Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 Reflection

As 2015 draws to a close, it's time to report and reflect on the goals I set at the beginning of the year.
    1) Finish the first draft of my memoir. A manuscript ready to send in to publishers would be even better. This means I will need to spend a good chunk of my free time working on it. No big new projects until this one is done.
    • Key metric: Chapters with the bulk of their content completed (i.e. the main stories I want to include in the book) by the end of July shutdown. July-Dec: Editing, editing. 
    Result: DONE! Just today I finished editing the 50th and final chapter. Two more rounds of editing, and then the book will be 'done' (that is, until if/when it is picked up by a publisher and they require further editing). I've laid out a schedule that has all the editing being done by February. 

    3) Invest in my important relationships. Husband, nieces, nephews, sisters, brother, parents.
    • Seeing my core family (brother & sis-in-law, parents, younger sister, older sisters and their families) several times this year. So far I have seen my mother, sister, brother-in-law, 2 nieces and 2 nephews so far this year, and it's only January. Plans include (in chronological order):
      1.  Visit to see my sister in February Result: Result: Done, plus several more visits out there! Saw her about once a month, and it was so good. Our relationship has blossomed. 
      2.  Celebrating my oldest sister's 40th birthday in Las Vegas with her, her husband, another older sister, and her husband. I've never been to Vegas so it will be interesting to experience a new place. Result: Done. Can't say I really enjoyed Vegas, but I know it meant a lot to my sister. 
      3. My college friend's wedding, which is near my sister so I will get to see her as well. Result: Done, and I was so glad we went. I know it meant a lot to my friend, and it was a beautiful wedding.
      4. Celebrating the same sister's birthday with my mom and sisters for a girls' weekend in Asheville, NC. Result: Done, and we all had a good time. 
      5. Spending a long weekend with my brother, sister-in-law, husband, and sister this summer. I love hanging out with them, and want to be proactive about making that happen. Result: Done, and Catherine still talks about how much fun she had. We went swimming, kayaking, painting, biking, video gaming - it was a great time. 
      6. Thanksgiving with my parents in SC Result: Done!
      7. Christmas with my husband's family in AR Result: Done - just got back yesterday. 
      8. Probably another visit to see my brother around the holidays. Result: Will be done! Planned for next week. 
    • Sending birthday cards to all those whom I can't celebrate with in person. I know it feels so nice when I get cards on my birthday. It's a simple thing to do to remind those I care about that I love them. Result: I sent a handful of cards, which is more than last year but not as much as I would have liked. 
    • Continuing to be a part of my little sister's life, and witnessing her journey toward recovery. I will help where I can, but I acknowledge every recovery is different.  Result: This has been one of my proudest achievements of this year. My sister and I have grown so much together - she is an integral part of my life. 
    • Dates with my husband, spending dedicated time for conversation and reflection. Also, hiking, particularly some overnight hikes. Something special to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary this year. Every year I realize more and more how blessed I am to have my husband. Result: Done! Most weekends we went to either a coffee shop or to a winery. Only one overnight hike. Unfortunately, I was in Japan for our anniversary and we didn't end up doing anything special. I kind of wish that we did. 
    B goals
    • Be more caring and helpful at work, and invest in relationships with my coworkers. Continued technical competence and learning is important too. Result: I certainly learned a lot more. The project role was completely new to me, and so was the technical area I was assigned to after my promotion. I did a few things to nurture relationships with co-workers. 
    • Continued involvement in our church, particularly our small group. Result: Not done. Almost no involvement in small group. 
    • Switch to a project-based role in my department in May/June. Work days will be much more predictable and less chaotic than they are with my current production-based role Result: Done...until I had to leave in December. None of this I would have predicted for 2015, and I'm trying very hard to look at it as an opportunity, not a loss. 
    • Work less when possible. I spend too much time at work. We don't need the money, and it doesn't make me more productive.  My goal is to take at least 15 vacation days in 2015, which will require me to use some of my overtime for vacation time, instead of getting paid for it like I did in 2014. Result: I did end up taking a lot of vacation time. As far as working less, it's hard to say. When I was in Japan, there was a lot of pressure to work longer hours, but when I was back in the U.S. it wasn't so bad. 
    • Begin planning a trip for 2016 to Napa Valley with my husband for our anniversary.Result: Not done. Due to the job situation, we'll probably put it off at least another year. 
    • Train for and run another trail race. Not a big deal if I don't do this, but it would be nice. Result: Not done, but I"m okay with it. 
    • Possibly going to court again to testify on my sister's behalf Result: Done, with success - she is safe. It was so stressful, but we did it. 
    • Possibly moving to a slightly larger house that is hopefully closer to work. Result: Not done, and it's a good thing as I don't have the job anymore. 
    • More Japan travel, including a hike to the summit of Mt. Fuj! Result: Four trips to Japan total, so I think that covers it. As far as the Mt. Fuji climb - not done - we were ready to go, but decided not to due to the weather that weekend. Kind of wish we had, as the weather turned out to be okay, but given what we knew at the time, it made sense. 
    In summary: 2015 was a good year and a difficult one.
         The good:
                        My relationship with my younger sister grew into one of the biggest joys in my life. 
                         My relationship with my husband deepened
                         I finished the first draft of my book
                         I got a promotion at work 
                         I got to explore Japan
                         I didn't have any major health issues

         The bad:
                        I left my job, working for my 'dream' company
                        I grew a little more distant from God
                        That's it? Hmm. Maybe 2015 was overall a good year, then. 

    Gratitude. Thank you God, for my life. 


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