#Weekend Coffeeshare, the Year-end Wrap UP

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If we were having coffee, I probably invite you out to a local fried chicken place we have here. The coffee isn’t very good, but the chicken is awesome, and I owe myself some as a promised reward for finishing my NanoWrimo project (and then some) in November. I forgot about it until I l started listing ideas for this post and then realized, “Hey, I never did that!” So, if you like fried chicken and coleslaw you’re welcome to share with me.

I’d tell you that I celebrated my holiday early and had a nice, relaxing, Introvert Special here from December 20-January 31. No people!
But, I’m kinda ready for some social interaction again.

Daniela Uslan, who I met from the Facebook community, Blogging on Your Own Terms is doing a year-end post round up, so I thought I would combine it with a coffee share post.

My greatest accomplishments of 2015

  • I published The Fox Sisters, a science fantasy serial.
  • I drafted and made revision plans for 3 new novellas:
    Diana, Lady of Synn
    Star Covenant
    and Reynard the Fox (Working title)
  • I finished the first draft of an unrelated novel that I started in 2012.
  • I kept this blog going and met my posting goals through several personal crises.

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My greatest struggles in 2015

This has been a hard year. I have chronic migraines, cerebral palsy, chronic tendinitis in my arms, PTSD, depression, and a lot of stomach problems. I needed to change my eating habits, but my apartment isn’t set up properly for person who uses a wheelchair. (That’s a whole other post in itself.) so, I’m not able to do my own cooking or household chores. For the first quarter of 2015, I had to rely on a home healthcare worker who was not a native English speaker and had difficulty following directions. I was spending about 15 hours a week either directly guiding her through simple tasks or sticking Post-it notes with arrows and directions all over my house so that she could remember where things needed to be. I do not enjoy micromanaging others, and this was exhausting. It took about two months of emails between myself and the agency she worked for in order to get a second worker assigned.

Now the new worker is doing my shopping, and my sister is doing most of my cooking and housekeeping. So things have been better, but it’s still difficult and stressful for me because it puts a lot of strain on my sister, who also lives with chronic pain.  I don’t know how long she’ll be able to do it.

On the other hand, it’s been interesting and kind of cool to spend as much time with my sister. We live in separate cities and haven’t spent much time together in the last 20 years.

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My greatest teachers in 2015

2015 has been an intense learning year! I think that goes hand-in-hand with struggles.

Professionally, I’ve learned a lot from Heather and Robin over at Write On Sisters. Some of their posts were crucial to helping me fix my plot problems for the foxes.

On the personal front, my greatest teachers have been:

  • My sister, who has more compassion and patience than I do by a long shot
  • My grandmother, who is caring for my grandfather in the late stages of Alzheimers,
  • My aunt who is battling lung cancer
  • The lifelong friend who walked out on me and the three others I expected to be able to count on when I needed them but found I couldn’t.
  • Natacha and Amanda who were there for me and had my back through all the twists and turns. It’s good to know who’s got you covered!

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What I learned in 2015

People can disappoint you, but they can also surprise you by showing up when you least expect them. Help can come from the last place you’d think to look, so never give up, never surrender, and never be afraid to ask for what you need.
Take risks before you’re ready. Take opportunities when they show up, even if there’s a chance you will make a fool of yourself. You probably won’t, and even if you don’t do as well as you would like to, there’s always room to learn from your mistakes. I wasn’t ready to publish the summer serial, but I went for it because I knew there would always be a reason to wait, always be something else I needed to do first or do better. The Fox Sisters is imperfect, but it was the best I could do at the time, and that’s enough.
It’s okay to put yourself and your dreams first. I’ve always been that person who dropped everything to help someone else out. I would put my stories aside and spend weeks or months helping someone with a project or a personal problem. I would just drop everything at a moment’s notice to go on a road trip with a friend because my friends came before anything — including my own dreams and the things I wanted for my life. Some of that was because I genuinely care about others, and I believe it’s important to help where I can. Some of it was because I liked the people and wanted to hang with them, and some of it is because I wanted to see more of the world. I don’t regret that part of my life for a second, but this year I realized that I’m almost 40, and I’ve spent my whole life dropping my plans and dreams to be other peoples’ sidekick. I figured I had plenty of time to do what I wanted, but watching my grandpa and my aunt get sick has made me realize I don’t.  There’s only today, right now.  I don’t want to be Gabrielle anymore. I want to be Xena. I am Xena. I have always been Xena. I just thought I could be Xena and still put everyone else ahead of me. It’s only made me lose out in the end.  I’m the one who has to live with where I am in life. So I got serious and changed my priorities.

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What I want to let go of in 2016

I want to let go of anyone and anything that doesn’t enrich my life and nourish my soul. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known someone or what they think about me. I don’t care if people think I’m “mean.” The time suckers, the emotional vampires, the assholes–they’re all going. If I regret it later, so be it. I can deal with that too.

-What I want to achieve in 2016

My Q1 goals are to finish reorganizing the notes and documentation on the fox series and improve my networking skills.
Q2 goals are to finish writing a book of essays about life as an abuse survivor.
Q3 goals are to finish both of the ecourses I’m taking.
Q4…..well…that’s a long time away. We’ll see what’s still on my plate when I get there!

My 3 words of the year for 2016:

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So that’s all for today! I hope you enjoy your chicken and don’t forget to join the #WeekendCoffeeshare link-up over at Part-Time Monster.

 

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