It’s the end of the year. Time for the annual review of the past twelve months and judge the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2018. Or is that just me?
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of 2018 Blog Posts
The best and worst of my blog posts for 2018 didn’t actually surprise me.
The least visited, liked, and commented upon (rightfully so) was You Might Be An Alien. Hmm, maybe I am not as funny as I think I am. Lesson learned. lol
The ten posts that received the most likes include:
- Book Cover Reveal: My Soul to Keep
- Lessons from 2017 and Strategies for 2018
- If you can dream it, you can do it
- My Dear Old Dog
- Summer Vacation: Terror in a Tent Part I
- Summer Vacation: Terror in a Tent Part II
- Be the Master of Your Time
- Your Valentine’s Day Survival Guide
- I am Disappointed but Not Discouraged
- How to Keep Your Writing Alive in A Family Crisis
The blog post with the most page views, likes, and comments was: Book Cover Reveal: My Soul to Keep.
My page visits, likes, and comments are massively improved over last year. For that I have you, my readers, to thank. I am eternally grateful that out of all life’s obligations and want-to-do’s you choose to spend time with me. Thank you.
Lessons from 2017 applied to 2018
If you want all the details, see my post Lessons Learned in 2017 and Strategies for 2018. The four lessons I learned and had planned to bring into 2018 were:
Healing happens in its own time.
You can’t control everything.
Sometimes it takes a Leap of Faith.
Growth takes patience.
Sometimes I impress myself. Those four lessons have been with me all year.
Lessons about Healing
When someone has multiple chronic illnesses, healing is a bumpy path. Often the healing that occurs doesn’t return one to their previous level of health. Chronic illness is a life-long challenge. Life becomes a series of adjustments.
For me, this year has been about learning to accept that what was true yesterday isn’t going to be today and tomorrow isn’t going to be the same either. I don’t mean it’s all downhill. It’s a long roller coaster ride, sometimes the gears are cranking to get you uphill. Sometimes you take a nice steady look from a high place. Sometimes it’s a downhill rush that takes your breath away.
You Can’t Control Everything
Heck—you can’t control everything EVER. But 2018 was definitely a year of lessons that plans will NOT go as you hoped. Something will always go sideways if not upside down. This is true in every aspect of life but especially true of self-publishing. I won’t list all the things that I had no control over–that would be everything except my own emotions. And sometimes I feel like I can’t control them!
Sometimes it Takes a Leap of Faith.
Yes, I’ve taken many leaps this year. Self-publishing. Working outside the home. Not working outside the home. It’s been a year of leaps of faith. I’m happy to report, all my leaps have landed in safe and happy places.
This year I’ve learned that I will avoid a schedule with every ounce of my subconsciousness. I obliterated more attempts to keep a schedule than spots on a Dalmatian.
This is where a leap of Faith didn’t quite cut it. I’ve learned that I must schedule. For me, that means scheduling three main things I want to do each day and working in blocks of time around caregiving duties. It’s a leap of faith, non-schedule schedule, that keeps me moving forward.
Growth Takes Patience.
Yup. Patience has been on my mind a lot lately. It was the theme of my Monday posts in November.
Guess whose growth required lots of patience during the past year?
It wasn’t just the puppy. Though he has been challenging.
When one of a pair retires adjustments will be necessary even when you love each other dearly. Patience during this process is a blessing. Lol
I’ve been very impatient with the growth of my writing business and thinking I’ve accomplished so little. But thanks to my journal I can put the lie to rest. I highly recommend tracking progress whether it’s through a spreadsheet or journal or a shoebox filled with receipts or notes.
Defining Moments of 2018
There was the good, the bad, and the ugly in 2018 because that is the way of life. I had many moments of anger and frustration. Big or small, those moments are part of life but I won’t let those define my 2018.
There were moments of fear. Some of the moments were huge and horrible. But I won’t let those define my year either.
When I reviewed my journal I found that JOY defined my year.
There were many moments of quiet joy.
- Watching a favorite movie with my love and my dogs cuddled on the sofa.
- Listening to my grandson reading Peter Rabbit to me
- Watching the snow fall while listening to beautiful music.
Those three are among the one I’ve listed for December. There were many many more. Moments that were so quiet that they could have been ignored if I focused on the fear and the anger I experienced.
There were moments of Moved-to-Tears Joy.
- Holding my first published book in my hands was arguably the biggest moment of moved-to-tears joy
- When my copy editor posted how much she loved the book she was editing and it was mine! Oh, my gosh–water fountains.
- Bringing my hubby home after two life-threatening events was definitely a moved-to-tears of Joy moment.
There were more. It surprised me to find so many moments of moved-to-tears happened in the past year. Many of those moments were related to my debut novel, but family, friends, and music also were responsible for many moved-to-tears events.
I didn’t keep a tally of Joy vs Fear vs Anger. I don’t have to. Re-visiting those feelings as I reviewed my journal made me experience the joy all over again. And the energy in joy is where I choose to be.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2018 are over. I’ve put aside some things, learned oh-so-much, and found the joy despite the other stuff. So what are my plans for 2019? I will continue to make adjustments and work on self-improvement. I also plan to publish a novella and hope to finish the second book in the My Soul to Keep (ETA: now called the Fellowship Dystopia) series. Finally, I’ll pay more attention to those moments of quiet joy. What are your plans?