Obligatory New Year Post

Hi, everyone! It’s been a little while.

I think we’ve all collectively agreed 2016 sucked, but it wasn’t all bad. Here are some of the highlights from my tiny little life.

In 2016 I…
– Quit my terrible job
– Had several moments of panic when I realized the jobs I went to school for don’t want me till I get more experience and all the retail jobs filled up because it was summer so I couldn’t even go back to my terrible job and oh goodness look at that shrinking savings account
– Got a new job! A much, much better job! That I wasn’t even really looking for and never thought I would like but it turns out I really love it and now I also have a shiny new career path!
– Started writing a book
– Did some freelance editing and found out I’m really good at it because I have a ton of attention to detail and a knack for understanding what people are trying to say when it gets lost in translation
– Got a piece of writing published! Woo! I’ll have some links for that when it’s available.
– Had a review I wrote shared by a company I love and got some free books to review from them (more on that later in this post)
– Kicked one toxic friendship to the curb over politics (I mean, technically they kicked me but that just meant the pressure was off and I got to feel like the bigger person even though I totally wasn’t) and found out I have at least one friendship that was strong enough for me to want to talk it out and overcome our differences
– Dyed my hair pink! Well, parts of it. I’ve always wanted to do that but was convinced not to. This year I had a job that was fine with it and I finally got to do what I want with my own hair! So exciting. And now it just feels so me and I never want to not have pink hair. I’ve even been re-thinking the tattoo I want to get because the hair feels like enough and I read tattoos might make it more likely that you’ll have an allergic reaction to hair dye and I would be so sad if that happened. (On the other hand, dye is temporary and if I develop an allergy anyway down the line that will probably eliminate tattoos as an option and then I’d be really sad. So I haven’t decided yet.)
– Finally tried using a menstrual cup. That might be TMI for some but whatever. They’ve been on my radar since 2006 and I finally got over my “but that’s so weird and sounds so gross though” to try it and it turns out they’re awesome and waaaaaaayyyy less gross than the “normal” options. I still have some anxiety over it because I have a contamination phobia but I’m going to talk to my doctor about that soon to ease my concerns.
– Got two new doctors! Not for new problems, both of my doctors apparently moved or something and I got randomly re-assigned. I’ve seen each of them once so I don’t really have much of an opinion on how much I like them yet but they seem good.
– Had a breast cancer scare but it turned out there wasn’t actually anything wrong
– Finally started treating my anxiety and it’s going great so far

In 2017 I hope to…
– Pair the anxiety meds with some therapy if insurance/budget will allow it
– Read and write a whole lot (There’s a list of my reading goals here!)
– Develop the questionnaire I’ll be sending to anyone who wants to be included in my book and get it at least far enough to send to publishers (I’ll probably feed off the NaNoWriMo writing mania to get that finished and plan to actually write the thing next year, spend most of this year just building a daily writing habit on top of a full-time job)
– Get my diabetes under control
– Clean up my house and get it kid-ready
– Be more outgoing and try to make and keep friends
– Speak up and get people to use my preferred name and pronouns (I already started this by changing it on the “real name” social networks, woo!)
– Save up enough money that I can start taking some classes at the local community college. I really want to learn ASL and maybe also review my Spanish if the review book I added to my wishlist to study on my own turns out not to be enough to actually hold a conversation.
– Get my driving permit again and practice driving because it’s been awhile and I’m not sure I remember how

Blog-Specific Goals
Along with the reading list I linked above, I’ve sort of mapped out specific things to write on different days of the week. Planning to turn this into more of a review blog. Recently I was shown several people doing Buffy analyses and then something about using Harry Potter as a sacred text and that is something that I’ve wanted to do with the things I love too but haven’t really dedicated the time and writing space to it. So that’s a major goal this year. I’m going to do reviews and discussions of the things I read (and a bunch of movies) from a theological/ministerial perspective.

In particular, I’m interested in looking at things that I personally find very important or even sacred but shied away from sharing. Like Kevin Smith movies, or horror shows, or vapid-seeming guilty pleasures. Sharing that review on The Voices in the previous post was kind of a big deal for me because normally that’d be the sort of thing I wouldn’t really want to admit to liking for some reason, or at least wouldn’t bring up in ministry space. But why not? If I love something, I should be willing to look at the reasons for that and share both its good points and its flaws the same way I would anything. So I’m going to try to do a lot more of that.

I’m not going to be super rigid about my schedule, but this is what I have right now. (I know starting on Friday is weird, but putting the bulk of my writing on the weekend just makes sense so I’m starting there. I have a job with regular weekends now! So weird but so great.)

Friday – book/movie review (From the 2017 reading list)
Saturday – post at Medium (Because I keep hearing great things and want to give it a shot. That’s where my posts not so directly related to fiction and theology will wind up. Probably a lot on autism, maybe some on ministry, social justice, gender stuff.)
Sunday – What I read last week (Stuff that doesn’t wind up on the main review days. Individual comics, articles and blog posts, etc)
Tuesday – Other reviews (Much less frequently, but this is where things like those reviews I mentioned of the free books I received to review will go, and also anything else I feel like exploring that doesn’t fit neatly into the other categories.)
Wednesday – Devotional from sacred (to me) fiction (Remember how I was going to do those in-depth looks at The Wicked and the Divine? That might still happen, maybe on a Tuesday post. But for now I’m going to be doing much shorter posts focusing on a panel or line or whatever short bit from the comic. One issue a week. Possibly with interruptions where I use something else that speaks to me, but that will be the main focus until I run out of issues.)

So that’s where I’ve been and where I plan to go. What about you? What were some of your 2016 highlights and what do you hope for in the year ahead?

2 thoughts on “Obligatory New Year Post

  1. I enjoyed reading these lists. Oh, I saw this:

    “Speak up and get people to use my preferred name and pronouns (I already started this by changing it on the “real name” social networks, woo!)”

    and I don’t remember a post about what you prefer to be called. I’ve seen you mention Zeph, but I thought maybe it was a computer screen name sort of thing or a childhood nickname (sorry) and not necessarily a name you want to be called.

    BTW, do you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

    I’m glad you got so much accomplished in 2016, and I love your goals for 2017.


    1. Yeah, you didn’t miss anything. 🙂 I do prefer to be called Zeph, but I haven’t really announced it anywhere except at my church. Part of it is just that it’s awkward to tell people “oh hey so I know you know me by this name and that has literally always been my name but I don’t like it so call me this now?” but also I think at the back of my mind there was this worry that if I ask people to call me something different and they don’t respect that, there’s an actual confrontation that would need to happen and those friendships might change or end. But that just means I always feel like not only am I being called something I hate, but it’s my fault and I can’t really call anyone out for it because I haven’t *told* them. So that’s why this is on the list of things to do this year.

      (BTW, it is a nickname I made up using my given name and my old last initial from before I got married. I like it because it’s not a complete change, most people probably hear it as “Steph” anyway, and it’s not completely unheard of as a first name but uncommon enough not to be immediately gendered in people’s minds. I actually had to remind my sister that names like Zephaniah exist and that she has definitely heard it before, albeit usually applied to men. I saw it on a gender neutral list at a Nordic names site and I like that.)

      I have type 2 diabetes, thank goodness. In my family I’m not sure I’d have survived childhood with type 1. This is much more manageable and I’m doing fairly well, but I need to develop better habits of cooking healthy food while working full time instead of falling back on convenience foods like pizza or pasta.



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