Looking Forward and Back

Snow In Tree

In 2017 I read 338 new to me books and reread 22. That may seem like a lot to some, but for me, that is down in comparison to years past. As much as I love to read, I’m actually glad that number is down because that means I’m doing other things besides JUST that.

I managed to accomplish several things this last year. While I still spent a ton of time buried in a book or a silly computer game, it is nice to look back and see a few other things mixed in.

  • Merged all my various blog projects into this one instead of trying to maintain so many different spaces, removing the self imposed pressure to do something with all of them, which allowed me to get back into doing this in a way that I enjoyed again.
  • Spent a little more time with my camera and taking pictures.
  • Took the first big family vacation we’ve had in several years, which also ended up being one of the best.
  • Started a huge new creative project that I am more than ready to move forward on, but am still learning patience on because I’m waiting for others’ participation and input.
  • Spent a lot of time coming to terms with all the toxic relationships in my life and learning to live without those people. This was huge for me and has left me feeling so much better about myself and the choices I’m making for me and my kids.
  • Found a healthy balance when it came to reading and writing my book reviews. Since I mostly do all of this for me anyway, I learned to not put pressure on myself to write something just because I read a book. Some books just didn’t require words from me and that is okay.
  • Did a second huge creative project with my nutcrackers.
  • Printed and hung up years worth of photos and got them up on display. These were mostly of the kids, but I have a few of my favorite nature shots mixed in as well.
  • As noted above, I spent less time buried in a book and I’m counting that as a plus.

I’m not really a fan of huge, sweeping resolutions or goals with really rigid result requirements. I do much better if I have room to change and modify or even room to realize that the end goal isn’t really what I want or need and not feel like a complete failure if I didn’t do something. I’d like to see more of the same for this next year that I started in 2017.

It would be great to say that the reading that I do is more quality, but that is kind of impossible when it has been a long time goal to find a new author that I love as much as my few top favorites. That means reading lots of books by new authors and the risk of reading stuff I really don’t like.

I want to spend even more time with my camera. I’d been in the habit of taking it with me in the mornings when I take BG to school, but nearly 90% of the times I was inspired to stop to take a shot, I couldn’t because I had to get to school. By the time I dropped her off, the lighting hand changed and the shot was gone. I need to give myself more opportunities.

My fingers are crossed in every possible way that I’ll be in a position to start talking about my in progress creative project and moving into the next phase. It is so different from anything I’ve ever done, I’ve got a crazy jumble of emotions all tangled up in it.

The couple of projects I worked on have really restarted the creative flow and inspired me to want to do more. I don’t know what exactly because there are so many things I do and like to do. I do know that I’ve been wanting to play with some new cake recipes, so maybe that will be one and the photography is always on the list.

Bare minimum will be to do more things that bring joy and fulfillment to my life. This last year brought lots and I hope that this one will bring even more.

 

Author: TJ Fox

Slightly sane artist, book addict, wife and mom who is forever rethinking her place in this world.

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