2017 #YearInReview

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!

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

10 thoughts on “2017 #YearInReview

  1. I really love your artwork. It looks fantastic. Looking forward to seeing the digital painting someday.

    And hooray for figuring out how to cook. My significant other and I are so hopeless in the kitchen. If it doesn’t come out of a box, I probably can’t make it. 🙂

    Hope you all get a nice break of illness and injury in 2018!

  2. That is a lot good to add balance to the year. So glad you are able to spot the high points because they were great ones. Love your art. You are very talented.

  3. Focusing and seeing the positive is good for your health (physical and mental)! I’m trying to do that too. And I’m sure your family likes not-rubber shrimp.

  4. Oh, sweetie.

    I hope you like, win the jackpot, followed by a FREE cruise to Hawaii where you discover long lost relatives who inform you of your unGodly inheritance. I’m *so* keeping my fingers crossed that this is your 2018. It’s so great that you look on the bright side to find all the awesome things that DID happen this year. 🙂

    And hey, super proud of you on the cooking thing! I have yet to master this (but it’s only me and Batman. I don’t have kids to feed!)

    (and no, never got a reply about the beta thing)

  5. I’m so glad you’re focusing on the positive. I’m sorry 2017 sucked. Have you noticed how many people complain about a year at the end of it? I hope your 2018 leaves the troubles of 2017 in the dust.

  6. Such a lovely look back at 2017 – it’s good to see that there was lots of good scattered amongst all of that sucky stuff. Here’s hoping 2018 brings only good stuff, like rainbow hair dye and gourmet meals 🙂

  7. Love your positivity, Loni – and the artwork. Plus your cooking has me drooling. I just wish you a creative and healthy 2018 – you deserve it.

  8. I definitely hear you about this year, but I think you’ve got the right idea here. Much better to focus on what did go well, and I’m glad to see you had a lot to say about that. ^_^ Here’s hoping for some significant triumphs in 2018.

  9. It’s all a matter of perspective. 2017 sucked for me as well, but as my wife and I looked over our album at the end of the year, there were good things mixed in there, too. Kudos for focusing on the positive stuff.

    Your artwork is great, and congrats on the cooking! 2018 looks to be starting off on the right foot!

  10. So sorry, Loni. This was another tough year for a lot of people. For me, it was the year I ended my eight-year relationship and went back to living on my own (and paying for everything on my own) for the first time in seven years. The year my dear mentor and friend died of lung cancer without ever telling me he was sick. Surgery, sickness, and uncertainty–I knew them well.

    But like you, there were some bright spots. Meeting the love of my life. Traveling to four different countries. Publishing four books. Being the guest author at a writers’ conference.

    A book I’m currently reading says that life is full of these tough moments, and it’s how we respond to them that dictates who will succeed and who won’t. From the sounds of it, you’re responding remarkably well. And your artwork is beautiful. Here’s to a much better 2018.

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