Here I sit thinking about the year that was. I started out with such intricate plans. I started out with a fresh look on my life. I started out knowing where I was going in 2015.
Life always throws curve balls when you are least prepared for them. Mine came in February. It seems like such a long time ago, but it is the jarring I needed to make huge changes in my life. I needed to re-evaluate everything.
At the beginning of last year I set on my plan, ten things I would do throughout the year. How did I do? Here’s a look back at my year that was.
- Write & Share my novels: my plan was to edit, search for an agent, and then by August self-publish as a result of no interest. Well… I got two of the novels edited. Then decided only one was where I wanted it to be. In the summer, I started writing a new version of the other – taking a single novel and splitting it into three separate novels. That work is still ongoing but I’m nearing the turn on the first of the three. I also made a conscious decision to write a different first novel for my pathology series. The summer proved to be very rewarding – half that novel is written and the well-placed lead-ins for future novels are worked in. I didn’t get to the self-publishing stage yet but that should come very shortly. At least I have all the details about how to self-publish through Amazon and everything is ready for roll-out.
- Forensic Science Manual: my plan write the units of the manual and publish through two networks – Amazon and Teachers-Pay-Teachers. Well… I began teaching the course again and with that came an overhaul of the course. I did get a lot of the classroom materials reworked. Now the tedious process of writing up the lesson plans still needs to be completed. The good news is I was back in full form with the course, ideas are flowing, and I might be teaching it again in the near future. So, this modular work will be ready soon enough – with all the changes included for 21st century learning.
- Starting touches on Artwork/Business: my plan was to create and publish my first coffee table art book. Well… I didn’t get there. Actually, where the art is concerned I did little to no artwork this past year – I disappointment for sure. On the up side though, I did do a lot for the business. I created a new webpage to highlight my work. I joined a number of social media groups in preparation for sharing my works. And I became much more comfortable sharing my work with everyone I meet. The hope is this will continue to move forward and become an easier way to market my stuff.
- Travel, travel, travel: my plan get out and see the world. Well… my plan for Australia and New Zealand fell through. Which in hindsight was a blessing. My summer was too jammed to be going away for a month to some far off destination. However, that didn’t stop me from doing some traveling. The biggest adventure though came from my move upstate. I left the Big Apple and decided to plant roots in a different location. With the move came a lot of new exploration – I’ll explain in further bullets.
- Go camping: my plan explore the east coast by camping. Well… I have been exploring the east coast. I may not be camping, but living upstate gives me the benefit of being able to take day trips. Let’s just say we’ve been doing a lot of hiking, which in my mind is just as wonderful.
- Save and Invest: my plan was to create another savings account and begin to put money away for all the big things. Well… I’ve invested. I bought a house. At least I can say the money I spend each month is going toward a personal investment. I’m still working on the savings piece, but I have equity in my property and am trying to build security in my life with other savings and investments.
- Explore NYC: my plan was to walk through neighborhoods and take visit all NYC had. Well… I left NYC. I had done a little of the exploring there. I did discover some new areas and new places I liked. But now exploration is happening in a new place. And I’m finding I like all the little things here. It’s peaceful. It’s a slower pace. It’s more my style.
- Find passions: my plan was to continue to try new things, including horseback riding, shooting (gun range), motorcycle lessons, helicopter lessons, etc. Well… I did none of them. However, that’s not to say I didn’t explore the options. I looked into all of them in the NYC area. Then I explored the options around my new home. I have all the information and I certainly haven’t forgotten or given up on these potential ideas. I even have new plans for this upcoming year (stay-tuned).
- Take care of me: my plan was to find doctors; settle into life in NYC. Well… I did find the doctors I needed and I did follow through with all the appointments. Then, as I’ve said, I moved – so the integration will have to start again. But that’s okay it will happen. First, I have to get back to the other parts that make sure I’m taking care of me – my exercise routine, my diet, and my leisure time. And I have finally taken the necessary steps to ensure I’m building in those important parts of my life. December’s works will make for a good new year.
- Downsize: my plan was to remove all the unnecessary items from my life. Well… this is the one area where I exceeded my expectations. I most certainly downsized. By the time I moved from NYC, I had taken four vehicle loads of stuff to the Salvation Army; I had sold eight items, mostly furniture; and, I had convinced myself not to buy things I wanted (just what I needed). All in all, I still have a lot of things, but they are the things I need in my life with a few bonuses.
It was a good year. Sure, at first glance I might question my success. I didn’t get everything checked off the list. But I did, as usual, accomplish a lot.
As mentioned my life changed in February. I survived a car accident, I probably shouldn’t have. I lost control of my vehicle on a snow-covered highway. Somehow, managed not to hit or get hit by a 18-wheeler. Somehow, avoided having the truck fly over a cliff. Somehow, lived through the truck turning onto it’s side and skidding down the highway.
Although the truck was a write-off, the girls and I walked away.
A blessing in more ways than one.
With that change in perspective came a change in me. I had been heading down my regular path of delusion. Planning and doing nothing. I had hoped the death of my best friend the year before would have spurred a bigger change. But in the end what drove me forward was my own near-death experience.
Many of the things I did were not what I expected when the year began, but overall, I’m every happy with where the year ended.
I say goodbye today to 2015. A year that was full of highs and lows. The biggest low – having to put Isis to sleep after her brave battle with cancer (I still miss her). The biggest high – my move into my own house in upstate NY (where I now find myself in the middle of a whole-house-five-year renovation).
Now, to plan for a productive 2016.