While everyone settles down with their top-10 lists and their end of the year wordcount roundups, I’m here to offer you a happy, healthy last day of 2015 without a single data point.
This year, I’m not looking over my lists of submissions. I’m not counting rejections or acceptances, not adding up the number of stories I’ve edited or the pages I’ve written. It’s nice to see other people’s impressive accomplishments, but it’s also nice to focus on what can’t be measured and what might not look so fancy when written down in digits.
Here are some of the things that mattered to me this year:
- This year I learned to exercise every day. I didn’t lose a single pound, but I learned how to make time for my old carcass, and I’m feeling better because of it.
- This year, I quit drinking caffeinated coffee. I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I did the past two years, but then again, I stopped having panic attacks, heart palpitations, insomnia, and even stopped grinding my teeth.
- This year, I spent more time with my daughter than I ever have before, and we have never had so much fun or enjoyed so many long, meaningful conversations.
- This year, I spent time with friends almost every week.
- This year, my husband and I took our first-ever vacation as a couple.
I might not have written very many short stories (did I finish anything new? I’m not sure!) or powered through as much slush as I would have liked, but I got enough done. I learned how to say “I’ve done enough today. I can check my email in the morning.” I learned how to set boundaries and prioritize things.
Plus, I learned how to take better care of myself. I realized something this year: I might never be a great writer, but I know I can never be a great writer if I die before I’m forty. And I’ll never be a great writer if I get so sick of putting writing before everything else that I get sick of the job and quit.
And I plan to spend the rest of 2015 celebrating what’s wonderful in my life: my family, my friends, my world, and yes, my commitment to writing. Because the other thing I learned this year is that a little celebration makes everything better.