2022 was a challenging year. It began with the loss of our dog, a terrible back injury for me, and health issues with members of our extended family (thankfully nothing ended up being serious). But there were a lot of good things that happened, too--great moments of love and laughter and joy. That's how things go as we revolve around the sun: You take the good and the bad and do the best you can to get through it all.
My word for the year was Family, and here's how it served me (surprisingly well) for the year in four categories:
What I aimed for: I am going to strengthen my body to prevent injury, use the breathe app on my watch, and I'm following the Daily Dozen guidelines for eating more veggies and less chicken and fish. I need to be at my best to support the people I love.
How I did: Ehhhhh. This is always where I struggle. I did my PT diligently, kept up with my acupuncture, and moved along on the continuum of healing for the injury. But I fell off the wagon once PT was over (although I did keep a lot of the good habits, like using a standing desk at work). I'm definitely not where I want to be yet. However, at the end of the year I signed up with a personal trainer and have already had two sessions. More on that in my 2023 post. As for the watch and the veggies...still a work in progress. Sigh.
What I aimed for: I'll continue with my previous year's plans of taking the kids someplace new each month, playing more board games, and having everyone rotate through making dinner during the week ... Ultimately, we are a great team, and I want to build on that as our oldest starts high school(!) this fall.
How I did: I think we did great with this, TBH. It was my focus of the year, and keeping that word and those people out in front of me helped make hard decisions easier. We got back to traveling--Disney World, Portland, ME; Hershey, PA; New Hampshire--played more board games (fell in love with Ticket to Ride), and the oldest is settled and happy in high school. They could help more in the kitchen. But overall, this was a 100% success.
What I aimed for: I'll be continuing with my goals of writing 50 days per quarter (I loved how that worked for me last year), joyfully drafting new projects each quarter, and continuing to develop my hybrid indie publishing career by releasing some adult cozy mysteries through Table for 7 Press!
How I did: I also feel good about this. Although my back injury kept my numbers for Q1 and Q2 low, I managed to spend a total of 149 days with fingers to the keyboard. This led me to finishing the edits on the first two Shiver-By-the-Sea chapter books (which I got to announce in 2022!), and outlining the third. I finished, edited, and published A PARADE AND A PERP and a short story by my alter-ego Mina Allan. I wrote and posted 31 pieces of flash fiction for Inktober, which I shared on IG and Facebook. And at the end of the year Table for 7 decided to put together a short story collection which will be out later this year. It was a great writing year. I didn't submit anything new in the traditional publishing market, but I'm not beating myself up about that.
What I aimed for: So, I have a target income goal that I'd like to hit from my various writing-related freelance work, teaching, and mentoring. I am going to more strategically promote my essay collection, BAD CHOICES MAKE GOOD STORIES: Conversations about Writing and I'm planning to launch a course via Teachable or some platform later this year. Stay tuned!
How I did: I definitely hit that financial target (I think--more on that tomorrow) and I did a teensy bit of BAD CHOICES promotion. I also redid the cover of that book, and I love its purple hue. I did not launch a Teachable course, but I did take on a few clients for writing-related coaching, taught at Highlights and the MetroWest Writers' Guild, as well as SCBWI's mid-Atlantic region's online conference. The biggest thing I did for myself in 2022? Hire a business coach. Kathy Vines helped keep me on track, held me (gently) to task, and was a great sounding board when making decisions. I look forward to seeing what we do in 2023!
What I aimed for: I have some big financial goals around saving for college and organizing a 5 year financial plan. This involves working with my author business and exploring as many opportunities as I can as a writer.
How I did: Husband and I met with a financial planner, got organized around college saving for both kids, and we have a great plan going forward. More to come on this one, but we made big strides this year.
Although 2022 was challenging, we got through it as a family. I made significant progress to be proud of in all categories. Last year, I wrote: Family brings it all together--being present, connecting, and caring for myself so we can better care for one another. Keeping those at the center of my heart at the center of my year seems like a perfect fit.
And yeah. It was. It still is. Family doesn't go away with a new year--it's just gonna get stronger.
Tomorrow's post: My (somewhat awkward and embarrassing) word for 2023.
This crew made for a fantastic 2022