Early this year I set out some goals for 2016, not knowing what this year would bring. Boy, was I surprised. I thought I'd take a minute to check over those goals and ask myself, what the heck happened?? I'm not making excuses, but I can already tell you many of these fell by the wayside in March when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also lost three aged, beloved pets this spring. It was not a fun time.
So what were my goals for 2016?
1) Read lots of books - The first casualty was reading. It usually is the first thing to go because it's a "nice to do" not a "have to do". I did read the new Harry Potter play, which was mildly entertaining. And Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which I liked. (The movie totally changed the ending though.)
2) Write lots of words - Hoo boy! This I did NOT do. At all. When you're worried about your health and going to doctor appointments every week or more, you just don't feel that creative. No new projects were started this year. JuNoWriMo was skipped because of radiation therapy in June. However, I did complete edits on a middle grade manuscript I'm quite fond of called "Troll Teeth and other Bedtime Stories".
3) Travel - I was a little tied down this spring with radiation treatments every day for six and a half weeks, but after that I went to north Idaho to see family. I've also had some good day trips, some to places I've never been before. Most excitingly, I've got reservations for next spring break in St. Petersburg, Florida. I haven't been there for over twenty years.
4) Exercise and eat healthy - This really shouldn't be a goal; it should be every day life. I do mostly eat healthy, but I can't lie - when I thought I might be taking chemotherapy, I did some stress eating. I thought it might be helpful to bulk up before chemo so I had a little weight to lose anyway. Probably not what a doctor would advise, but it made sense to me at the time. I didn't end up getting chemotherapy, so I started watching my portions again. My exercise routine was interrupted by my surgery and I'm afraid I never really got back on the bandwagon. I still enjoy seeing how far I can go on my Fitbit each day, but I think weight bearing exercise is just as important as steps are. People keep saying "sitting is the new smoking". I got a standing desk at work and it's pretty cool.
5) Publish - I did the query thing, a got few nibbles, but no bites. My self-published titles are doing well on Amazon, so I decided to self-publish "Crawdad". It should be available very soon. The rights to "Vessel" were reverted to me from the publisher this year, so I'll be self-publishing that as well. "Troll Teeth" is with a publisher for consideration, as is "Star Taker, Sky Dragon", a steampunk adventure story. If those don't work out, they're both candidates for self-publishing too.
6) Grow a garden that survives - This one I achieved!! A new fence around the garden and a new greenhouse helped a lot, as well as a drop in the vole population spike. I got tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beans, onions, lettuce, and beets. I made pickles, salsa, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce. I've still got tomatoes, but I think I've canned just about all the stuff we can eat, so I'm not sure what I'll do with those. I also plan to make enchilada sauce when my anchos are dried. I also grew the prettiest flowers! The frost got the zinnias already, but there's still poppies and marigolds.
7) Save some money - yeah, not so much. Maybe next year?
8) Do some home improvements - other than the new greenhouse, not much of this happened either
9) Meditate - This helped me tremendously in March and April, which were terribly stressful months. I've meditated before with just a timer, but his year I found an app that had guided mediations for things like stress and worry. It was just what I needed. Check out the Gaiam Mediation Studio if you're interested.
10) Gratitude - If I didn't know how to do this before, I sure do now. Nothing like a life-threating illness to make you appreciate the life you have. I read an inspiring quote the other day that's going to stick with me for awhile....
We don't always know how we'll die, but we can always choose how we will live~
I chose to live life in peace, love, and gratitude.