Tag Archives: new year

2016 in Review

By many accounts, 2016 seemed like the year that wouldn’t end. The phrase “dumpster fire” comes up frequently in relation to it. And it certainly wasn’t without its share of awfulness. It becomes very easy, though, to overlay the big arc of things over personal triumphs. But when one of my friends issued a challenge to list off good things that we’d experienced last year, I realized I had a growing list of accomplishments and things to celebrate.

The biggest one, the first thing I’m likely to boast about when given half a chance, is completing NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It took about another 20 days and another 20k words past the end of November, but I completed my first long piece of writing in… ever, really.

I don’t know that I would have done that if not for the spark to revisit writing that was kindled with attending WorldCon and a local sci fi con in 2016 and chatting with different authors, sitting in on panels with so much speculative food for thought. My to-read list grew, but more than that, I’ve realized there is a conversation to a genre, one that I’d like a seat at eventually.

I still have so much to learn with the craft of writing, but I know one thing already: it can’t edge out my time for other crafts. The ability to make yarny things is important to me, and in spite of my crafting grinding to a near halt in November with drafting a novel, I still managed to make a ridiculous number of shawls and burn through about 15,000 yards of yarn, after revising my goal up from 10,000 in September. I didn’t get around to really learning to use the spinning wheel my dear husband gave me for our anniversary, but that’s right at the top of the list for this year.

One of my annual goals is to read 100 books, something I managed to first achieve in library school, of all places. I guess grad school can unlock reading superpowers. I’m sure that goal will creep upward with time, but for now, it’s a comfortable, achievable goal that I’ve met for the last three years running. Pretty proud of that one. I was able to participate in Library Reads top 10 books of the year for the first time, having made a goal to better keep up with current publications. I plan on a few end-of-year reading retrospective posts, too. Soon. I’ve got some more librarian- and personal-development-oriented goals in mind for next year, which I’ll also share.

Oh. Yeah. Library school. I finally finished that. I think it’s testament to the self-actualization and branching out of personal goals that this year has brought that it’s consistently something that falls mid-list of achievements rather than first. Am I officially using it yet? No. But I’ve got my eye out for opportunities, and while my dream job at my former library system didn’t pan out, there will be other opportunities. And hey, people rarely get the dream job right out the gate. One thing that is awesome about my current job? One of my long-distance friends is now my coworker, and that’s pretty cool.

Friends, as always, remain awesome. This was a year full of plenty of gaming, both board games and roleplaying games, and good friends to enjoy them all with. We rang in 2016 with friends and rang it out with friends over a tabletop game, pausing long enough to take note of the arrival of 2017 before going on to win against a villain bent on destroying the world. Not too shabby.

I suppose this retrospective begets a question of “what’s next?” I’ll hold that up as a teaser for a future post. For now, happy new-ish year!

How about you? What did you accomplish this year that you’re proud of?

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Here’s to a better 2017. *fingers crossed*

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Obligatory retrospective post

Farewell, 2014. It’s been an interesting year with major life stresses but also good changes. And lots of reading.

For the first time since I outgrew picture books, I read 100 books in a year, no small feat since I went from working sixteen hours a week as a page to a full-time job as a clerk with grad school for extra… fun. My reading had a lot of the familiar staples of my leisure reading, and some new stuff too–popular materials I decided to read as personally-driven professional development, and historical romances, which have become my go-to reading “snack.” Somewhere in there, I’ll generate a list of my top 10, a feat easier done with a pool of 50 books. Confession: it’s probably going to be more like a top 13 or 14 shoehorned into 10 by virtue of lumping series installments together.

I did somewhat remember to blog here, once I found it again. I intended this blog to be about reading, library school, and crafting. I managed that first one, at least, so next year, I hope to bring it back into balance and get better at posting more regularly.

Library school was a mixed bag this year, with some amazing classes (Readers Advisory and Public Libraries – what I consider “dessert” courses) and some less so. On the upside, I survived cataloging (definitely a “vegetables” class), and life seems a lot less bleak without that hanging over my head. I thought it, combined with my not having had any face-to-face classes in a year and the decreased urgency that comes of gaining a full-time job in one’s career path, had killed all my fire for library school, but I’ve found myself looking forward to the fresh start of the spring semester, with a class on teen materials and one on literacy.

Crafting continues to be a regular part of my life. My 2013 resolution post had me planning to expand on my knitting skills, and I’m tickled to report that somewhere over half my projects at a given time are knitting lately. Another new/ongoing goal is to continue working from stash, a goal I started in on, ringing in the new year with winding yarn for a new project, mmmm, new project anticipation! With that, I’m off to craft. It took 2 1/2 hours of tussling with the tangles alone–I am not going to let that stop me.

Here’s to a 2015 filled with good books, good yarn, and further growth of my library career. Cheers!

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