2013 in Review

The year in review (summarized by Goal Categories):


I have been remarkably healthy this past year.  My weight has stabilized at what I suppose can now be considered my “post-menopausal” weight, which is about the same as it was when I was 17 years old (only somehow I’m skinnier).  But I eat what I want and am content.

Unfortunately, after many failed attempts at quitting over this past year, I am currently smoking.  While I am not smoking nearly as much as I used to, I still need to quit completely, and I plan to do so soon (I hope!).

I was doing daily walking and weights at times throughout the year, but kept getting sidetracked for one reason or another.  So another goal is to get back into that habit and try to make it stick!

I made a major change to my hair.  I had it cut rather short and am coloring it myself.  The color I use is called “Light Auburn” and I am happy with it.  Not only do I like it, but it now costs me very little money to keep my hair in shape.  I am fairly content with my looks – and with my health, for the most part.


What can I say about this?  It has not been a priority in my life recently.  Interestingly, in July I renewed my “relationship” with Louis after not seeing him for a couple of years.  And at first, I rather enjoyed it.  But then I slowly realized that seeing him was not really a big enough benefit for the energy and time it required.  He is a wonderful guy, but we don’t really have much in common or much to talk about, and for me, sex is just not a big enough motivator.  If I were in love with him it would probably be different.  But I am not and never was.  So I chose to break it off.  And mostly I am fine, but there are times I have my yearnings for a man. But whether or not the “right” guy for me will ever appear, I do not know.


I seem to be doing better these days with keeping on top of things with my client work.  I’ve managed to work out what seems to be a good way to schedule my days so that I keep in balance and spend enough time working – it isn’t cut in stone, but it does seem to work pretty well.

I am also quite pleased about the fact that a couple of possible new client opportunities have come my way here at the end of the year.  I will learn more in the coming weeks but am hopeful that I may have a little bit more work and a nice addition to my income.

I still have hopes that someday I can focus solely on the things I like to do (writing/art) and not have to rely on income from bookkeeping and such.  We shall see, but in the meantime I will persevere.


BUDGET/SPENDING PLAN – I like that my sister bills me every month for the rent, half of the utilities, and whatever other expenses are my responsibility and I then give her a check for the whole thing.  That makes it easier for me to budget and know not only what I have left to get me through the month, but also to see how much client income I need to earn every month in order to make it.  I have been doing much, much better these days with money management.

SAVINGS – I have not been able to save any money this year.  But because I was able to save for and buy a car last year – and take a vacation – that proves my ability to do it.  I was also able to take Dalton on vacation this year and still handled Christmas.  I also have begun to try to put away $100 for emergency funds at the beginning of each month, but have not yet been very consistent with that.  It is a good idea though.

INCOME – My income is manageable but could use a little boost to make it work a little better so that I don’t find myself at the end of the month without anything, as does still happen more than I would like.  I hope to see an increase in my income this year so that this doesn’t happen any more.  I do not like cutting it so close all the time.

TAXES – I always file my taxes, but this year the IRS has still not sent me my refund.  But, assuming they will eventually do so, and I will have around the same amount this year, it will be a wonderful thing when I finally do get it all.


I, of course, am always learning and I continue to enjoy learning from the books I read.  I have been collecting writing books lately which I am reading so as to help me learn more about that.  I have recently been contemplating the idea of trying to take a class or two, perhaps in watercolor painting, perhaps in writing.


Last year was my big year for this category, in that I bought a car.  This year I have fortunately not needed to purchase any major items, but I have enjoyed being able to buy some clothes for myself; I have not done that in a lot of years.  There really isn’t that much that I really want.  I am grateful that I mostly have what I need.


My home environment is a big positive this year.  There has been major improvement in this area and I have become quite content here in this house living with my sister.  I am pleased with my work area and really couldn’t ask for a better place to work.  It is a pleasant situation and this year I am feeling much more at home and at ease here, much less like a “guest” and quite comfortable.  I decorated the whole house this year for Christmas (on my own), and that felt good.


My unfinished business this year seems to be related to my relationships with my son and with my sister.  There is ongoing work required here. I will make it my goal to get help from Molly as I continue to work on these issues.

Also, a big item of unfinished business is that of unpacking, organizing, clearing out the garage of all my stuff – still there since the move.  That is one of my biggest goals this year and I intend to start on it soon.

Another goal is to pursue the possibility of being published and/or getting an agent.  I will continue to work on this and try to get my courage up – and to complete one of my 2013 goals of joining SCBWI.

And finally, I once again need to Quit Smoking.


I could probably use some improvement in this category.  I have been feeling at times a bit lonely and at times like I am deprived of having fun.  I am not sure what to do about it, but perhaps if I give it some thought I will come up with some ideas.  One thing is that I could go back to my Meetup groups and I am not sure what is preventing me from doing that.  I have always been pretty good at entertaining myself, but there are some times that I could use something more.


I was able to take Dalton to Santa Cruz for summer break and I am very pleased about that.  I plan to take him down to LA to see my dad again this next summer – and perhaps also to Disneyland.  It feels wonderful to be finally able to do this type of thing, and with my son.


Ah yes, my favorite category:  What have I done this year?  I’ve illustrated my “31-point-plans” every month, I designed a Christmas Card for the 5th year in a row; I started on a couple of good drawings.  I have managed to keep up my blog pretty well and have put in efforts to try to improve my writing.  I still have a ways to go in order to accomplish my ultimate goals, but there is definitely progress.  I have also started playing the piano and even teaching.  This all feels very good.


I have not managed to see Molly on a regular basis, but I have seen her a bit and I have been doing actually quite well.  I think that as long as I take the time to write, to contemplate, and use the tools I have to keep myself in balance, on track, and content, then I am very pleased and grateful.  I would like to see Molly from time to time and will still attempt to do that.  But I do feel that I have grown in several ways this year.


FAMILY – This category carries some big weight this year.  Issues with my son to deal with, also some issues with my sister.  Perhaps I will need Molly’s help here, as in fact she has already been helping as relates to Dalton. This, I am considering part of my “unfinished business.”

FRIENDS – And I’m a little bit empty here.  Sometimes it bothers me and sometimes it does not.  Maybe I need to work on this, but I’m not sure.

ROMANTIC – This is currently an empty category.  But you never know when that might change!

WORK – My work relationships are just fine; I get along with my clients and am content.


I tend to be more often a recipient of charity rather than a giver.  But I do like giving gifts.  I am attempting to move out of the realm of being needy so that I am able to give more.  I found myself this year particularly distressed by our family decision to not exchange gifts at Christmas.  I miss the “old days.”  And I don’t really know if this decision has anything to do with me (from my financial history) and if this is the case, it makes me feel bad.  But again, we shall see.


I love Petaluma.  But I am not really involved in my community.  But as I become more and more aware of what goes on around me, I am open to getting more involved here and there.


For me, spirituality comes from being in Nature; from contemplating our connection with everyone and everything.  I have tried this year to be more conscious of this and my understanding of what the meaning of life really is.  It is good.

2013 Highlighted Issues:

▪     During this summer, I educated myself about my father’s Aspberger Syndrome and became enlightened about many things – to do with my childhood, myself, my ADHD and other things/connections.  It was a major breakthrough in many ways.

▪     I had planned to take my son to see my father this summer, like last year, but was unable to due to his move, but I was able to take Dalton on a trip to Santa Cruz.

▪     I joined a writer’s group that I have been enjoying going to and participating in.

▪     I started playing the piano and decided I could teach – which I have been doing a little bit of.  I am amazed that I can still play although distressed that I am nowhere near as good as I was.

▪     A very sad event was learning my sweet, beloved Aunt Ginger has Alzheimer’s and my cousin had to put her in a care facility.  It is heartbreaking and I miss her so very much.

▪     This fall has been a very, very difficult time regarding Dalton’s school situation.  We contemplated home-schooling; there are ongoing issues here regarding school and time management, which we will continue to work with Molly on.

▪     I have some distress over certain things about my sister that I have difficulties in coping with; I perhaps need help with this.

▪     I have struggled with smoking all year, stopping several times, but then starting again.

▪     And I have experienced some dissatisfaction re loneliness and feeling like I belong.

▪     And for some bizarre reason, I still have not received my 2012 tax refund.  But after I file my 2013 taxes, they will owe me a substantial amount of money – which will be wonderful to receive (if I ever do!)

 2013 in a word:  Progress

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