It’s evening here in Hungary, and we’ve just come from a lovely day at the Vienna Christmas markets. There’s nothing like a whole load of Christmas lights in the dark to make you think of the holidays and year-end magic. So that’s what I did today, and now I’d like to think about what I did this year. This post is for a reflection of gratitude before moving forward to 2014.
What I’m proud of:
1) The novel. There are so many aspects of this that challenged me, and I’m hugely proud to have faced that adventure at full-tilt, along with incredible support from you all. Seriously, I feel like I won an Olympic medal for ‘putting yourself out there, then creating something awesome from the experience’. Can I award myself a medal, or would the Olympic committe protest that? Maybe a gold-foil chocolate one instead.
2) My husband. Zsolt shines in many, many ways. I’m proud of his looking forward despite a year where he was laid off, felt displaced, and learnt his wife has stage four. This guy is pushing forward and acts as cheerleader supreme. I’m so incredibly proud of him.
3) Becoming involved with VanierNow and writing people’s stories. One story that really shines that I wrote is about Erica, the not-an-artist.
4) Getting up in the morning, getting dressed, and living my life. I’m very proud of this. I do it for myself, for my husband, for my family, for my health – I do it because life is better this way.
5) Recovering my grandmother’s furniture to give it new life. I sewed those slipcovers myself, baby! Lulu would not be impressed with the quality of my sewing, but I think she’d like the sentiment.
What I got excited for:
1) My husband, this blog, my friends, and my family who always make me smile and have great times when we are together. (We’ve drank about a swimming pool’s worth of tea during our chats, eh?)
5) Water. Last year we bought ourselves our dream canoe. This year we used it. We also found a nearby swimming hole that – despite one nibbling fish – makes me feel so happy inside.
5) Travel. This year, we travelled through the Alps, wandered around Zurich, saw Christmas lights in Vienna, took a train across a mountain top in Italy, went up the leaning tower of Pisa, spent time in the beautiful city of Pecs, looked for bears in the Rockies, rode a 2-person bike in Stanley park, and spend much time downtown Ottawa doing our groceries.
What I’m thankful for:
1) My husband, because he sees me breakdown about every day, and he somehow finds it in himself to put me back together. So, I’m thankful for him and the magic we have together.
2) My Mom and Dad, who have been taking on the world on top of pushing me forward to push back against cancer.
3) The hug my best friend gave me on the day I was told about those spots in the lungs.
4) You and You and You! I love to see people do well and live well, and luckily enough I get to mix with people online who seem to feel just the same towards others. The amount of talent you have, creativity, compassion, humour . . . it’s such an honour to mix with the mixers online. And thank you for your enthusiasm around my own big dreaming, too!
4.5) For the huge generosity that was shown during the Kickstarter campaign. It has been a great support in our life, and a good help with my health costs too.
6) I am thankful for writing. My writing gives me a sense of purpose like nothing else. When I wrote that story about Erica and featured her art – that is what it’s about. When I write little stories that makes my husband smile, that is what it’s about. When I imagine worlds that are seemingly impossible and yet happen in my imagination then fall onto the page – this is what it’s about!
7) The beautiful photo shoot my friend Lou of Lou Truss Photography did for me and Zsolt just after I had been diagnosed again.
8) Each deep, beautiful breath of air. And for my lungs easing up on the pain, thank you so very much lungs and body.
And that is me for 2013. I hope there’s much more to come for 2014. Like, say, Claire Never-Ending becoming a Canadian bestseller? How can I make that happen? What about the dream cottage in Balaton? Plus, more sharing of stories, more writing of fiction, more supporting of others, and loads of health heaped over that happiness.
**I’d love to hear some of your most proud/excited/thankful moments from 2013. Want to share a moment, or even a blog post? Feel free to link them in. :)**
~P.S. I have been trying to learn about making cool newsletters (as opposed to boring ones), so signed up with MailChimp & added a sign up app on my facebook. I’ve heard that newsletters are good for sending out little excerpts/nuggets people wouldn’t normally get elsewhere from your work. So if you’d like to sign up for my writing newsletter, I’ll do my best to throw in some ‘fresh for you’ fiction in the mailer! Maybe a Little Zsolti story, or some short spin-offs from Claire Never-Ending. Let me know what you’d like to see :)