I’d have to say 2017 wasn’t my best year. In fact, I might rank it my worst so far. It was the year of injury and illness, of used-up sick leave and emotional bankruptcy. From January to December, it was filled with some ailment or another that left me despairing and sobbing.
But I kept reminding myself that there were other people out there with real struggles more intense than my own. Jeri Walker fought breast cancer and is still trying to make ends meet financially. Misha Gerrick faced a failing business and possible eviction.
So rather than focusing on all the terrible things that happened at the Town’s End (foot issues, torn LCLs, scarlet fever, etc.), I’m going to reflect on the good.
2017 was for art projects, rainbow hair dye, and virtual reality. I ran a 5K with my sis-in-law in April, went ziplining with my best friend, and explored the Discovery Center with my kids. I even convinced my husband to be my barber and shave designs into my hair.
2017 was also the year of cooking. I think I finally figured it out, folks! I managed to cook chicken with that golden brown, flavorful exterior and juicy inside. Not only that, I made buttery shrimp that wasn’t like chewing rubber, steak that wasn’t still mooing while being black on the outside, and mastered cauliflower fried rice that the residential grown-ups seem to really enjoy. This year took me into vegetarianism, low-carb diets, and experimenting with things in an effort to feed my family. I made beautiful, menu-picture worthy omelets, fun sprinkle-filled pancakes for the kids, and swapped out the cabinet-staple soy sauce for coconut aminos without much notice.
Despite life swatting me down, I am on track with my current weight loss plan to lose 30 lbs in one year (I started the first of November and am down by 8 lbs). I might not be able to lift weights due to a gimpy wrist that prevents me from doing simple things like pulling a pan out of the oven without pain, and my lungs send me into a coughing fit when I try to do anything more energy intensive than walking, but I can still do squats so my thighs should be in pretty good shape.
I might not have finished the writing projects I had hoped to, but I submitted a short story this year, and it was published in the benefit anthology FULL DARK! All proceeds for the anthology go to the Gary Sinise Foundation to help our active military, veterans, and first responders.
I got an awesome new laptop that has taken my artistry to a new level, giving me pressure sensitivity as I draw directly on the laptop screen. And much like I my cooking, I took the time to focus on learning how to be consistent in the art I produce, and managed to draw my characters the same way more than once. I’ve still got a long ways to go before I’m to a point where I can be really proud, but I’ve shown improvement over this past year, so I’m calling it a win. (These were all paper and pencil sketches. I’m still too novice with my digital painting to show it off.)
So yes, this year sucked (asthma issues, strep infections, house repairs…). And yes, I’m on antibiotics for my fourth illness in six weeks. But hey, this squirrel had some positive things happen this year too.
How was your year? Got any triumphs or tragedies to share? I hope you and yours are faring well. Here’s to a better year in 2018!