Happiness is Surviving 2023

I don’t know about you, but I had a helluva year. Happiness is remembering the good stuff. I moved to a place where I could drink the water right out of the tap, I have lunch with a good friend frequently, my writing partner did not ditch me when I started shrieking a couple of weeks ago, and my seventeen-year-old dog is still tottering around. She looks like hell, but so do I, I’m just happy we’re both still tottering. Also I’m proud I wrote three good books with a good guy, and I’m delighted I like talking to my now-grown daughter who worked her ass off all summer to save mine, and even more delighted that she appears to like talking to me. So I’m happy because of all the good in my life. The bad memories can go rot behind the dumpsters in my spleen, I have no time for that. (In case you wondered, the spleen recognizes and removes old, malformed, or damaged red blood cells memories. Go spleen, that’s what I say.)

So what made you happy this year?

99 thoughts on “Happiness is Surviving 2023

  1. I too am glad I have survived 2023, and looking forward a lot to 2024.

    Workload has been overburdening and we have not had enough staff. Management talk about “duty of care” and “mental health and wellbeing” but don’t actually listen to their staff (do not want to hear what we tell them I am sure). Plus side is I have a new line manager who has been a friend for the past 2 years and totally gets it (and me); also lovely colleagues who are struggling just like me – I know I am not alone. So I survived – the only reason I have stayed working there is I get to start collecting my final salary pension in 10 months!

    Been waiting 18 months (told it would be 6-12 months) for a new hip and getting steadily worse, now being told I will have to wait another 10-12 months unless I go to another county for the operation, so I agreed to go to Fife and hopefully will be taken in the next 12-15 weeks. I am grateful for all the friends who have offered help and solace (and more importantly lifts to Fife when I know the dates and need them). I am also grateful for the NHS Physiotherapist who has been helping me “You will need to do these exercises after the operation so you might as well start now and have a quicker recovery”. It has been painful doing the physio but I have lost weight and gained muscles (wanting to do that for a while) and feeling better about my body. She also urged me to phone up and chase which is how I got transferred to Fife, will be taking a small thank you present when I see her next.

    I also finished some ‘projects’ that have been hanging around forever. I am trying to clear the decks and sort out my home and life prior to retirement starting – overworking and exhaustion has meant things got in a muddle and I had not energy left to deal with it all. Getting my head clearer and having space for fun, creativity and new activities is my goal.

  2. Was able to quit an insanely stressful job and began planning a move to the place I want to live.

  3. Sitting in my garden, reading. Getting together with friends. Growing things. Brainstorming and designing things. Being surrounded by colour: flowers outside and fabrics/my photographs inside. Exploring. Reading good, fun stories. Coming across hopeful ideas and passing them on. Taking photographs – finding exciting details in gardens and landscapes. I love connecting with the world through my viewfinder: I see things differently through it.

  4. I’m hoping next year will be relatively unexciting, compared to this one. I am grateful for new lenses in my eyes, after all that trouble getting the surgery. I looked through my yarn stash this week, and found three of those “cake” balls, and I wondered why I bought them. It must have been the cataracts. There was a bilious green in the mix, and a very bright magenta, two colors not in my usual spectrum. I have had to donate some clothing I bought in those years, too. I am also grateful to have recovered from that sinus infection/virus/cough thing that lasted for two months.

    I congratulate you, Jenny, on your move. I love Kansas City water, and I drink it right out of the tap, too. That’s a big plus!

    Lately, each year, I notice a little slowing down, and less energy, and more unexpected injuries when I am not careful. Not tottering, yet. I am still able to do a lot of things other people my age have to forego. Something else for which to be grateful.

    I changed most of the lightbulbs in my house this week, since the LEDs I was using have “flicker”, which was giving me headaches. Look that up on NPR, if you’re wondering. I went to IKEA ,where they have the bulbs they sell lit up, and you can use the SloMo on your phone to test them.

    I wish everyone a Happy New Year! I will be opening a can of Black Eyed peas to eat tomorrow. It’s a southern custom to ensure good luck in the new year.

    1. Interesting about the color perception changes. I didn’t have those, at least once I had the new lenses in and I stopped seeing ultraviolet (which I perceived as bright yellow). Maybe I had a different kind of cataracts.

      1. Patrick, maybe your doctor didn’t wait as long as mine did to recommend the surgery. Your cataracts might not have progressed as far.

      2. I was shocked the morning after I had the first eye done: everything looked blue through that eye, and amber through the eye that hadn’t been done. I thought they’d given me a lens with a blue cast, but my optician said the amber cast was a normal effect of ageing. I was rather indignant, being not yet sixty.

        1. JaneB, my surgery was quite a while back, but now that you mention it I do recall the difference in colors after the first eye that you mention.

    2. My mother started making Hoppin John after my parents retired Florida and I picked up the custom, despite lacking a regional motive. The dish is simmering now. I had forgotten to lay in black-eyed peas, but fortunately I discovered I already had a bag of them on hand. (A local supermarket evidently had overstocked for last year and marked them down after New Year’s. I discovered I could use them like navy beans, but still had a bag left. At least I think that’s why I had it, although perhaps it was from a later sale. Use-by date was November 2024.)

    3. Jan, You could be right about the earlier recommendation for surgery. Timing in my case was driven by the upcoming eye test for drivers license renewal. I got everything done with not much time to spare. A shock diagnosis, since symptoms were not what I imagined for cataracts and I thought I just needed a new glasses prescription. And I was slightly young for cataracts, although it seems some medications can increase the probability.

  5. 2022 was not a great year for me. So I feel very grateful that 2023 was an excellent year. My husband still loves me and thinks I’m sexiest when I wear glasses. I’m obsessed with my two dogs. Business is good and only getting better. Had some lovely travel. Family dynamics are at a minimum. Read a lot of delicious books. Honestly, I can’t ask for much more.

  6. Collecting happies, are we? I thought there’d be none because this year was trash, but turns out I can conjure up a few after all.
    I’m happy we took the step to get the cats. Triple and Matcha have been the very greatest of joys and comforts this year.
    I’m happy my ooold gentleman-cat Chili is still alive and kicking at my mum’s, 16.5 years old.
    I’m happy I did the confidence-and-assertivity-on-the-street-training this spring, even though I absolutely HATED it. It’s done me good.
    I’m happy I found out I might be able to sew plushies after all, if I just put some work, patience and effort into it. Maybe in 2024.
    I’m happy we did the Canada-trip so I got a new mom and an extra brother, whom have both been great sources of laughter and comfort during this autumn. We’re planning to go again this spring. Also happy because I probably wouldn’t have discovered loom-knitting without Canada-Mom, which has also been great for staying sane. Extended happy from that is discovering Ravelry with all its patterns and good people to ask help from.
    I’m happy I chose for my own well-being when I broke off with the Buddy I got in early spring to take walks etc with. It was hard, but I’m proud of myself for choosing to stop that project. It made me feel miserable and angry and sad and upset all in one bundle. I rather not take walks than feel that way ever again.
    I’m happy I finished therapy. Twice, even. (For what it’s worth now that the doctors have decided I’m nuts anyway.)
    I’m happy the Liz Danger-series comes out in audio come February!
    I’m so, so, so happy there’s Argh. <3

    If the spleen's the one that needs to do stuff, I need my spleen to do some real hard work ditching old bad memories from this year and I really, really need to rewrite them with new, good, positive, happy ones.

    Here's to a happy, healthy, positive, creative, love- and hugs-filled 2024 that will surprise us all with joy! <3

  7. Surviving was the name of the game this year. It wasn’t as awful as years passed, but it wasn’t great. I really wish that I had managed to get off the teller line this year. I really don’t want to do another election year facing the public and coworkers who I can’t walk away from.

    I’m hoping for more personal growth next year, but for now I am happy that my home is warm and dry, my cats are fat but healthy and I can cover all my bills and living expenses. And that the holidays are nearly over. I don’t mind New Year’s so much, but I really dread Christmas. So onward!

    1. Lupe, can you transfer to another position within your company? I worked for a credit union and the tellers were able to transfer to other positions, ranging from member relation advisors (fancy name for working one on one with members opening accounts, applying for loans etc) to phone center assistance, to card services (working in the atm/credit card dept). Maybe your bank/credit union has positions like those you could apply for. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Rouan. I am trying. I have applied twice in the last year. Didn’t get the first one and withdrew the application for the second because that supervisor is notoriously hard to work with. I am pretty easy going and thought I could take it, with the benefit of more money, and no nights and weekends. But it was the worst interview of my life and I walked out feeling belittled. I am hoping that something else will open up, but other than the front line, we don’t have a lot of turnover.

  8. I had to think back on the happiest this year.

    The biggest is that I am still here to the amazement of my oncologists. I tell people I am on year 7 of a 5 year life expectancy.

    My puppy is growing and I hope will soon become a dog. I am tired of puppy. Good thing he is cute.

    Took several small trips to places I have wanted to visit for years. Went to Berea and stayed in a historic hotel. Went to North Carolina and stayed in a tree house hotel. Went to San Diego for work and got to hang with an former co-worker, who is one of my best friends.

    I am hoping next year has less stresses but I am fairly sure my parents may not make it through 2024, which I have mixed feelings about. I will be sad, but they are tired, just living is a struggle.

  9. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the meh of times. I will not dwell on (or in) 2023. It’s over, let it go.

  10. 2023 was definitely a mixed bag. Not quite as rough as 2022 in some ways, but full of house construction and repairs, a continually health-challenged cat, and a number of losses. Plus my own health struggles, of course. Long Covid can bite me.

    But there was happy in there too, for sure. A good friend moved back from NC after 7 years away, and we are hanging out for dinner and a movie/TV at my house most weeks. Since loneliness has been one of my issues (a combo of the housemate moving out 2 years ago, leaving my day job almost 2 years ago, and Covid-induced isolation), it has been nice to have this addition to my social life. Plus he turned me on to Ted Lasso, so that’s a bonus.

    I took two trips–one to San Diego in July where I got to spend time with my elderly parents, sister, step-daughter and her guy and his parents, and best of all, spend 3 days on the beach with one of my witchy/writing besties. Lots of happy there. Then in October I got to join the rest of the family in Nashville for my niece’s wedding. (So I got to see my parents and SD sister and her kids twice in one year, which was also a bonus.) And didn’t come home with Covid despite all the crowded places, which I was really worried about. Lots and lots of happy there.

    Found a great new vet located five minutes from my house (the old one was 15 minutes away, which was a lot when coming and going often with the sick kitty who freaked out in the car). Found a decent new NP to replace my long-time doctor who died unexpectedly–a nearly impossible feat in the rural area where I live. Published a few more books, wrote a couple more that will be out in time. Had an idea for a novel which we’ll hopefully be sending out to editors sometime in January. (All good vibes happily accepted, since getting published again in fiction is going to be an uphill battle.)

    My beloved brother in-law was finally declared cancer free (for now) after a brutal 2-year battle, just in time to walk his daughter down the aisle. That made everyone incredibly happy. Unfortunately, his wife, my other sister, was just diagnosed with her own cancer on December 26th. Not the holiday gift any of us wanted. But they think they got 99.9% of it in the hysterectomy, and hopefully her chemo won’t be as horrible or lengthy as my BILs. So I’m choosing to be happy that they caught it, and looking forward to a 2024 with no more nasty surprises. Only good ones. Pretty please, universe.

    1. Sending the Good Vibes in undulating waves! Luck Tsunami preparation protocol initiated….

      Had a bit of confusion midway through this epic year you’ve conquored, trying to figure out what kind of rural community makes dieing unexpectedly a challenge. Then I realized that no, you were not living in a community of precogs.

      Glad there was good to temper the difficult.

    2. Sending all the good vibes you need!
      I loved Ted Lasso. I didn’t think I would – why would I want to watch a TV-series about a football team? Seriously? – but oh dearie me was I ever wrong! Binge-watched it once it’d dug its claws in. Such a good series!

  11. Overall, 2023 was an ok year for me. The hardest part was managing the endless barrage of awfulness in the outside world. My faith in humanity is hanging on by a thread. Fortunately, I have a wonderful family and great friends who sustain me and keep me grounded.

    Working on the flower farm is the best physical and mental therapy. I love my bosses and working for flowers helped them financially and gave me lots of flowers. I got to know more of the gardeners at the historical garden where I volunteer – I’m happy to be part of such a great community. I joined Dress for Success and it has been an amazing experience. I’ve met wonderful people and learn something new every week. We have lots of francophone clients so I get to practice my French which is a bonus.

    DH, DS and I had a good time on our family trip to Mexico. We all survived the kitchen reno and are very happy with the results. DS went back to school and is doing well. He’s taken up indoor climbing and is meeting new people. It’s wonderful to see him finding his way.

    I don’t make NY’s resolutions but I’m working on being a more positive person. I want to be a fountain not a drain.

  12. Well, I’m ending 2023 w Strep… so I’ve got that going for me.

    But it’s more about making 2024 better than 23. Not sure how, but will be cracking down on some frivolous spending. For some reason I feel the need to save more in 24.

  13. I’m most happy to have rediscovered my creativity (in both writing and quiltmaking). Looking forward to exercising the renewed creativity in 2024, with three books in the pipeline already for release next year (plus the Helen Binney novella), and finally finishing an overdue baby quilt and starting a graduation quilt (and finishing it before she leaves for college in the fall, if not by her graduation in the spring).

      1. Deborah, thanks for the heads up. I just ordered Gin’s new book and am looking forward to reading it. Thanks Gin for another new book to anticipate.

      2. Gin, do you want an Argh Author now or in January? Which is actually now since its 1:30 on the first.
        That escalated quickly.

    1. Gin – I’m excited. I have KY family & in fact my aunt is a member of a Bourbon club. I sent them notice so hopefully they will buy. I know my brother loves cozy mysteries.

  14. I spend a lot of my time in gratitude so counting blessings is a constant for me.

    This past year, on a personal level I think I accomplished a lot, which feels great. And I feel like I’ve grown as a writer and have made lovely connections with my readers. Plus, I finally got the yard I’ve been dreaming about for more than a dozen years. A very big happy. But then the world events have brought such sadness and upset on so many levels that the latter part of the year in particular is a bit of a blur.

    Over the holidays, I’ve tried to focus on my fab family and my books. And I’ve even gotten in some reading and movie watching. Probably my fave movie of late is the adaptation of Are you there God, it’s me Margaret. Like a lot of girls, I adored that book when I was young, but I think I adore the movie version even more. One of the best adaptations I’ve seen, actually, and kudos to the writer/director for adapting such a beloved book with such care.

    As for the coming year, I’m not big on resolutions, but I do set goals and am working on that now. Wishing all a fab new year:)

  15. Grateful for health, a warm and cozy home, good food and a wonderful community. Grateful for all my friends and family. Grateful for a good job to help me pay my bills. Grateful for lovely writers like Jenny that allow me to escape into alternative universes. Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2024.

  16. I’m happy that we had the two commitment ceremonies, mostly because they meant to DD that we would be there for her. Happy that I like her partner and his parents and that I feel optimistic about their future together. Really happy that I finally found a surgeon who would do my parathyroid surgery and no longer feel fuzzy brained or suddenly get woozy. Also happy that I got a lot of deferred medical maintenance done (although 3 surgeries in 4 months is a bit much) and aside from follow up and routine tests looks like 2024 will be a medical-free year. Happy that I’m done with my full time job running a nonprofit which I found stressful and didn’t play to my strengths; very happy that I managed to segue to the perfect part time job for me working on census advocacy.
    Happy that DD’s PhD thesis is in and with any luck she will be less stressed; happy that DS’s first physics paper got accepted so that he is a third of the way done with his thesis (well, a fourth really since it’s apparently 3 papers and then sections tying them together). Happy that DH expects to travel less in 2024–he was gone by my count 20 weeks in 2023, which sets a new record for us (and aside from the pandemic he routinely traveled a quarter of a year all our marriage).
    And I’m really happy that I saw a recommendation that you pick a New Year’s resolution you actually will enjoy keeping. So mine is to meet up at least 10 times this year with friends that I haven’t seen enough of lately. It was going to be see 10 friends but I am not sure I have that many friends I want to catch up with so I will see some twice. I may also resolve to go to museums more and eat out more.

  17. This week I had already decided I was going to wake up happy. Enough to get me started for the day. I’m determined to snap out of any lingering bad dreams and switch over to something more pleasant.

    In the meantime this morning I was cruising through a Facebook page of Boston pictures and memories and found one of my cousins. He had posted a picture of himself and two of his brothers from about sixty years ago. The next picture was one of him and honest to God my mother. Now that definitely made me happy. It must have been his Confirmation, he looks to be about that age. That was also sixty years ago. I was gobsmacked and surprised to see it.

  18. Urk. This was a year of regaining lost ground. Health, mobility, headspace, work, all of it improved significantly, but I fell like like fought for every millimeter.

    And made zero actual progress. But am almost back to the zero point on the scale. I accomplished a lot this year but the lack of new ground broken feels exhausting.

    I’m hoping the work done this yesr makes next fertile and filled with new milestones. I could use some firsts, and would be so happy to be done with regaining lasts.

    I feel like I did an awful lot of worthwhile invisible work. I keep telling myself that you need a foundation for growth.

    I’ve decided the year of the dragon should be all about wing spreading and fire breathing, maybe a lityle gliding, would be very interested to try soaring.

    But no poopy villagers.

  19. For me, 2023 wasn’t a top year, but it beat 2022, a year marred by some minor stuff plus by two deaths that year and by belatedly learning about some earlier ones.

    Among the more positive aspects of 2023 was checking this site (as I had done occasionally before) and learning a new Crusie book would soon appear. And more were planned to follow! I also had the pleasure of bringing the news to two other Crusie fans (one of whom I now learned was a long-time fan only by recommending Crusie to her). For some reason this was also when I started engaging more seriously with the site, even though I had known earlier that it was there.

  20. My garden, rediscovered the joys not the chore of weeding. Maybe a small greenhouse next year. My lovely family, very few hiccups with our core unit. Now, the BIL…we hope he is willing, able to recover life and be a good father to our niece. Travel with cousins, fun, two days out from Israel, horrifying. Third time lucky with Archie, the new to us pony. Jenny and Bob’s Books! Looking after granddaughters wee puppy. It’s like having a baby in the house. We are all having a nap now. May 2024 be a very year.

    1. Happy New Year, Sure Thing! I was thinking of you this week and glad to see you’re around. 🙂

    2. We missed you, too! I hope you enjoy your summer and the rest of your new year and that your work load becomes more manageable as the year goes on.

  21. So many good things, as well as bad things that brought people together.
    Death of a friend, leaving his wife and family after a long, debilitating illness; folks have pulled together and become closer.
    Multiple concerts of a local world music group. Two operas. A play of the Wife of Bath.
    Joining a gym; keeping my weight down.
    Jenny and Bob’s books!!! And, of course, Argh.
    Travel to ski jumping in Lake Placid, NY; medieval churches in East Anglia, England, and same in western France; and, Warsaw. Drive back an forth from MA to CO for a model train convention.
    Joining the Wild Women’s Writing group. Learning about myself while learning to write memoirs.
    Joining a French Conversation group. As of today, 12.31.23, hit day 600 on Duolingo.
    Finding out that we’ll have a grandchild in 2024. Celebrating Christmas in Poland with son & pregnant daughter-in-law, and also daughter-in-law’s family.
    Getting every vaccination that medical folks will give me. Seeing more doctors than I have in years; making steps towards better health.
    Expecting more Jenny and Bob books in 2024.
    Thank you for your question. 2023 — except, as others have said, in the US/world arena of wars, suffering, and the conservative radicalism of the Republicans — was a remarkably wonderful year for me.
    My plan is to keep taking care of myself and others as much as possible. I have a whole new generation to watch out for. Just let me at 2024.

  22. This year has been a year of milestones, and I’ve spent a lot of it feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. I keep reminding myself it’s for most good things, but they’ve taken big adjustments and a lot of emotional energy.

    I turned 50 this year. I also went back to paid work after about 14 years of raising my boys (they’re mostly risen) and I’m adjusting to being back in the bookselling game. I’m slowly weathering the “Dear gods, what have I done??” phase, and starting to feel slightly less stupid and like I might know what I’m doing, and I’ve survived Christmas back in retail.

    My husband has been juggling work, and study, and covering the load of getting everyone where they need to go since I’ve been back at work.

    My eldest son had his final year of secondary school in 2023. He worked hard, and got a first round offer for his first choice uni course, but the year took its toll on him.

    We somehow built a house. We’ve been talking and planning this for the past ten years, in a ‘one day’ kind of a way, and then in a matter of months it all just happened. We spent the year trying to keep up with our builder, and wrestling with the bank. I still don’t quite believe we have an almost finished house.

    So, big stuff and mostly good stuff, but a little lie down is in order.

  23. 2023 has mostly been a year of holding steady and contentment, on a personal level. I didn’t really have much progress o the 3 or so projects I need to finish. But, no new projects cropped up so that’s a definite win.

    I need to get back into crocheting. And start cleaning out some of the stuff I have. The Kindle should help with that. Looking forward to the new Crusie/Mayer books.

    As far as the world…I’ll continue to do what I can at the local level.

    Wishing everyone a marvelous New Year and hears hoping 2024 is not a drama queen. (Yeh, right.)

  24. Strange sort of year for me. Despite some not great stuff I’m in a better place looking forward to 2024 than I was this time last year.
    Finished a big work project at the end of March which nearly killed me both literally and figuratively (completely exhausted, fell asleep driving and fortunately only had a minor crash and no one else involved). This really made me determined not to end up in that overworked situation again. So I had a nice summer doing as little as possible and got back into it more in the autumn… Only doing as much as they pay me for or additional things if interesting.

    Lots of dog walking, swimming, a couple of good cycling holidays and happily relearned to totally immerse myself in a book without feeling guilty I should be doing something else.

    Sadly last week my dad died, but he was in late stage Parkinson’s and got pneumonia and got very weak so a nice calm end was a good thing for him.

    Hoping in 2024 I stick with what I learned was good this year!

    1. Even if the end comes as a relief, it’s still a dear one passing on. Sending hugs and sympathy your way.

      1. Sorry to hear about your dad, Frozen Pond. Glad that you won’t let yourself get into another car crash from being too worn out. Take care!

      1. Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all the kind words. This is such a lovely community.

    2. Frozen Pond – my dad died of Parkinsons acquired pneumonia in 2006. I recently read a quote that states so eloquently what I felt:
      “Grieving is a matter of relearning how to be in the world.” Thomas Attig

      Even though his death was expected it took me a while to relearn how to be in a world without his physical presence.

      Take care of yourself.

    3. Condolences to the loss of your father, Frozen Pond!

      My father in law also died two weeks ago after battling cancer for the last two years, seemingly sucessfully. But caring for his fragile wife as well as himself (it took a bit to find a live-in-helper-service) took a larger toll than anyone could have guessed.
      So the new year for us starts with his funeral.

      1. I’m sorry, Dodo. It’s a terrible way to start the year, but I’m hoping for nothing but good times ahead for you the rest of the year.

  25. New Jenny books in 2023 and more to come in 2024 make me happy!

    I’m happy that despite some epic not good events we did manage to mostly get our fixer-upper fixed up and organized and clean. I mean, not perfect, there’s plenty to do in January, but the progress from where we were this time last year is miraculous. I’m happy that I read lots of good books and had lots of good times in the garden, that we managed to make some happy camping memories this year, and that we started some new traditions. I’m VERY happy that after a year being plagued by various injuries I’m over all of them with a plan to keep it that way. Here’s to more of all that’s good and less of the bad in 2024 for us all.

  26. Best of luck to everybody here on this wonderful blog, especially our Jenny. I hope you all have a hopeful and good start to the new year beginning tomorrow, with loads of happy events or realizations. 🙂

  27. I didn’t kill myself. I have the thoughts every day (thanks, work) but I haven’t so far. I absolutely dread 2024 though, I truly feel sick about it. A friend has bought me a ticket to a show tonight, so I have something to do and hopefully will be distracted from the dread.

    I did get some lead roles this year, albeit it’s because very few people auditioned, har har. People thought I did well at them, though, so there’s that.

    I did get out of work on psychiatric leave, twice. I’ve worked a whopping 15 days since I got suspended thanks to psychiatric leave, and while I continued to fuck up horribly at them, at least I’ve been out most of the fall. Not having to go to work has been a relief.

    1. Well done you for still hanging in there. I know it’s hard and that a long new year spreading out before you can feel intimidating and almost impossible to handle. But, hopefully it will mean positive change for you rather than struggles, and answers instead of anxiety, and relief instead of pain. 2023 was awful, but it’s behind you now. 2024 is still full of possibility. You can do this!

    2. I’m sorry Jennifer. Please keep holding on, because the feelings do pass even if it feels like they won’t. You’re incredibly strong for getting through it this far.

    3. You have a lot of friends supporting you. You are much more than just a job, so hang on to that thought when it gets rough.

    4. Please keep staying with us. Every day you keep ahead of those thoughts has to feel like a victory. I hope you are able to get some relief and treatment in the new year.

  28. A bit late to the party… I have a bit of trouble with calendar years. As I have been working at universities for so long and my husband is a school teacher, I only really think in academic years so I tend to take stock in July not January.
    So 2023, good or bad? Not sure, will get back to you in July.
    Bonne année to all Arghers though. It is such fun hanging out with you all!

  29. 2023 won’t stand out as a particularly Happy year, but it wasn’t Bad. Day Job feels secure. The garden looks like a garden. The backlist wide launch is complete and royalties are trickling in. The five new titles from JMS have also sold a few copies. 🙂 And I have three new titles mostly complete, time to prepare submission packages and then see what wants to be written next.

    The parents are still alive and mostly functional. The move to NC looks achievable, though I’d be lying if I said I can’t wait. 18+ month minimum timeline for that (for basement conversion construction) so all available digits are crossed that another health crisis doesn’t push it. I have met all the local family and several of the parents’ neighbors, all nice people.

    I’m grateful for my online communities, including this one. Happy New Year, y’all.

  30. I finished the final chapter of my dissertation this afternoon and sent it off to be reviewed. Three and a half years and I’m finally seeing a finish line. i’m so in awe of all the authors on the blog for writing and finishing books. It takes a lot out of you!

    And now I’m thinking of all the free time I will have in 2024 to read books for fun!

      1. I’m looking at the experiences of community college faculty transitioning to remote instruction during Covid. People had a lot to say!

    1. I’m in awe of you for finishing your dissertation. I’m ABD on mine and I’ve given up hope.

      1. It’s a beast. Especially since the format and style of writing is so restricted.

        I think you’ve done very well for yourself but I understand that feeling of something left undone. Sometimes you just have to move on.

  31. My favorite parts of 2023 beyond my family being healthy and relatively happy are:

    I really enjoyed NANOWRIMO this year. I didn’t ‘win’ word count wise but I participated in events with other writers & it was fun.

    It also spurred me on to get an accountability partner & I am so happy with that relationship. Thank you Tammy!

    I want to finish the first draft of the novel I started by April so I can put it away & write poetry that month since it is National poetry writing month.

    I go back & forth on whether or not I like my critique group but I am grateful we are still going. There is at least one member there whose suggestions are valuable & who I have fun with.

    Thank you Jenny & Bob for Liz Danger. I loved all 3 books & am eager for Rocky Start in 2024.

    I had a really painful memory resurfacing that unsettled me for a few months but in the long term some things were explained.

    I live in Florida & have had hours at the beach that I loved.

    I discovered forest bathing & it is something I’ve done instinctively for a while now without knowing it was good for my health or why.

    I delved in to Instagram in 2023 & I like it so much better than FB.

    I still have 2 long term online friends that I keep up with on FB, though & I love them.

    I am grateful for arghink & for Wynded Words (Sarah Wynde’s blog).

    2024 has the potential for much fun & growth. I’m ready.

  32. First the less happy stuff from 2023…
    – In Feb., there was an active shooter on the campus where I work. He killed 3 students and wounded others.
    – In April, my favorite uncle died quickly and unexpectedly after surgery.
    – In May, I had a terrible fright when a dude tried to drive directly into my car while he was headed northbound in the southbound lanes on a highway at full speed. He swerved with seconds to spare.
    – In Oct., I came home with Covid from a fun trip for work to New Orleans.
    – In Nov., we put down our nearly 22-year-old cat. It was a good passing but sad. Nearly 2 weeks later I had rotator cuff surgery and am still recovering from it.

    The good stuff from 2023…
    – I went on 2 quilting retreats with friends.
    – I went to 3 conferences for work where I got to see friends from other libraries.
    – My hubby and I saw Wicked for the first time. A fun date night!
    – We also vacationed in Charlevoix, MI in July with friends.
    – We wrapped my car in a beautiful vinyl to change it’s color. I love it! Started the project over labor day weekend and finished it after a week of working on it.
    – Friends from church and my quilt guild took care of me when my husband wasn’t able to after my surgery.
    – I got to read 3 new Crusie books!

    For 2024, I’m looking forward to fully healing, traveling, and hopefully the Rocky Start series. 😉

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