Sunday, January 1, 2017

December Wrap Up and A New Year

Books read this month:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter. Interesting take on the Baba Yaga story, but it wasn't my favorite.
Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds by Rick Riordan. Fun, quick read.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I need to read more of her books. I liked this one (though I loved This Savage Song more).
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I read this as an audiobook narrated by Tim Curry, which is awesome. I really liked it and it's about time I read this classic. Though I grew up watching Mickey's Christmas Carol, so I kept imagining the characters as mice and ducks...
Landline by Rainbow Rowell. A re-read for Christmas. It's a great Christmas story and one of my favorite books.
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and various others. This was a collection of 12 Christmas love-y stories. A couple of them were a little meh, but I really liked a few of them!
The Chimes by Charles Dickens. I thought this story was rather strange and occasionally confusing (though this might be more because it got repetitive and I got bored and stopped paying as much attention as I should have and less because it was actually confusing). A Christmas Carol was much better.

My book reviews have not been posted this month. I got a little busy and overwhelmed. I hope to get at least a few of them up within the next week or so.

Reading goals completed:
A book released the month of your birthday (December): A Christmas Carol

I completed my 2016 reading challenge!

Favorite book read this month:
Is it cheating to pick Landline since it was already a favorite? 

Least favorite book read this month:
Vassa in the Night or The Chimes

Well, I managed to read 77 books this year. My goal was 75. I am going to keep the same goal for next year. If I can surpass 75 again, I will try raising it.

My brother got me a Kindle for Christmas, which I didn't think I would like as much as I do. It's pretty great so far (though I'm not going to stop buying and reading physical copies because I love them). I think it will help me reach my reading goals.

I wanted to re-post my resolutions from last year:

"Due to the breakup, most of my resolutions fell completely by the wayside. The only thing I accomplished was my reading goal. It was 40, I raised it to 50, and read almost 70.

Next year I hope to read 75.

So I failed all of my other goals. And on top of everything else, that makes me feel discouraged and indifferent (but defensive) by turns.

I guess I need to start form scratch. And I need a new year. This year has been such shit and I'm still so caught up in it. If only a new year was as clean a break as I would like it to be.

My goal this year is to get better. I am trying to eat a little better (mostly), keep going to counseling, and just get my life back in order and on track. I need to buy a new car and I need to start seriously saving towards getting my own place. That is my ultimate goal. It won't happen this year, but it is what I want more than anything right now."

Well I completed my reading goal. And I do not think that 2016 was a very good year. There were a lot of losses and turmoil all over the world. To be honest, losing David Bowie still gets to me.

The end of my year was pretty rough, with Carina getting so sick for so long and having to put her down and having Nugget follow her over the rainbow bridge within the week. And it was the week of their second birthday. And of my 29th birthday. I miss them like crazy.

Despite all of this, I definitely feel much better now than I did last year. I haven't had many set backs recently. Sometimes I still get a bit sad and lonely, but not for my ex anymore. Usually I am just missing friends and feeling isolated due to my schedule. I don't long for that relationship anymore, even if I do miss companionship. I also had some realizations in the past few months about the types of things that I endured, during the break up and before. I realized that there were some pretty toxic things going on that I definitely couldn't see at the time. Now that I have, I feel much better about where I am at now. And it is an amazing relief. Finally.

I'm not sure if I have eaten a whole lot better. I would definitely say that I'm not eating worse, so I'm going to call it a win!

I did get my new car. And I love it.

I didn't make nearly as much progress towards saving for my own place as I would like. Mostly because of unexpected car costs, Nugget's surgery and vet visits, Carina's MANY, MANY vet visits, medications, and hospitalizations, along with other vet bills to make sure that Nova, Pixie, and Sprite had clean bills of health following the losses of Carina and Nugget. I spent way more money on vet bills the last few months than I would have ever expected. Despite that and the fact that Carina and Nugget still didn't make it, I wouldn't have done it differently. Their little lives are worth it to me.

I also had various successes at work. I was promoted to a full time position and given a raise in January. A couple months later, I was promoted again to a technician, which also came with a raise and has been awesome! I joined a travel response team at work and was accepted. I am authorized to carry a company card (though I never actually carry one) and I am being sent to Memphis this month to help with the launch of our computer program. I recently got another small raise and may be getting another one once the end of the year reviews are in. I feel like I am valued as an employee, I am loving my job and the people I work with. My job isn't always perfect, but I'm really liking it overall.

Besides my reading goals, I hope to continue to do well at work and keep advancing.

I hope to start being more physically active this year. I am not going to set strict goals, I just need to start getting in better habits. Dancing helps, so I will keep doing that, too.

I want to keep saving for my own place. It won't happen this year, but I need to be working towards that goal.

As for more tangible goals, I need to file for divorce and get the joint bank accounts sorted ASAP. I am tired of having those things hanging over my head. It is past time.

And that is about all! I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's Eve and here is to 2017 being better than 2016!