Monday, December 29, 2014

The Weight of the Year

I know the calendar is an arbitrary division of time, but I feel the weight of the old year bearing down on me. The weight of goals achieved and not achieved, of challenges met and unmet...the days and weeks and months of 2014 feel heavier each moment. A new year is about to dawn, and it feels like a weight will fall off my shoulders with the passing of the old year. Do you feel that way too? The endings and beginnings of this time of year feel like a good chance to shrug off the old and look forward with optimism to the new. But before I go all philosophical on you, let me just quickly review the public challenges I set for myself in 2014:

 Reading Challenges
I succeeded in all three of my reading challenges—click here to see the results. I am just finishing up that last Mt. TBR book, but it will be done by the end of the month. I managed just one bingo, but I filled a number of other spaces—just not in a line! And I read all the “required” classics, and one of the optional books.

For 2015: I plan to read from my shelves again, since (surprise!) I continued to buy new-to-me books in 2014. I did end up with a small reduction in the TBR pile, but I still have many, many books secreted on my closet shelves.  I’ll also participate in the updated classics challenge here and once again in the Vintage Mystery Bingo Challenge.

30-Day Gratitude Photo Challenge
I’m so happy that I completed this challenge—it was fun, uplifting and gave me the boost I needed to take on…

31 Days of Sketching with Belle from Belle, Book and Candle starting Jan. 1. She plans to post her art on a separate blog (address to come), and I’m not sure yet how I’m going to post mine. I’m still working out the details and collecting prompts so that I’m never at a loss for what to sketch. My goal is to make sketching an activity rather than an event.

This year has been a year of emotional stress and upheaval (and dying computers and dogs going to the emergency vet), though I haven’t publicly written much about it. It was also a year of seeing old friends and family, reading good books and discovering Doctor Who. I’m grateful for the gifts 2014 has given me, but I want 2015 to feel different—less frustrating and anxiety ridden. I can’t control what happens to me, only how I react. Optimistically, I turn towards 2015, hoping for a happier and more successful year. But hoping will not make it so. If I want 2015 to be better than 2014, and I do, I will have to make some changes—in what I do and how I think. I’ll share what I learn in hopes that it will help and encourage you, too. As always, I’m especially grateful for all of you who have taken time to read my words and share your thoughts with me.

What gifts has 2014 given you? What do you look forward to in 2015?

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6 comments:

Cheryl Gebhart said...

Congrats on competing your challenges. I'll be interested to read more about your sketching challenge this next year. And very much looking forward to seeing you soon!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Thanks, Cheryl. I'm going to do the same challenges next year, but back down the Mt. TBR one by one level. I really had to work to finish that last book!

Can't wait to see you in just a few weeks. I will have some sketching practice done by then, too. Good thing, as I haven't picked up a pen or water brush for at least a month.

Danielle said...

You do so well with challenges--I think it serves as a guide for you and you obviously enjoy them--so cool that you will be doing them again this year! I love that a new year brings new opportunities! It's good to have a chance for a fresh start with new ideas! Here's to great reading in 2015! :)

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Danielle--My secret is to fit the challenges to what I want to read...don't tell anyone! I brought the Mt. TBR one down a notch because last year's 36 books felt like a struggle. I wanted to give myself a little wiggle room for choice this year.

Can't wait to see what interesting bookish discoveries we make this year! Thanks for your all the interesting blog posts and comments (and postcards!) of past years, and here's to a new year of reading pleasure.

cmriedel said...

Happy new year from Manitoba, Kathy! 2014 weighed upon me too. Group-wise, you're the participatory kind I need: "Ethereal", "Gentle Spectrums", "My Kind Of Mystery". I give prizes and as a contrast to tricky challenges, they're all-encompassing. ANY mystery or colours you're doing, fit my latter two. If you read mystical types as well (very broad), that is music to my ears. :) My second year reprises February 1. Sincerely,Carolyn. https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/riedel-challenges-2015/

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Hi, Carolyn--Welcome to Catching Happiness. Let's hope 2015 is full of happy things and challenges met. I enjoyed your book stash photos and was relieved to see I'm not the only one with piles of books hanging out in the closet!