A mighty fine beginning it is to the year too. I am with my boyfriend, my favourite place to be. The only thing missing is the rest of my family but I shall see some of them later and most of them online in a little bit. It’s snowing but the weather isn’t completely atrocious, the flakes are mostly coming straight down. It is a beautiful dance to watch. I could be feeling better (I seem to be getting bronchitis) but truthfully, I could be feeling a whole lot worse, so I will take what I can get.
This past year has brought a few trials – like a major surgery scare (turned out to be something else entirely), a minor surgery in an uncomfortable place (which turned out to be benign), some overall backsliding of my chronic conditions – but a whole lot of blessings. My son turned 16 last February, which has brought about an adventure in driving. My daughter just turned 13 and is officially a teenager, I can’t wait to see what that brings. Peter and I have a beautiful relationship with a solid foundation to build on and the determination to keep working on it, and enjoying it, as we have been. My ex-husband has a wonderful new girlfriend with whom he is building a solid foundation. Yes, I like her. He’s happy, that’s what makes me like her.
The thing, in all honesty, that has surprised me the most that I have to be grateful for is my Dad. That makes me sound ungrateful but it’s not that I haven’t been thankful that he’s in my life but this past year Dad has done far more for me than I ever imagined to help me with my books. In the last couple of years he’s – no, they, both of my parents – have done far more for me than I can ever think to repay them for, period. So to you, Dad and Rilla (the other half of my parents), I say “Thank you” from the bottom of my heart.
Whoa! I just looked up again and the snow is coming down thick and fast. Makes me wonder if we’ll get snowed in.
The new year always promises delightful, wonderful new things but, really, I believe that the dawn can only promise a beautiful day, it’s you who has to make it more than just a pretty moment in time. (hmm… that was too much I think! *laughs*) I think it takes something I’ve come to call the ‘gratitude attitude’.
“What on Earth is the gratitude attitude?” you may ask.
Well, it’s the determination to be positive and to be grateful for all you have in your life. And to show it. Even something so small as to say “thank you” to the barista who gives you your latte. Or to the person in your life who makes you dinner. Say thank you to the child who takes their dishes to the sink.
Send your gratitude to whatever Gods you believe in, however you believe, for the larger gifts in your life – your home, your health, your bank account (great or small).
It takes work to be positive. It takes gritting your teeth and straightening the hitch in your giddy up some days to take a breath, smile and say thank you. I’ve been working at it for a lot of years but it’s only the last couple that I’ve truly understood gratitude and a positive attitude. The why is a long story I may or may not tell some day.
My gratitude attitude brings me to my resolutions.
First of all, I hate making resolutions like “I’m going to spend time EVERY DAY on the elliptical trainer” (I will but I’ve been working at that for months), or “I will eat better” or quitting smoking (I don’t…anymore… just an example). They are, to me, standard things people are quick to jump on. It’s like the new year comes and BAM! people realize they need to be healthier.
By the way:
You have quit smoking for:
2 years, 37 weeks, 2 days, 11 hours and 4 mins.
You have saved:
2,233.04 Dollars by NOT smoking 14,887 cigarettes!
I am rather proud of myself.
Anyway, I have one resolution and it’s one I make often:
To prove worthy of the help I am given and the blessings I receive.
Not really. There are things I need to do to be worthy. I have to put the effort into my work, into everything that makes up who and what Catherine Bowman is. Not to mention who and what I am when I am not being the author.
One of those things is creating a schedule for my work – writing, editing, building the website, maintaining my blog and my Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook profiles. Another is looking after myself physically. And the last is paying it all forward. There is often help given that doesn’t want to be paid back. If you want to make the giver happy you pay it forward by doing for someone else. I do that as often as I can – like putting $2.50 worth of quarters in locked shopping carts one day. It’s not a lot of money but it’s 10 happy, surprised people. Even something so small as hugging a friend who needs it is part of it.
According to WordPress this is my year in review:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views. (I’m way impressed with those 600 people!)
In 2012, there were 125 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 449 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 751 MB. That’s about a picture per day.
The busiest day of the year was October 13th with 58 views. The most popular post that day was Insanity, Heavenly Scents and Mrs Claus. (Apparently people like Mrs Claus!)
This is the weirdest search term to bring people to my blog: fear paralyzing academics in teh law.
People from FORTY COUNTRIES visited my blog! Mostly Canada, the US and the UK but I’ve had readers from as far away as Australia, as unlikely as Kenya and as cool as Malaysia. I’ve had a lot of readers from Germany and a bunch from India and Pakistan. I find this like totally awesome (if you’ll forgive a throwback to the 80s, I did grow up then after all)!
My most diligent commentors…commenters?… were Val, Rich from brainsnorts inc., thereasa, Peter and krissy. The blog that got the most comments? Books, Blow Jobs and B…Easter. *laughs* That wasn’t entirely surprising really.
I love you people.
My goals this year?
- Finish HW3
- Publish HW2
- Build the website
- Make me as healthy as possible
- Keep my relationships as healthy and happy as possible
- Begin HW4 (probably a month’s worth of research right there)
- NaNo, of course
- Celebrate life. How can you not?
I promise you a give away this month, an autographed book and… something else. Something useful. It’s long past due. I’ll figure out how to do it and what that other thing will be and I will announce it.
It’s time for me to figure out a host site for my website now.
Have a wonderful day and may the new year be truly blessed, full of joy and just enough strife to make you appreciate the joy. May you receive everything you deserve.