It's the End of the Year as We Know it...

End of year is coming. 

Do you see it? It's right there, waiting to slap us with all its finality and such.

I sure don't feel like a year has passed and sure as heck don't feel like I've accomplished anything. I mean, I wouldn't consider myself a lazy person--a procrastinator? hell, yes--but the sloth is not a friend of mine. I feel like I'm always running. Like a damn hamster on a wheel and it's a big ass wheel!

Is it because I am constantly working? No, I do a pretty good job of leaving day job at the office. I'm not the type of employee who has to bring work home on the weekends, prepare the big presentation, etc. I balance a hefty calendar every day, check email and get to stuff quickly but not after hours if I can help it. From the time I get up to the time I get home is roughly twelve hours so there goes half the day.

Is it the boot camp style working out at the gym I do three to five days a week? Hell to the no. I had a gym membership for a hot minute this year, then cancelled the membership because I had better things to do than work out. Don't get me wrong, I love working out, and I'll try and set up a schedule for myself (like I do every year come January) but again, if there was a bumper sticker for it, mine would read "I'd rather be...doing something else."

Is it the novel writing? No and maybe a little bit yes. I've been known to spend hours of time just typing away on a random story, chucking it for another one, feeling guilty I haven't finished editing another, and staring at other WIP piles in my home office that I just can't seem to tackle. Last year at this time I swore I'd publish in first quarter of 2015, and here we are in fourth quarter and nothing published. 

Again, I'm not lazy, just busy. So what else has filled my year so fully that I couldn't get off my ass and accomplish things?

Let's look back, shall we? (Lots of links below to enjoy)

January - Took an 8-week class at Story Studio, attended "Ask the Self Publishers" (Chicago Writers Conference session), read "While Beauty Slept" by Elizabeth Blackwell

February - Story Studio class in full weekly swing, another CWC session called "The Art of Revision" (my favorite this year!)

March - Saw Midge Ure at Old Town School of Folk Music, enjoyed a cervical neck injection, went to a fabulous conference with the Windy City Romance Writers of America group (speaker was Donald Maass and it changed my life!), and hubby and I took a trip to Scottsdale, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and Vegas

April - Saw OK Go at Metro, and I turned 45 (still waiting for my Smokey & the Bandit car gift to arrive)

May - Saw Ministry at House of Blues, read my story on Appetite with You're Being Ridiculous at Mayne Stage, caught pneumonia, read "Sleeping with the Entity" by Cat Devon, "Low Pressure" by Sandra Brown and "Sunshine" by Robin McKinley

June - Attended a day of Lit Fest, saw Hozier at Pritzker Pavillon, went to the Dells with family, read "A Reliable Wife" by Robert Goolrick

July - A month filled with family birthdays, found out our sweet boy Buster had cancer

August - Attended Wizard World, saw KMFDM at House of Blues, read my story on Rites of Passage with You're Being Ridiculous at Mary's Attic, read "A Lot Like Love" by Julie James, "Wife by Wednesday" by Catherine Bybee and "No Rest for the Wicked" by Kresley Cole

September - Started the month off sad with the loss of poor Buster, saw 7th Heaven at Elmhurst's Rock the Block (and fell in love with the band), attended my 4th Chicago Writers Conference, read "Beat" by Vi Keeland and "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn (saw the movie too, good but the book is better as usual)

October - spent a week in Florida's Marco Island, saw Poi Dog Pondering at the Vic (concert of the year, hit my top 20 of all time best shows), attended the Carl Sandburg dinner for the third year in a row, saw Emerson Hart, Meiko and Zeke Duhon at City Winery, went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Hollywood Blvd theatre and added a new addition to our family--Wilbur--read "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline and "Suddenly One Summer" by Julie James

November - started the month off right watching Hamlet at the Music Box starring Benedict Cumberbatch (so good I cried), had a girl's weekend, went to a writers critique and turkey'd out

December - Holiday parties, pups took pics with Santa, read "The Bollywood Bride" by Sonali Dev, have dinner schedule Xmas eve and family over Xmas day, ending the year with our annual NYE party.

Doesn't seem like a lot to me when I put it on paper like that but in between all that I know there was even more writing, reading, working, shopping, movies, Netflix, wine, puppies, hubby, family stuff, etc.

It's a full life. I'm lucky to have it.

Happy holidays and here's my gift to you: Happy New Year!