Happy birthday to me – A year that probably was good, on balance

googleToday, I am 21.  Again.  As, apparently, I look no older anyway.
It’s been a tough year here for us again in some ways, though also, some real bright spots.

Where to start
Just after my birthday, I fell in work hard enough to give myself a severe concussion.  That was a really cool temp job, but I never got to go back.  Six weeks of headaches, and not a mark on my face, though my eye was bloodshot for weeks.
So, I started looking for a new job and freelancing.  As a Finishing Fairy, I helped launch, promote and sell books, arranged tours and did lots of great stuff with some incredible authors.  I also threw myself into helping out at APG. But, I never really got back into writing and lots of projects have languished.  Tff closed this last week, and I’m in the process of starting a new writer’s marketing blog. Kriss and I still share Wilderness Apocalypse, so it’s all good.
Then, in April, I got an amazing, incredible job with Mantic Games, as their community manager.  I spent seven brilliant months there, and took part in a million dollar Kickstarter.  If they were a bit closer, or I could drive… Alas, I have neither, so finished up last month, but I’m still a freelancer with them, when they need me.

And the stories
This year hasn’t really been about writing, but I now realise one of my major dreams, to be a published, multi-book author has fallen by the wayside.  I have a lot to show for the things I’ve done instead, but 15 years off plan is a bit much.  🙂
And besides, I need to start earning back the editing and covers I’ve paid for, and have.  So, I’m job hunting and forcing myself to face down my fears.  It can’t be as bad as I think – my major failing has always been I’m harder on myself than the worst critic.  I’ve survived my own self esteem issues this far, there can’t be anything worse.  And I did get that dream job…

Health

If I’m honest, I’ve not coped well with miscarrying or my mental health this year – mostly because I’ve still not learned to walk away and that even if it is my job, it can be done at something slower than breakneck pace.  And I’m not very good at not filling my time so that I don’t make it worse for myself when I finally stop and stand and think about what I’m running from.  It’s hard not having managed one of our major goals after I graduated (to have a baby), but we’ve got stuff we can look into eventually, so it’s ok for now.  And the fun caused by my meds change seems to be mostly settling down.  I’m still not sleeping right though – but I think tomorrow might help.  9am coffee meet!

Family
It’s funny, as I refuse to age, my kids seem to be accelerating, in some sort of weird time dilation.  My son looks older than he is (though, still not as old as he hopes) and my daughter too.  Both are now firmly entrenched in their teens.  She’s proving to be quite the poet too, and he’s a talented artist.  I’m really blessed to know them both, though I can’t for the life of me work out how they’re that smart or gorgeous.
My partner too amazes me, and while I’ve struggled with my worries this year, he’s been implacable, loving and amazing.  I am very lucky to have him, and we have now been together ten years, though we BOTH find that hard to believe.  One day, I might write about how we met, because it was quite a set of things I’d never gotten at if I hadn’t done that first Nanowrimo.
We went on our first “just us” holiday for a very long time, away from home this year (and I shared photos), in North Wales and softly, the little voices started whispering.  We had a ball – daytimes scrambling over beaches and castles, and exploring the area, and evenings with good food, a hot tub outside and a cozy house to enjoy.  We watched two seasons of QI back to back over the four nights, and just spent time together, snuggled up.
Elliot and Farran however, are still mostly mute.  I can’t have everything, I guess.

Looking forward

I don’t know what the future will bring.  I’m job hunting – mostly full-time work, but I’ll settle for anything right now, but I also know that by the end of the Nanowrimo, I want to put a couple of things right, and move on with my writing.  So that’s what’s coming.  What the rest of the year will hold will depend how long it all takes.

But, I did want to say thanks – it’s been an ok year, and that’s been because of the love of my friends, my family and my beloved.  Here’s to a better one next year!