This is the last of my looks back at 2019. The winter solstice, the point where the days are shortest in the northern hemisphere, occurred last night. This is often considered the turning of the year, the point where the world begins to shift from darkness to light. In honor of that event, I’m looking at some key aspects of my life to explore how they did and did not change in 2019.
- Family. There’s nothing more important than my family. I’m happy to say that things are good for us as a group, and that this has been a year of maintaining a strong steady state. My husband and I are still together after 44 happy years, our adult children live nearby, our son is a functioning, independent adult (something that was occasionally in doubt over the years, as he has Asperger’s Syndrome), our daughter has a job she likes and she and our son-in-law have a happy home with two cats. We all get together for birthdays and holidays, and enjoy each other’s company. For all this, I am enormously grateful.
- Life. Focusing more specifically on my own life circumstances, I see a couple of changes. The biggest one is that I retired six months ago, after 31 years as a college professor at the same institution. I loved teaching, and have always thought of myself as a teacher, but it was time for me to step aside. I find that I also love being retired! I have time to do the things I choose to do, which is wonderful. The other change in my life is that one thing I choose to do is to work out much more regularly. I joined the local YMCA, where I attend classes and use the machines, and I also use a treadmill and weights in my basement. I will never be a fitness champion, but I’m serious about increasing my strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.
- Blog. PhoThe really big change here is happening now. I’ve had my own domain (www.celiareaves.com) for years, but haven’t done much with it. I posted regularly on my WordWacker blog (www.wordwacker.wordpress.com) instead. As of the first of the year, though, the blog will be housed entirely on my own site. I’m going to miss the old blog site, and especially the 358 people who follow me there. I hope they follow me all the way over to the new site, but I’m resigned to losing some of them. The only way to keep followers, of course, is to provide content people want to read. That’s on me! Over the years I’ve experimented with various kinds of content, most recently the Something for Sunday posts, including this one. They’ve been a lot of fun to do, but have not been wildly popular. I don’t expect to continue them as an every-week thing on the new site. What will I be posting? Whatever I think people will be interested in reading about, including the other items here on this list.
- Photography. I’ve posted photos regularly on my site for years, and those have been my most popular posts. I participate in two separate challenges at this point: Lens Artists once a week, and Squares, daily for a whole month four times a year. This is exciting and fun, and these are some of my most popular posts, so I will definitely be continuing with them. I may also jump in on some other photo challenges, including Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge or the Tuesday Photo Challenge on Dutch Goes the Photo. I’m a very basic photographer, taking snapshots with my phone, but it’s something I enjoy and occasionally produces something worthwhile!
- Haiku. I post haiku on the blog every April as part of the A-Z Blog Challenge (I’ll be on there again in 2020 with my ever-popular haiku puzzles), but most of the haiku I post are on Twitter. I’m very slowly getting better at the whole micro-poetry thing, though I still don’t really understand morae, the Japanese phonological units on which haiku are traditionally based, so I just count English syllables instead. Perhaps I’ll figure that out in 2020!
- Writing. Yes, I’m still writing the book. I’ve made great strides in 2019, including two nearly full reviews by my local writers’ group and another review by folks from an online beta group. My best estimate is that I will have one more beta review in 2020, getting critiques on the nearly-final version, and will get a revised, proofed, and polished version ready to query. That will be a huge step, when it happens, and it’s something I would be sure to post about. In other writing news, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time (working through the latest revision) and reviewed a draft of a novel for one of the other writers in the beta group.
So that’s where I am right now, at the cusp of the year. There won’t be much more from me in 2019 (the weekly photo challenge is on hiatus in the last week and I will just drop short greetings). Look for more in 2020!
Time is running out! If you wish to keep finding my content in 2020, you need to switch to my site (www.celiareaves.com), because starting in January I won’t be updating here any more. I hope to see you there!