2014 Highlights


Here are some highlights from last year (Nancy’s 2014 Yearbook!):

My Favorite Posts

Some of my favorite posts from 2014 were:

A Gallery of My Daughter Growing Up – this was for a weekly photo challenge on endurance, of which I think parenthood is the ultimate test.

Books Everyone Should Read – these are not necessarily my favorite books, they were highly influential books for me.

Creativity versus Craft – on mistaking a lack of proficiency for a lack of talent.

What Inspires Me – my thoughts on what encourages me

Words of Encouragement – on change and what normal means in our lives

Working a Day Job – how my day job helps my creativity

In October, I participated in a 31 Day Challenge.  I could pick any topic I’d like, but the goal was to blog daily about it for 31 Days.  I blogged on Nurturing My Creativity, from a post that I’d written earlier in the summer (here).  It was harder than I thought it would be, but I am proud of how it turned out.  My landing page is here and my summary, in which I discussed how it went, is here.

My Top 5 Accomplishments

Over the years, I’ve evolved some formats to use around January 1 to celebrate my life and accomplishments, as well as set expectations for the New Year.  I like it and its consistency allows me to see how I’ve changed over the years.  It takes a while to get done, but it gives me:

  • Proof that despite my frustrations, I did in fact accomplish a lot
  • Encouragement and a reminder of what needs change
  • Help to prioritize my time better to do what I want with my life

For a description of the format I use, click here.

In 2010, I had trouble coming up with 25 accomplishments.  It was depressing and sad to see that.  In fact, it took me two tries that year to pick the top five accomplishments.

I have not had that trouble since.  In fact, for 2014, I had 46 accomplishments listed!  YES!!  Despite feeling like I was constantly too tired and too busy to do much, in fact, I did a lot.

So for 2014, here are my top 5 accomplishments:

  1. Traveled by myself for vacation (click here for more detail)
  2. Enjoyed time with my daughter (here’s one of the things we did together during our trip to Maine)
  3. Survived the February layoffs at work and transitioned when I was released in November (my thoughts are here)
  4. Fixed up the house (removed garden, replaced / trimmed trees, shower stall)
  5. Got our financial affairs in better order

I wanted to see my top 5 accomplishments for the last few years.  Thankfully, they were pretty different, which I was glad of.  If you’d like to see them also, they are here.

2014 Goal Results

As for my goals from last year, I did pretty good with those too.  Again, I got a lot more done than I expected.

Here are my ideas and how it worked out.  The crossed out items didn’t happen.

  1. Keep my blog?  Put onto hiatus? – I put it on hiatus for a while, then went back to it.  I finished out the year strong.
  2. Do an A to Z about me?  On blog, just in journal, to do in a photo album?
  3. Journal more – did this!  Between the daily journal and filling up about two spiral bound notebooks, I wrote and recorded my life much better this year.
  4. Go on monthly adventures – did very little of what was on the list and certainly not monthly.  But I did travel and have adventures.
  5. Continue with cooking and losing weight – I stopped losing weight in January, but lost inches until June.  I’ve mostly kept it off too, so this is a win.
  6. Get my arms around our investments and maintaining our finances – yes!  Got everything in one place with a good financial advisor and made a lot of progress on this.
  7. Continue working on preparedness, especially a bug out bag and some of those small tins.
  8. Declutter the house – made huge gains on this goal.  I’d hoped to be totally finished by the end of this year, but what’s left won’t take long and hasn’t been as important as other things.
  9. Laugh more – somewhat successful.  Not as much as I’d like though.
  10. My one word – “remember” – did good with it.  Struggled though to remember to smile.
  11. Read a self-help or business book a month – no, although I did do a fair amount of reading for creativity, photography, and business.  Not a book a month, but close.
  12. Keep a nature journal? 
    1. Why? 
    2. Would it have anything original in it? 
    3. No, but would be comforting to me. 
    4. I want to notice things
  13. Remember
    1. Remember what? – to smile, laugh and be joyful
    2. Just memories?
    3. Emotions?
    4. Good feelings?
    5. Lessons?
    6. Blue skies?
    7. To be patient?

In Summary

So that’s my year in review!  It was a good year overall.  I’m glad to have accomplishments, and so many of them, to be proud of.  Yes there were lows in the year, but I got through / am getting through them.  Which is, of course, how life goes.

By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved – and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses – you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.
Jack Canfield


Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow