2013 Blogging Year-in-Review

Happy New Year!  🙂

Yes, I know New Year’s was a while ago.  As far as I’m concerned, all of January is New Year’s.  I call it New Year’s Month, because that’s about how long it takes me to recover from the holidays, undecorate my house, get my family’s New Year’s cards out, and get back into the swing of things at school.

Happy New Year’s Month!  🙂

WordPress kindly sends out annual reports to their bloggers every December 31st with stats for the blog’s year-in-review, and I like to share a few of those things with you, delightful readers.  (Here’s a peek at last year’s; this year’s will be different.)

Sappho’s Torque is being read in 75 countries now.  That’s pretty cool.

Here are my most popular posts of 2013.  The thing I find most interesting about this short list is that it encompasses really well the directions my blog took in 2013.

*  Government Shutdown Haiku Contest:  I love to sponsor haiku contests — in fact, look for another one coming soon!

*  Why Our Society is Failing as a Collection of Human Beings:  Sometimes things happen out there in the world that drive me to my computer to sound off about them in public.  I try to keep this to a minimum, but sometimes the issue and my breaking point must not be ignored.

*  May Rêveuses in Bloom:  For thirteen months I conducted the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project in celebration of Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus — an excellent book and one which affected me deeply — and, although I’m not still doing it here on the blog, I’m delighted and astounded to have been told just a week ago that some of those who were participating in it around the country while it was a feature here on this blog still do so just for fun.  So amazing!

*  100 Days of School:  Sometimes I share stories about my family, and this post about my son’s kindergarten homework remains one of the most giggle-inducing and cheer-you-up posts ever.

*  Fashion Friday 8/9/13:  Another blog project I had going on for a while was my Fashion Friday series, which was a wonderful way to merge one of my hobbies (fashion, especially the quirky kind) with an opportunity to host guest bloggers.  I’m not still doing this weekly, but I am still taking queries for Fashion Friday guest posts and even working on a couple myself.  This particular post (from 8/9/13) was written by Sarah Warburton about the Tardis socks she knitted.

Life here is busy.  I have many writing projects on the proverbial stove, and some are nearly done cooking.  I continue to strive for work-life balance — something I’m not entirely convinced even exists — and have resolved this year not to make any big resolutions, but rather to make one smart decision at a time.  Sometimes this even works out.

Thank you all, so much, for being here.  I wouldn’t bother blogging without an audience, and I’m glad you’re here, because despite my initial reservations about getting into this practice, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.

Cheers.  🙂

 

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone.  Have you made any resolutions?

I tend to root myself in traditions, which I find stabilizing in the general maelstrom that is my overbusy life.  Not all traditions, mind you, and not even all the ones I grew up with.  Just the meaningful or interesting ones.  Among my New Year’s traditions, along with black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day (which, sadly, my husband and children have so far refused to eat even when I make them with ham) and drinking a toast at midnight, is setting for myself some resolutions.

Sometimes these are successful.  I remember one year, before we had children, before we owned our own home, even before I was teaching full-time, when my husband and I decided we watched too much television didn’t indulge enough our passion for reading and so would stop sitting in front of the idiot box, spending our unoccupied evening hours with books instead.

That was one of the best Januarys ever.

We managed it for a full month and really enjoyed it.  But we sort of missed our favorite television shows.  (This was back in the day when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and the incredibly offensive Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? and MTV’s The Real World were the only “reality” shows on the air, and back before we owned a house that offered us opportunities for improvement and upkeep and so home improvement shows on HGTV were fun to watch.)  So on January 31st, we decided that we’d had a good time reading and would allow television back into our lives more sparingly without letting go of reading every night.  We learned how to enjoy the proverbial best of both worlds, and our lives were better as a result.  I count that as a successful resolution.

I have made other resolutions over the years that did not turn out so well.  I remember the time in college when I decided I wasn’t going to shop anymore.

That lasted almost a week.  I tried giving it up for Lent that spring, too, which turned out slightly better.

There was that other time when I resolved I would stop procrastinating.  I ended up having to give that one up for Lent, too.  Didn’t work out either time.

I could go on, but somehow spending the first day of the new year recounting past failures seems counterproductive.

So in thinking about this year’s resolutions, I determined that — as in any good problem-solving strategy — I should look at the root of the problem to find a way out of it.    And if the purpose of making resolutions is to improve the quality of my life — and honestly, isn’t that the idea, really? — then I should figure out what about my life needs improving.

I know, I know:  Elementary, my dear Watson.  Sometimes I come to these epiphanies slowly.  Bear with me.

There are things in my life — and most of us can say this — which drive me a little nuts on a daily basis.  And I would love it if I could eliminate those things, or at least ameliorate them, so that they didn’t bother me so much.  (And maybe not letting myself get so worked up over them would help, too, although I admit I’ve tried that before with little success.  I just ended up feeling like a slacker who had given up on her standards.  Not really the direction I was looking for.  There has to be a compromise in there somewhere.)

So here we go, New Year.  Today, January 1st, is the day I identify the things that stress me out unnecessarily and figure out daily ways to make those things better.  This is a resolution to enjoy my whole life more, every single day.

It’s a noble goal.  Wish me luck.