Thursday, December 27, 2012

Goodbye 2012: My Year in Review

Hello, everyone.

We're currently without power here in a very cold Little Rock. Ten inches of cold, fluffy white stuff caused a transformer in our backyard to crash and burn Christmas night. The wonderful electric company says it may be a week before they get power restored to us. Eek! Luckily, work still has power and SS was able to get me here safely to relieve my coworker so she could sleep a few hours.

Being snowed in without electrictiy has given me a lot of time to think about the past year. 2012 has been a year full of changes for me and my family, some great, and some not so awesome. Until I started looking back though, I didn't realize just how much happened this year, or how much I've learned as a result.

When the year began, I was finishing up final requirements for my graduate degree. I was exhausted, my brain was fried, and I had no clue how I was going to survive finals, but somehow, I prevailed. In March, after seven years of non-stop schooling, I officially completed my last degree in the top 5% of my class.


Celebrating graduation in Eureka Springs, AR

Two months later, I took over as volunteer coordinator at work, and spent much of the summer putting to rights our volunteer program. I learned so much, and had such an amazing time!

Hanging out with the big guys at work.

Losh visiting me at work.
 

I then spent a week over the summer with some of my absolute favorite people. We caused mischief, we talked, we laughed... and I cannot wait to do it all over again!

Partners in Crime
Hanging with the FLL.

In September, I published my first novel, Fade. This has been such a crazy, amazing experience full of ups and downs and "OMG, I think I'm going to throw-up" moments. Despite my reluctance to begin this particular journey, I'm glad I did. I've learned so much since I finished the first draft of Fade so many years ago...and I've learned even more since that terrifying September morning. :)

That's my name!

My family celebrated some very big milestones with my nephew, Aloshua over the course of the year, too!

 1. In September, he officially made it one year without a hospitalization for the first time ever!
 2. In late October, he came off of the ventilator, and has been off of it for two months for the first time since being placed on the vent at a year old!
 3. On Christmas Day, he said his whole first name (Aloshua) for the first time ever.
 4. For the first time in his life, he gained weight without being on oxygen or the ventilator. 

Way to go, baby!

In November, my beautiful new niece, the Flower Child, was born. She's pretty amazing, and I can't wait to begin teaching her all the questionable things I've taught the other niece and nephews over the years. She's got a lot of catching up to do!


Little Princess and the Flower Child
 
My grandma and the Flower Child
In December, I officially accepted a position with the state. In January, I will begin coordinating a new human services program for my region of the state. I'll be staying on at RMH one day a week to help out, and I am going to miss spending so much time with the very special families who call our House a home, but I am so incredibly excited for this new opportunity. :)

With all of these exciting changes has come many losses for my family, my friends, and those I hold dear. At work, we've lost so many amazing children, and that always breaks my heart. Their families remain in my thoughts and prayers, and I will be forever grateful for the time I got to spend learning their stories and helping them in some small way.

Early this year, I lost a dear friend as well, and I still miss her greatly. Her enthusiam was so infectious, as was her spirit and sense of adventure. She was a light in this world, and I think about her often.

Equally as devastasting... My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of November. A week after finishing her first round of chemo mid-December, she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. She's still there now, and our family is struggling to come to terms with the fact that she won't be with us for much longer. She has opted to discontinue chemo, as her doctors no longer believe it will be beneficial to her. I've spent a lot of time with her in the hospital over the last few weeks, and it's devastating to see her struggle so much. We will honor her decision though, and do everything we can to be there for her as she continues this difficult journey.

I've taken on many writing related tasks this year, and have struggled greatly with completing them. In fact, despite my best intentions and a whole lot of determination, I didn't finish so much that I wanted to complete this year, and that's been a bitter pill to swallow.

My reading list for the year is pathetic. I've finished less than half of the writing I wanted to finish. Blog challenges have gone undone, or half done. NaNoWriMo was a bust.

I'm still struggling to accept the limits I now face, and I think I will struggle with this for a long time to come. But I've learned that sometimes, this is for the best. No matter how much I hate it, or cry about it... I can't do everything. Taking care of myself must come first, and the sooner I learn to deal with that, the better.

I'm not admitting defeat on getting things done yet though. Not even a cup of little pills a day changes who I am. And I am stubborn! I may not have finished everything I started this year, and it may be taking a lot longer than I hoped, but I will get there eventually. And no matter what challenges you face, you'll get there eventually, too.

I'm looking forward to 2013 and the exciting adventures the year promises to bring. My goals are more realistic for the coming year, I think. And those I will share when it's not 4am. :)

Until next year,
Ayden
     

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

2 comments:

  1. You've had an amazing year, despite the losses. Congrats on your novel. Nano and reading challenges will be there when you have the time, but it sounds like you've accomplished plenty!

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