Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Today, it's a look back at 2010. This was a rather horrible year for us but I am going to look for good things. Read slowly because it will take me a while to put this together!

1. I learned how to use my Panasonic video camera and how to make movies with it. I found this a fascinating process and a very cool creative outlet for me, at least for a while.

2. I read at least 49 books (I might have missed one or two on my list). This is actually a low number for me but I consider it a high number given that I have had an amazing amount of problems with my eyes and have gone through four different prescription changes in the last year in an effort to see better. I have discovered I don't read as much when I can't see to do it. The last prescription change occurred this week. Let's hope it helps.

3. In January, I took on book editing and that is something I really enjoy doing but don't do enough of. It is good to learn what you like to do. Maybe in 2011 I can find a way to do more of that.

4. The Roanoke Writer's Conference, also held in January, offered me a small balm for my soul. I like writer's conferences because they energize me, force me to think in new ways, and force me out of my shell for a little while.

5. I started walking around the track at Greenfield with a walking buddy, Dreama, and we became a little closer. I like to make new friends and have interesting people in my life, and Dreama is definitely interesting. She is an artist, creating whimsical and eclectic artwork that makes you smile and think all at the same time. I enjoy being around creative and brilliant people.

6. My friend B. has extended her helping hands to me many times in the past six months and I have been extremely grateful for her calm ability to listen to me bitch and whine. Thank goodness for friends. I don't know what I would do without them.

7. My blood pressure, once skyrocketing to stroke levels, is now under control thanks to a combination of medication, yoga breathing exercises, and Tai Chi.

8. An issue with identity theft, though upsetting and distressing (I will have to write about that in more detail sometime), ended without much damage. I was extremely lucky and fortunate to have caught the theft as quickly as I did.

9. I attended a Life Planning seminar at Hollins University for six weeks in the spring. While I can't say that it helped me with my life plans, it was great to be back on campus, to be around women who were interesting and engaging, and to spend time thinking about my life, my goals, and my direction, even if I never reached resolution.

10. I threw away 18 things. I was going for 50 after reading a book called Throw Out 50 Things but I am still trying to reach that number nine months later. The things I threw out included clothing, food, computer manuals, pillows, a pile of plastic grocery bags, cards, two printers, DVDs and VHS tapes, 10,000 photos from my hard drive, wallpaper, spices from my spice rack, 10 pairs of  eyeglasses, and old medication. So it was really a lot of items but in groups and I am not too unhappy with the progress. For example, the clothing consisted of over 50 different items and there must have been 35 old computer software manuals in the pile I sent to the recycling bins. I still have a lot of clutter, though.

11. I don't really want to look back at my work because I know it was nowhere near what I am capable of, but to review, I edited a book and several newsletters, wrote just over 50 keyword articles for various clients, sold five book reviews, sold 25 articles to newspapers (down from over 300 in 2008, what a drop), and I worked on a local political campaign. I also kept up this blog, writing in it almost every day, as well as the news blog on Botetourt County that I post to daily. I also started sifting through bins of old photographs with a project in mind that I hope I can talk about more in the new year.

12. We replaced the windows in the house. This was a big and expensive deal for us and while the replacement took only a day, getting quotes and prices and deciding on the product and the vendor took up quite a lot of time. This is not something one does lightly.

13. I removed the wallpaper from the kitchen and repainted. We also removed and replaced the back door. Both of these projects were time consuming and the wallpaper and repainting project left me with a bad arm from lateral epicondylitis, or a tear in my tendons in my right arm near my elbow. I am still having lots of problems from this but at least the kitchen is painted.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here.  I've been playing for a while and this is my 171th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. Sounds like a crazy year! We had a crappy one, too, but I'm focusing on making 2011 a great year instead of thinking too much about all the stuff that happened in 2010!

  2. Could be adapted into a Christmas letter. I didn't write one this year and I miss it because it is my yearly way of tying up the year. Maybe I still will. I was happy to hear all the writing work you have done (even though it is less than past years). I think it will only grow. Gotta go throw something out now!

  3. I love walking with a friend too.

    Have a great day!

  4. Looks to me like you had a really eventful year. I hope you'll be able to find more time to read (and find it easier) this time 'round.

  5. wow, 171th times!!! Thank you :-)

    I like your idea of going for 50...I have so much to weed out, moving from a house to a condo.

    2010, in many ways, was a very difficult year for me (chemo, surgery, more surgery, abscess on my spine, antibiotics) but one thing stands out ... I reconnected with my old friend Dave on Facebook and we're doing the happily ever after thing :-) He fits me and I fit him and that's so nice.

  6. have had your challenges this year, too! Good luck with the eyes. It's a bummer when reading is out of reach. My dad now listens to books on CD and loves it - he says he learns a lot about writing this way.
    Here's hoping 2011 is your best year yet!

  7. You got a great deal done this year and went through a lot. I hope 2011 is incredible and brings you everything you need.

    Thanks for the visit to my New Year's Wishes. *smile*

    Hugs and Happy New Year!

    13 New Year's Wishes

  8. Busy year with lots of accomplishments. Hope your 2011 is beautiful!

  9. Isn't it amazing what a coat of paint can do? My kitchen and bathroom are two rooms I'd love to do. Time to start saving those pennies.
    Happy New Year!


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