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The year that was

It's been a busy year for me on a personal level. And overall, life is very good, though it's not without its ups & downs, and with its various struggles and strains.

Housing In March, I sold my house on Chaucer Street and moved to a lovely cul-de-sac about half an hour away to live with my sweetheart. There was a lot of painting and cleaning and decluttering at my old house, followed by some of the same at my new house. One of the take-away lessons Morris and I learned in 2013 while preparing my house for the market was that we were making the house so very much nicer, and finally getting all the things on years' worth of lists done, but we weren't going to be the ones to benefit from it. The cleaned-out spaces, the new deck, the new carpet, the newly-painted rooms . . . they were all for the purchaser's benefit, really.

We decided then to develop a three-year plan for this house, and we've been moving through it pretty well so far. There's new recessed lighting in the kitchen and living room, new lighting in several other rooms, and new paint in the living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, master bath, and my writing room. Plus Morris took popcorn ceilings down in the living room, dining room, and kitchen (with more to go next year). We've also gotten some new furniture and art work, and gotten rid of a bunch of things neither of us cared for. It's led to a fairly peaceful home, which finally feels like my home, as I realized only yesterday. I'm not certain when that transition was complete, but it's a lovely feeling to belong to this house. And it's a lovelier feeling still to be in such a rewarding relationship that brings me so much joy and contentment.

Travel I attended a Highlights workshop last year, which I highly recommend if you can swing it. And as regular blog-readers know, my sweetheart and I spent a week in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was studying tai chi with six Chinese grandmasters while I staged my own revision workshop. In the fall, we took a cruise from Puerto Rico to some islands in the eastern Caribbean, and loved every minute of it. We also visited family in South Carolina early in the year, and I've made several trips to and from Massachusetts to see and/or transport Maggie back and forth.

Health It's been a hilly sort of year for me, health-wise. My rheumatoid arthritis acts up now and again, especially after long drives, and my fibromyalgia turns out to be a real pill. I also have suffered three prolonged bouts of vertigo during the year (one just arrived this week), which are no fun at all. On the plus side, I've added more walking to my life, which is good for lots of things, I think, both mentally and physically. And 2014 was the year that I took up meditation for real, and it has made a huge difference on my stress levels, and I'm pretty sure it helps my overall health as well.

Writing There have been several periods this year when not much has happened for me, writing-wise. And yet I've finished at least three or four picture book manuscripts, with several more in various stages of revision, and put together a chapbook which is going to be published in March of 2015 by Maverick Duck Press. Plus I sold four poems into three forthcoming anthologies. So it's still a successful year, even though I've spent a bit less time at it than in years past. Fingers crossed for actual book sales in 2015!

This afternoon, I'll be doing a bit of journaling to help me better process the year that was and the year I hope 2015 might be. That's a departure for me, as I'm not usually much of a journaller, but I think it's worth trying something new. Which reminds me that "trying new things" needs to go into next year's list.Below is a pretty image version of a phrase I've saved to my iPhone gallery a number of times this year when I see it online. I think that says it all, doesn't it? So next year, I'll be aiming for that, I think: living the life I truly want. My single-word for the year will be "explore".

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
beckylevine.com
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
I love "explore." Can't wait to see what all the exploration brings you!
kellyrfineman
Jan. 1st, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, Becky!
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Jan. 1st, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
Happy new year to you!
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
<3
marjorielight
Jan. 1st, 2015 05:34 pm (UTC)
Best Wishes
Mazel Tov on your accomplishments in 2014 and best wishes for continued love and success in 2015 ~ Much Love!
kellyrfineman
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Best Wishes
Love to you too, Marjorie!
Laura Purdie Salas
Jan. 2nd, 2015 02:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your year! It sounds like an immensely satisfying one, despite some challenges. Meditation is something I want to add to my life in 2015. Along with lots of other things, of course:>) But that's one that's really pretty new to me, so I'll be interested to see how it goes.
kellyrfineman
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
Definitely satisfying. The meditation has a lot to do with it. I started with free guided meditations at Chopra Center and Wild Divine, if you want some online resources to check.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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