On the one hand, I made this.
On the other hand, it was probably the least productive year I’ve had in the last 6 or 7 when it comes to writing, creative endeavors and travel.
My 2015 Goals
My goals for the year were similar to what they always are:
- Read 24 books.
- Read 12 screenplays.
- Write 12 short stories.
- Write two new spec scripts.
- Rewrite two screenplays.
- Retain and/or add freelance clients.
- Submit short stories for publication.
- Watch 52 films.
- Visit 3 new/awesome places.
- Work out 365 days.
So let’s take a look at how those played out.
I managed only one script rewrite, and I worked on a few treatments/outlines, but that’s really it. I wrote a few short stories, but it really just wasn’t a major focus.
Looking back, I think it was a tough year psychologically and physically, which I’m sure has a lot to do with my lack of creative productivity. My pregnancy, while uncomplicated, felt much more difficult than my first. I started heavier and also had a two-year-old to contend with. Rose liked to stretch out her long legs to the point where I’d have to push her little feet back in lest they break through my skin. And the psychological stress of worrying about how our new addition would a) affect our firstborn, b) fit into our family, and c) how to manage all related logistics was a lot to bear.
(Spoiler alert: While things are totally nuts, they are also pretty darn great most days, and there’s generally much less anxiety this time around. I’ve also seemingly escaped the battle with postpartum depression this time around, which is a HUGE relief.)
And after 10 successive “wins” at NaNoWriMo, I dropped out on Day 3 this year when Rose spiked a fever (at 6 weeks and prior to having received any vaccinations) and spent a day in the ER.
She was a total trooper and recovered just fine, but taking care of her understandably took my focus, and after missing a week, I just couldn’t muster the energy to jump back in, especially given I hadn’t felt all that gung-ho about it to begin with.
As for travel, we just didn’t get away like we usually do, which is fine. We did take a family trip to the beach during the summer and to Disney World (!) in December, but save a short overnight trip to Lawrence, Kansas, we stayed put.
Pippin got to meet Chewbacca, get reprimanded by a stormtrooper, and see Darth Vader, the Seventh Sister and Darth Maul.
So all in all, it was a pretty great trip (though Rose didn’t seem to understand what all the fuss was about).
Reading + Movies + TV
In the most technical way, I did meet my reading goal of 24 books this year, but only if you include the many children’s books I read to Pip for the first time and a few single issues of comics. I only read a total of 13 non-children’s books, and a handful of those were comic book trades (but I think those still count). My only defense is that several of the books I read were very long, but I still didn’t read as much as I wanted to in 2015.
The books & comic trades I read:
- Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
- First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
- The Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (after watching the Starz series)
- Saga, Vol. 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
- Humans of New York: Stories
- Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
- Bitch Planet, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro; art by Taki Soma and Robert Wilson
- The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
I honestly don’t know if I read any screenplays or not, except a pilot for a friend, but obviously I did not read a full twelve.
Movies are hard to get to these days, and to be honest, there were few occasions where the draw of any given film was enough of an incentive to jump through the hoops of getting a babysitter and dropping the cash. Here’s what I saw in theatres:
- Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (a better version of The Fault in Our Stars)
- The Duff (Really good — a new Mean Girls)
- Cinderella (disappointing)
- Trainwreck (pretty good)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (quality blockbuster)
- Jurassic World (fun)
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (solid)
- The Martian (very good)
- Spectre (disappointing)
- The Good Dinosaur (disappointing to the point of making me angry)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (EXCELLENT)
As for things I caught elsewhere, it was another year of mostly TV, including the following:
- Outlander (my obsession for the last three months of my pregnancy)
- Masters of Sex
- Jane the Virgin
- My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
- The Grinder
- Girl Meets World
- The 100
- Californication (Seasons 1-3)
- Gilmore Girls (again)
- A Young Doctor’s Notebook and Other Stories (Series 2)
- Parks and Recreation
- Orange is the New Black (Season 3)
- House of Cards (Season 3)
- Game of Thrones (Season 5)
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The few other movies I watched:
- Hook (still fun)
- A Very Murray Christmas (not bad)
- The Ref (very good)
- While You Were Sleeping (guilty pleasure)
- White Christmas (still great)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (a bazillion times)
- Corpse Bride (better each time)
- My Best Friend’s Wedding (still good)
- Chocolat (still great)
- The Skeleton Twins (not terrible)
- The Babadook (powerful horror)
- How to Train Your Dragon 2 (really good)
- Ever After (still the best version of Cinderella by far)
- Stand by Me (liked it)
I would like to get back to watching more films next year, but I can’t say I feel bad about watching mostly TV/Netflix — there’s a lot of great writing out there right now.
My copywriting/blogging freelance business has remained steady, through mostly dumb luck and prior connections, so that’s a plus.
Health & Fitness
The good news: I gained less weight with this pregnancy. The bad news: I started heavier and gained more than I hoped for. I actually ran longer into this pregnancy than my first, and I was more careful about how much I was eating, but my body just wanted to hold onto weight.
I did not work out 365 days this year, but, except for my first trimester when I, to put it succinctly, felt like poo, I walked a TON and did my best to stay active.
I had a VERY frustrating appointment with a dietitian/nutritionist who didn’t bother to look at me but just spouted credentials and pooh-poohed my hard-earned knowledge about a) how the body works, and b) how MY body works. I think at some point the midwives must have put a note on my chart not to mention my weight, because it became a very sore topic. It was a bit baffling how, when I gained 75 pounds with my first pregnancy, no one batted an eye, but at 25 pounds this time around, it was a Big Issue.
Post-pregnancy, it’s been difficult to set aside time to consistently work out, but thanks to exclusive pumping and staying relatively active (chasing a two-year-old who NEVER stops moving helps), I’ve dropped most of the weight I gained with this pregnancy.
To that point, I’m currently about 10 pounds out from my pre-second-pregnancy starting weight, and I’m a successful week into a new plan to shed the weight once and for all. Right now I’m focusing on diet and fitting in workouts where I can, but I hope to start incorporating consistent workouts into my schedule by mid-year at the very latest.
Summing Up 2015
I’ve been thinking about what I want to do and how I want to live on a daily basis in 2016, and I’m excited. A little scared, but I think that’s a good thing. More details in the next post.
But looking back on the year, I think fondly of 2015. It was a rough year for my personal goals, but it was a wonderful year for my family. It was my first full year with my husband; we found ourselves with some new, awesome friends; I got to spend the final three months of the year enjoying a lot of extra time with my family thanks to my maternity leave; I had the pleasure and honor of seeing my first baby become a little boy; and we got to welcome our adorable daughter into the world.
Yes, 2015 was a very good year. And I’m thinking 2016 is going be even better.