The Highs, The Lows, and The Books I Read In Between (2014)

2014 is a year that will stand out.  It started with highs and ended in lows.

This blog had a great year!  I posted 109 times, with most of my posting being in April (my haikus!).  My most viewedBlog post of 2014 was a post from last year, the Jedi Code Absolutes, but the most viewed post written in 2014 was actually not mine at all – but Megan‘s Facts in Fiction: Conspiracy Theories for Star Wars.  LOVE IT!  Yay, Megan!  Thanks for writing that great guest post! 🙂  My most commented on post of this year was actually April 10th’s haiku post where we had a friendly discussion about Count Dooku and clones.  Over 2014, Mei-Mei commented the most, followed closely by L. Palmer (we miss you!).  2014 also saw a year where I was able, for the first time ever, ask for guest bloggers when I went to Australia and it actually happened!  Megan and Null posted, with Icarus’ post ending up coming a little later.  I hope to continue this great streak in 2015, but I’ll be hard pressed, especially as I continue to work on my business.

Now here we are…time for the reflection that is always so important when a new year comes around.

The Highs of 2014

  • My business is doing great!  I have 3 clients and 2 that I’m hoping will sign onto a contract by end of January (knock on wood).  It’s been exhausting working on it every. single. day.  But you know what?  I hope it’ll be worth it and I think it will.  I’m often too hard on myself and don’t see all the little achievements that I have brought about.  But honestly, I have done SO well and every day is a learning process but I think it’s going to be fine.
  • I traveled.  I traveled a lot for me!  Miami in April, Bahamas in May and Australia in July.  Next year I already have
    Me at the Great Barrier Reef!

    Me at the Great Barrier Reef!

    travel lined up for Arizona in February for a friend’s wedding, Miami in April again, and hopefully Anaheim for the Star Wars Celebration!

  • We got the Episode VII cast, title and our first trailer!  It’s just been adding to the suspense but even though I feel like we know more, I still feel like I know the same amount as I did in the end of 2013.
  • I’ve learned more this past year than I have in a while.  This year has been the most challenging for me in terms of mind (my business), body (a fitness challenge I did during the summer), and soul (emotionally up and down).   I’ve learned what I’m made of and what I can become when I push myself.  I feel like before 2014, I was coasting.  I challenged myself, but only just enough so that I could give a little spurt of effort and then lay back and coast for a while.  This past year, there was not a lot of coasting.

The Lows of 2014

  • I’ve debated putting this on here, but it wouldn’t be truthful without it.  I unfortunately miscarried in November.  When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified and felt like I wasn’t ready.  I look back on that with regret and wish I had appreciated it.  I hope that none of you ever have to go through a miscarriage because the emotional roller coaster it puts you through…I’m still suffering from it.  I’m a lot better, really I am, but November and most of December was full of crying, anger, guilt, and fear.  I’m still scared and unsure if I want to try again because of the constant fear I know I will feel if I do get pregnant.  But if there’s one thing I have learned from Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (but mostly LOTR) is that there is always hope.  So who knows?  When I feel ready to try again, maybe this time it’ll all be okay.
  • We put Chewie to sleep on December 6th.  (Yeah, end of the year sucked)  We found out in February that she had a
    The last photo ever taken of Chewie :(

    The last photo ever taken of Chewie 😦

    disease which marked her much older than the 4 years we all thought she was, including our vet.  Turns out she was a senior dog, probably over 9 years old.  We watched her slowly deteriorate from February to the point where she could not go up and down the stairs without falling, peeing in the house a lot, not eating, and her stomach ballooned with either a kidney problem or a tumor.  Testing would be thousands of dollars, which we were unwilling to do, so we ended up making the decision to put her to sleep.  We only had her for a little over a year and a half, but we know that she lived a really good life for the end of it and that’s the most we can hope for.  We will get another dog soon, but will another dog ever come to us from the shelter with a Star Wars name?  It made her so special.

  • I stopped doing the Big Sister program.  This is not really a low low, but I had a lot of hopes for the program and the relationship I would develop with the girl.  Unfortunately, we were not matched well and something that should have been fun, instead turned into an ordeal.  I dreaded meeting with her on the weekends and came to the decision to end visiting with her. She never showed her appreciation and our likes were so dissimilar that it was hard to find things to do.  I still believe in the program, but after I miscarried, I began reevaluating a lot in my life and to let go of things that were putting a strain on me and this was the first to go.  So it’s a low because I was really excited about it, but it ended up being disappointing.
  • I didn’t go to any conventions this year.  Okay, not a huge deal but it was still slightly disappointing since I went to four last year, including the big NYCC.  I would have liked to go to one but either 1) I didn’t have the time or 2) there were no panels that interested me.  Hopefully I can make it to Star Wars Celebration in April! 🙂

So there you have it.  My year in a nutshell.  Exhale breath.  Let’s hope 2015 gives me a year where I slow down, focus more on myself and my business….AND READ MORE BOOKS!

Okay, this is my favorite part, really.  I love looking back on my year and seeing what I read.  HERE WE GO.

Well guys, I just spent 30 minutes going into all the books I read, hit something funny on my laptop and it all disappeared.  Thankfully this much was saved of my post (really, WP, you need to learn how to autosave every few seconds like word documents and gmail do).  So if you really want to see what I read, you can go to my Goodreads.  I’m not writing all of it again.

ready player oneIn a nutshell: I read 26 books (that’a a lot for me and I think it’s due to all the traveling I did) and 8782 pages.  The best book I read was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  I didn’t expect to like it, but instead loved every moment of this gaming novel.  A novel about gamers who are trying to solve a master video game, it was also a love letter to the 70s and 80s, chock full of geeky references.  The worst novel I read, but didn’t finish, was The Shadow Reader.  It was Urban Fantasy and a stupid love story where I got so frustrated with it that I just stopped reading.

So there we go.  2014, it’s been…a ride.  Good, bad, and everything in between.  What books blew your mind this year?  How was 2014 for you?  What are your resolutions, hopes, and dreams for 2015?

Oh and guess what – WE’RE SEEING THE FORCE AWAKENS THIS YEAR!!  Here’s to that.

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15 thoughts on “The Highs, The Lows, and The Books I Read In Between (2014)

  1. Aww 🙂 I was noticing from my stats that a huge portion of hits to my blog this year came from that post! That was definitely a lot of fun. Hey, I’m actually planning to read Ready Player One for my 2015 book challenge, because it takes place in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. I’m glad I’m seeing good reviews for it from people who tend to like the same things I do, because it’s not the kind of thing I’d normally pick up!

    I don’t think 2014 was overly kind to anybody, which is sad, but I have a superstition about odd-numbered years being better than even-numbered ones, so here is to 2015 being a much better year!

    • There’s a movie coming out of Ready Player One, which terrifies me because the book was so good and I feel like they could never do justice to the book. I’m still going to watch it though. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it! I really enjoyed it and definitely didn’t expect to.

      I like your superstition of odd years! Except I got married in 2010 and it was a really good year, so that would throw it off. Maybe it was an outlier since that does happen occasionally. And 2 days into 2015 is feeling pretty good! Let’s continue the streak 🙂

      And I’m glad that a portion of your hits came from that post. It was a SUPER fun one and much lighter than a lot of the ones I write. It was also highly interesting as well. Next time I go on an extended vacation, I’ll be sure to put up another call for guest bloggers!

  2. Ready Player One was awesome! And I had the same exact experience with BBBS…it was disappointing. We were not well-matched at all. Plus, she basically just wanted me to take her shopping and buy her stuff and then take her home. Which, of course, I didn’t do. *laugh* Sorry about your dog, but it’s like you said, at least Chewie had a cozy home and love, rather than being lonely in a shelter.

    • Omg, you had a similar experience??? That’s so good to hear. They did a great job with the marketing and totally fooled me into thinking I’d meet a new best friend in a little girl. My Little definitely wanted me to buy her stuff a lot in the beginning and I quickly put an end to that and she got better after the first 2-3 months. But she was also a huge complainer and didn’t like ANYTHING I brought her to do and so it was really frustrating. I’d be driving almost 2 hours sometimes a day to do stuff with her and to hear her moan and complain non stop was just not how I wanted it to go. The Specialist said that whenever she talked to her on the phone, she loved everything we did and maybe that’s true, but she had a bad way of showing it. I’m sure it’s a good program for a lot of people, otherwise it wouldn’t work, but it just wasn’t for me. How long did you stick with your Little?

  3. I miss visiting here too. These past few months, I overestimated the amount of time I would have for blogging and writing during my first semester in Grad School. Theoretically, next semester should be lighter… But, not by much.
    That’s a rough end of the year, but it is great to look at the positives, especially building a business. I’ve only watched the Episode VII trailer four times. I’m using my winter break to memorize it.

    • You’ve definitely been missed, but don’t interpret that as me trying to make you feel guilty or anything! I feel the same way with working on my business. I thought I’d be able to handle blogging about Star Wars as well but it’s definitely taken the back seat. Even if your work load is a little lighter next semester, don’t worry about us here. We will keep chugging along and welcome you back with open arms when you return.

  4. I’m so sorry the end of your year was so rough. Hang in there.
    It’s been great hanging out in the blogosphere with you once again this year. Here’s to 2015 and EPISODE 7!!!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage and the death of Chewie. That was quite the double blow.

    On your suggestion I downloaded the sample for Ready Player One to my Kindle and read it, but I couldn’t get into the book. It sounded a lot like something I’d like but for some reason it didn’t click with me. Maybe I’ll try reading the sample again later.

    • Life is too short to read books you don’t like! If it’s not for you, it’s not for you, and you shouldn’t read it. What I like may not be what you like. I loved it, but I have read reviews of people who didn’t like it. I think I also went into it expecting not to like and having such low expectations, that the fact I liked it so much blew me away. So that could have something to do with it too.

      And thanks for the kind words! It was definitely a tough end of year and tough to sort myself out emotionally. I’m still kind of sorting myself out. But guess what? I had one of those weird instances of “be careful what you wish for”. When I found out I was pregnant, I was also told I couldn’t fly after April. I was so upset because I was planning on attending the Star Wars convention. Well, now I can go. Bittersweet, but I am getting more excited now.

      • I won’t read a book if I don’t like it, but Ready Player One has gotten so many good reviews that I’m going to read the sample again sometime to see if I just missed something the first time. It sounds like the kind of book I would like (science fiction, computers, video gaming, etc.) so I was surprised when I didn’t get into the sample. My reading pattern tends to oscillate between science fiction and history (I get bored of one, then switch to the other for awhile until I get bored of it and switch back) so maybe I was just bored of science fiction at the time. Or maybe my problem was the opposite of yours — my expectations were too high! Either way, I figure it’s worth another shot. If I still don’t like it at least I haven’t spent any money on it.

        I’m glad you are able to see the bright side to the difficult end of last year. I hope you can avoid such difficulties this year (if nothing else the release of Episode VII should help).

  6. Pingback: The Highs and the Lows: 2015 | Star Wars Anonymous

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