I spent some time today asking myself “Was 2015 a good year?” It was a surprisingly tough question.
On paper, it should have been a great year. In many ways, it was a great year.
- My eldest graduated high school and started college, and my youngest finished elementary and started middle school.
- We had a lot of great family times, including a visit from Chris’ parents, completing The Color Run with my hubby and sisters, and a big family trip to the Indiana Dunes.
- I kissed my horrible commute goodbye, and started working a full-time telecommuting position with SME Digital.
- I had my second pro-qualifying story sale, to Daily Science Fiction and had good sales at the few book fairs and conventions I attended.
It should have been a great year. So why am I so happy to see it end?
After some pondering, I nailed down my ambivalence about 2015 to two things.
First, it was a year when many people asked just a little more of me than usual. If it had been only one or two people, it would have been fine. But I started counting off the requests that nudged me out of my comfort zone… and I ran out of fingers. I had a (relatively) drama-free year, but a ton of people I know didn’t. It was only natural to ask me for help. And all that “little bit of extra help” added up to feeling like I was being slowly squeezed to death by a reticulated python.
The second reason is a little more troubling. I struggled hard with remembering to use coping skills I’d already learned. I didn’t expect it to be so hard to adjust to working from home. I didn’t plan on getting derailed by my inner critic so often. The worst part was, I know I have tools, techniques and resources to help me handle stress, manage my time, and stay healthy and productive. They’ve helped me though much tougher years than this one.
I just couldn’t seem to remember to actually use them on anything resembling a consistent basis. I wasn’t my own worst enemy, but I was a pretty poor ally. Ironically, in a year where I came through for other people, I failed to support myself or seek help from others, including God.
By December, I was a twitchy mess held together with chewing gum and bailing twine.
So whatever other goals I may have for 2016, my biggest one is to remember to apply the lessons I’ve already learned, and take care of myself at least as much as I’m taking care of others.
What about you? How has your year been? What lessons have you learned (or relearned) to prepare for 2016?