Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Out With the Old, In With the New

It's that time of year—yes, I mean frantic wrapping of presents and eating way too many sweets. But I also mean taking stock of what the old year yielded and what the new year promises.

Except that sounds WAY too passive. So let's make that what I made out of 2015 and how I'm going to rock 2016 even harder.

Out with the old:

  • Stress. For the past 8 years, December and January were the most stressful times of year, due to employee performance reviews and an annual conference at the day job. I quit the job in February, and I haven't missed it for a second...
  • Recovery. I slept more in 2015 than in any year in recent memory. I also read more books, sat around the house in a daze for more hours, and felt more generally lazy than I can ever remember feeling. A lot of people tell me this is what it's like to retire. I'm not exactly doing that, but I've had the time to recover from working too hard and caring too much the past few years. I was wrung out spiritually.
  • Mental deadness. It's been a long time since I've cared to engage in conversations about world events, interesting ideas, or funny questions. But I'm finally coming back to life.
  • Low spirits. I'm finally starting to mean it when people ask me how I am and I reply, "I'm good." Scratch that, I'm starting to respond with, "I'm great."

In with the new:

  • New business. I've been slowly building up a good clientele of freelance customers, and I've been working with great people and interesting products. I'm going to keep building that business in 2016.
  • New books. Kate #4 (Red Flags, set in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and at the Grand Prix of Long Beach) will be released in April, and I'm going to promote that. But I've also got some writing to do on Kate #5 (going to the Indy 500!) and a different project I've been tossing around in my head...nothing to talk about yet, but more when I have it.
  • Find my focus. In both the business world and the mystery world, I know I have unique skills to offer...but I haven't figured out exactly what my message or offerings are. I won't call this a mid-life crisis by any means, but it's probably a mid-life reconsideration—or as Dolly says, I want to do it on purpose. I want to pull together what I'm good at, what makes me happy, and what I can do that fulfills a need in the world. Then I'll aim at that target... 
  • Good habits. Regular exercise (hello, crossfit and kettlebells), regular meditation, and being grateful for the luxury of time. That's what 2016 will mean to me.
How about you? What are you happy to jettison with the old year and embrace in the new?

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