ve ever had in my life have deepened and grown over this year, and they are incredible. They may live thousands of miles away, but they’re the kind of friends everyone dreams of having and I could not be more grateful.
- I began exercising and discovered I actually like it. Or rather, I enjoy the results – I’ve lost thirty pounds and developed some muscles – always good, right?
- My art has improved by leaps and bound, and it has been a consistent encouragement even when I’m scrapping every other sketch because it’s horrendous.
- I had my hair chopped off for the first time since I was…oh, seventeen. It grows insanely fast, but I was a little nervous – now I’ve decided to cut off another inch the next time I go in. It’s lovely.
- I adopted a nose ring and I don’t feel myself without it anymore.
- I have discovered I’m actually okay with being single, and that if having high standards means turning down every guy who asks me out (which it has so far), then that’s fine with me.
- I have discovered that if someone has a bad opinion of me, I can do two things. I can study myself, see if their opinion is valid, and fix the problem – or I can study myself, see their opinion holds no weight, and stop caring.
- I have discovered that I’m not a bad person if I say ‘no’ to things. I can’t do it all, and that’s okay. It’s also okay to take breaks. In fact, it’s healthy.
- I got to head back to Washington and spend time with family. I got re-acquainted (and in one case, just plain ‘acquainted’) with nieces and a nephew, and I adore them. Not to mention I got some quality time with my oldest sister – my thankfulness is off the charts.
- I freaking proofread John Howe’s November newsletter this year. I’m still not over it.
I could go on. And you know what? That’s the thing. I could go on. This year has punched me down, but it’s also helped me back up – over and over again. As many negative things that have happened this year, the wonderful things have always been there, waiting just around the corner. Don’t forget to count the delights, too.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to Christmas music and figure out my 2017 blogging schedule.
Until next time ♥