I've been thinking about how to wrap things up here on Cookie's Chronicles for the year. As you all know by now, I am currently undergoing treatment for Lyme Disease. I have good days and bad days and days that are not so bad but that are still challenging. For example, today I am able to clean floors and dust, but it hurts to look at a computer screen. Still, I want to usher out this year and welcome the new year with a little something celebratory. After all, it's been quite a year and despite the challenges I have so much to be thankful for!
I see that some of my bloggy friends are writing question and answer lists to reflect on the year and set the stage for 2014. I like this idea. I think I'll add to it and send a nod out to some other bloggers at the same time.
Bloggers, if you've been tagged at the end of this post it means that however busy, sick or preoccupied I have been this year, I have noticed you. I appreciate you, your blog, your support, and your friendship. (If I haven't listed you, please forgive me! Blame my foggy brain. I want to hear from you too!!) Please participate only if you want to and have the time. I know how precious time is and I would rather you spend it on your personal priorities. If there's time, I'd love to hear your answers to these questions or any others you choose to reflect on.
Some of these questions are inspired by this post by Jen Ann Hall at I'm Dancing in the Rain. I'll keep it short(ish) and sweet.
Reflections on 2013:
What are you most grateful for this year? I am grateful for so many things, including my amazing friends and family. Honestly, the thing I am most grateful for this past year is my own inner strength, and whatever well that comes from. Without it, the outcome would have been something very different. The results of the past year give me hope and renewed strength to go at it again in 2014.
What did you learn about yourself this year? Lots! I learned that I am capable of just about anything and that accomplishment and fulfilment come in many forms. I have learned to be patient and to be grateful for small successes and that the satisfaction in this is far greater than waiting until I arrive at some larger achievement.
Did you try anything for the first time this year? I tried out my stand mixer for the first time. That was more exciting than it probably ought to have been. I also tried to go a whole day without potato chips once this year. Not pretty.
Did you choose a word to focus on for 2013? How did that word influence you this year? No, I was on sabbatical at the beginning of the year, but I did choose one for 2012 that I have continued to reflect on. It was REJOICE. When dealing with a chronic illness or any sort of constant hardship, it's easy to get bogged down in the dull, depressing details. This word reminds me to include joy in my daily routine, and to take things less seriously. In fact, I have so assimilated this word that I look for joy in just about every moment. I almost always find it. How awesome is that?
Did you travel this year? Where to? Oh yes! Hubs and I had a fabulous trip to Hawaii early in the year while the grandparents looked after our son. We both so needed that break. What a beautiful paradise that part of the world is. I was also fortunate enough to spend a weekend in Montreal with my sister where we connected with old friends. We also spent a weekend at Disney with the little guy - a consolation for not being able to come with us to Hawaii. That was very fun and very, very exhausting! Someone remind me the next time I decided to travel somewhere for just three days that it is not the best idea!
Did you have a favourite song or songs this year? I got pretty hooked on Royals by Lorde. Still loving it, actually.
Did you learn anything new or pick up a new hobby? I did just recently acquire a pretty lucrative new skill known as Rainbow Looming. ;) Anyone else? I think this may be the toy of the year around here.
I also learned how to make all sorts of treats and staples gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free this year. Major accomplishment that helps with that whole rejoice thing!
Did you discover any new good eats this year? I have gone through such madness around food this year. Our diet restrictions are incredibly tough to manage at times. In the process, however, we have become even healthier eaters and I have learned new baking and cooking skills. We eat such good food at home now that it's often a disappointment to eat out. (Having said that, I rarely complain when I have an opportunity to not cook.)
What about books? Well, you know how I love books. I love books like some women love shoes! I read a lot of books this past year that I wish I had talked about on my book blog, but time and priorities - like reading - kept me from it. Best book of the year? Probably The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
simply because it was very well written and met me where I am right now. I highly recommend it.
What was you favourite movie of 2013? I'm going to go with Star Trek Into Darkness. Stellar cast and direction. High action and drama. Oh, and did I mention the cast? Chris Pine (yum), Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg!!!
Predictions for 2014:
How will you / did you celebrate New Year's Eve? By taking some time to reflect on what I have to be grateful for, and all that I have survived and accomplished this past year. I will kiss my two favourite boys goodnight and fall asleep long before most of the city does, tucked cozily in bed next to the love of my life.
Will you do anything differently in 2014? Resolutions? Goals? This year, I resolve to be more patient with myself. Also, writing is going to be a large part of my life. For years I have resolved to try to do more writing. In 2014, there is no more try. I am a writer.
Have you chosen one word for 2014? What is it? I have and it is REST. There are many things that I want to begin in 2014, but above all else I want to heal. When I am tired and ill and am trying to decide what I should do, this word will remind me that there is just this one thing that I need: rest.
Any travel plans for the new year? No plans yet. This is a treatment year - part of the reason we travelled so much last year - but Jeff's mom and step-dad gave us an amazing gift: funds to make a special trip and the promise of childcare while we are gone. Our trip to Hawaii last year, just the two of us, was such a retreat. I look forward to this next trip when I'm well enough to travel again. April? May? June? We'll see. So fun to have something to dream about!
Will you take a course or learn anything new this year? I thought about a number of writing courses, but have landed on self-directed learning. I bought a few writing books, and ultimately plan to just do the work to hone my writing skills. So, yes, lots of learning! Very, very excited!
Well, that was fun! I am so glad that I returned to blogging this year. Thanks to you, my readers and friends for your understanding and patience and for your support.
Here's to a restorative and lovely 2014! All the best to you and yours.
And now to tag some of my bestie bloggers! If you're not already following these lovely ladies, pay them a visit and you'll know why I heart them.
Jen of I'm Dancing in the Rain
Bruna of Bees With Honey
Bianca of Bits of Bee
Deborah of The Monster in Your Closet
Amanda of Lilahbility
Lisa of Schwartz Chronicles
Robin of Farewell Stranger
Nadia of Mama and the City
Beth of Far From Camelot
Christine of The Aums
Theresa of A Mountain Momma
Barbara of Footprints in the Sand
Greta of Time out for Mom