Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Year End Review pt2: accomplishment

clock_towerThis was destined to be an unusual year and as such I did not set concrete goals. The process of ending a marriage can be overwhelming and it takes enormous determination to keep it from overshadowing one’s entire existence. One thing I note as an accomplishment was working the divorce process well. I am satisfied that each of us was able to retain a sense of dignity and come away with our individual identities intact.

However, just because it was a distracting year does not mean that I intended to accomplish nothing. As I look over this past year I see that I was able to accomplish a number of things that looked like they might get shoved to the back burner in the upheaval.

Writing

Writing was not only an accomplishment this year, it literally saved my life. Unfortunately blog posts sometimes had to take a back seat to the paid column so there are some gap weeks online. However I wrote every week; and most weeks I wrote every day.

Newspaper, freelancing:

This year I published 52 columns with 31 reprints and 55 photos with 20 reprints. The paper has probably become a static entity at this point. The purpose it now serves is keeping my skills sharp. Before I started this weekly column I knew how to write and the basics of reporting, research, finding sources and storytelling; but doing it on deadline every week for almost three years has brought me to the place where I can write about almost anything anytime.

Blogging:

I have published 56 blog posts so far this year. That does not count next week and I do plan to post both Tuesday and Thursday. This year I made a deliberate change in the flavor of my content. I have been working through deep subjects personally and sensed there were others online looking for similar information. I don’t aspire to be the last word on any topic but to offer a different perspective to consider as an option.

National Novel Writing Month:

I logged an official 55,025 words in my nanovel in November. More importantly about NaNoWriMo this year is that I think I have found the book I am supposed to write; or at least a topic I supposed to write about. Also, even without home internet access, I was able to stay connected to my NaNo buddies without whom writing 50K plus words in a month would not have been possible.

Networking

Blogs:

My online relationships have grown this year. Of course like face-to-face friendships a few did depart when divorce entered the room and a few others dropped when my posting frequency dipped in the transition. That’s the way it goes sometimes. However those who stayed, and continued to offer support and encouragement, and those who have come along since are among the dearest people I know.

Also while subscribers took a dip mid-year like everything else the current numbers are double what they were before the dip. I have not found a simple explanation for the sudden increase nor that my current Technorati Rank is ten times what it was a year ago. The numbers would probably make most of you yawn still, but they are significant to me because I was thinking about closing this blog and starting over; now I’m not sure what to do. This is particularly unnerving since I have some posts that have over 3000 hits and still get search engine traffic every day.

Facebook:

Another online accomplishment was finally joining Facebook. I have stalled about this for about two years. Why? I think mostly it was a fear thing; fear that I would get overwhelmed by “friend” requests from people I either didn’t know or knew but preferred to not “friend,” fear that I would not be able to converge my online identities in a clear and meaningful way, and fear about working through how to manage it with peace of mind. I have yet to incorporate all the bells and whistles, or even streamline to one online identity, but it’s functional for now.

LJ NaNo Buddies

This is my online writing group. We hang together during NaNoWriMo and then post our writing and publishing pursuits the rest of the year at out private LJ community. We also have a subgroup for proofreading. This year we gained three new members. This is one of my major lifelines and I would likely have given up writing if I had not found such a group online because I could find no local group I enjoyed or felt wanted me to become my own style of writer.

Life Change

Second life:

I have been recreating my life as a single woman. Throughout my life the concerns and needs of others have been a major factor in determining the roles I have filled and provided a major portion of my identity and esteem – that is stating a fact and not a value judgment. I am very proud of my life as a stay at home wife and mother. It served me very well and helped to build up my core strengths on which I now draw to move forward and build the second half of my life. But I am okay being on my own and it is enough just taking care of myself for the first time in my life; really taking care of myself.

Vision Board:

I finally finished my Vision Board for my life going forward and posted about it earlier. It covers five major areas: being grounded, being at home, being connected, writing + storytelling, and living + lifestyle. It really does take my breath away every time I look at it; and sometimes I wonder if I can really have that life. But there are three phrases at the bottom, sort of like foundation stones, that give me hope that I can create a new life going forward: Be Exceptional, Make a Difference, What Do You Want to Accomplish this Year?

What did you accomplish this year? Were there any surprise accomplishments?

Series:

End of the year and time to review

Year End Review pt1: word of the year

Year End Review pt2: accomplishment

Year End Transition and Rituals

3 comments:

Rositta said...

That's a pretty impressive list of accomplishments. I can't say I got there within the first year of my divorce which was more than 40 years ago. My year was spent dealing with some medical issues (some of which still need to be resolved), and traveling. Learning to live alone and take care of oneself is something I'm not certain I could do again at this stage of my live. If my marriage ended now I think I'd be totally lost. Have a Merry Christmas...ciao

chelle said...

Wow. You have done well for yourself this year.

I made no goals last year. I wanted to have a baby and enjoy it. I did well :)

This coming year is my year to get into shape. eep!

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