Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

A Look Back at 2013


It’s that time of year again when I look back at the goals I described earlier in the year and see how I fared. It’s a good thing that I decided on “generalized goals” rather than “resolutions” with the expectation that priorities can and do change because, yeah, although I can list a lot of them as having made “some progress,” for most of those it’s more like “very very little progress.” But hey progress is progress, right? Anyhow, here’s a little recap of the goals for which I made no progress, some progress, and completed as well as some new things I hadn’t thought of at the start of the year.


No Progress

Learn to Knit

I have yarn. I have knitting needles. I have bookmarks with tutorials. But somehow I never managed to get them all out together to make the attempt. Maybe next year.

Catch Up On My Blog

Technically, I did make progress on this since I caught up to the current year, but after today I’ll be back to writing about the previous year, and I’m still more than six months behind. So I figure that one was kind of a wash.

Update “Investing in Fitness”

My plan at the beginning of the year was to update my fitness blog weekly throughout any programs I tackled. I didn’t. In my defense, my domain lapsed and by the time I realized it, they wanted a ridiculous amount to get it back. I changed to investinginfitness.net instead, but had to rebuild my site and manually switch all the links. (If only I’d learned then what I learned before moving this site over, it wouldn’t have taken so long). I only recently caught up on that and I made a couple posts during the Christmas Spectacular Blog Hop about gift ideas and my wishlist, and that was it. I recently moved that site over to my new host, and my media didn’t backup like it should have (sigh) so I do have to go in and fix the pictures, but after that I plan to write about doing Les Mills Combat, going through Aslyum, and whatever I do next (thinking maybe a Tai Cheng/RevAbs combo, but I haven’t decided yet).


Some Progress

Use Rocksmith to Learn Guitar

I did actually use Rocksmith to start learning guitar earlier in the year, mostly before we moved to Kaiserslautern. I have used it a couple times since, but I got pretty overloaded with classes, so I haven’t devoted as much time to it as I’d planned on. If my tracker on Raptr is correct, I did get up to Level 3. Also, I have never changed the strings on my guitar,and as I used them they started sounding pretty bad. So of course one of my goals in the new year is to learn how to restring my guitar.

Pick Up More German

I did not use the Germanpod101.com podcasts (but I did read most of the German Word of the Day they email me). I also didn’t read my side-by-side text German/English books. I did try Busuu.com though, and I listened to music in German and translated some of the lyrics. I did not pick up any Italian, but I did pick up a very little bit of French.

Strasbourg, France

See More of Europe

I did not get very far on that goal and did not get to most of the close-by countries I thought I might. In fact I haven’t been anywhere in the last half of the year. However, we did go to Strasbourg, France in February and to Lloret de Mar and Barcelona, Spain in May.

Write More Fiction

I didn’t write any short stories. Nor did I participate in NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo. I did write a bit for a novel in progress  for a few days though, so that counts. And while I hadn’t set a goal about poetry, I also participated in Pulitzer Remix where I wrote 30 poems in 30 days.

Blog More Regularly

In 2012, I posted 90 times and was shooting for 130 this year. I got close-ish with 108 posts counting today’s. I had a pretty slow start to the year with only eight in the first four months (and none in February) while I was in school and working full time. Although I was unemployed in the summer, I took an extra class and did the same in the fall. My best month was July with 26 posts. I also did pretty well in December with 21 posts counting today’s. All in all, I didn’t do too badly here.

Get Better With Exercising & Complete More BeachBody programs

I did start TurboFire (twice, actually) and both times I stopped after a week. (I think it’s just not my thing). I almost finished Les Mills Combat, but I started having issues with my IUD where I got cramps even from mild exercise and by the time I got that taken out and got used to the new birth control to start working out again, I figured I may as well start that program over sometime too. I’m in the middle of Aslyum, but since I have been sick since Christmas and am just now feeling more human again, obviously that can’t get finished this year. So while I didn’t finish any programs as I would have liked to, I was at least better with exercising.

Of this stack, I finished A Perfect Mess, The Rum Diary, and Junky, but only the second was this year.

Read 30+ Books

I decided to try to meet or exceed 30 books this year since that was the most books I’ve read in a year since I started tracking. I got close, but I didn’t cut it since I count books I’ve read start to finish. I managed 23 books. If all my textbooks that I don’t read every page of counted, I’d have had it in the bag…I do count the few that I have read cover to cover though. Also, two of the books I’ve read were George R.R. Martin books which are over 800 pages. In theory, I could have read at least eight smaller books instead of those two and surpassed my goal, so I don’t feel too bad.

Beat 10 Video Games

This didn’t happen. Not even close. But I knew this was nowhere near going to happen as soon as I started taking more than my usual number of classes. I barely had time to read books for fun (see above) let alone to play video games. I only get to put this in Some Progress because I managed to beat The Last of Us in July. I did play several games, but never got around to beating any of them. On the computer (mostly on Steam) I played Tetris, Toki Tori, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Borderlands 2. My husband got an XBox360, and I started over with Borderlands 2 on that. As I mentioned earlier, I also played Rocksmith, which was on the PS3. Although we acquired some new games, I wasn’t the one to buy any that I recall, so at least I lived up to not buying games while I owned games I haven’t beaten.


Submit More Work For Publication

I actually managed to almost double the number of submissions I made in 2013 over 2012. But don’t be too impressed by that. I only had 8 submissions in 2012. This year, I managed 15. On the upside, of those I actually managed to get four pieces accepted for publication. Chupa Cabra Press published three of my remix poems “A Girl Alone”, “Choosing Childfree”, and “Driven to Different” in Radical Dislocations. Unfortunately that’s no longer in print. My poems as well as the poems of several others were ‘found poems’ meaning we wrote them using words found within other texts. The citations for our sources got left out, and it would have been too expensive to do a reprint, so the editor pulled it. I also got a poem “Melanoma” accepted by The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss which is due out in March. Pretty soon here I actually need to record a video reading of that poem, and I think I’m going to include a little bit of info on melanoma as well.

Maintain a 4.0 GPA

Knock on wood. I’m still holding on to the 4.0. I was a little nervous there for awhile, especially when the classes started to overlap, but I did it. I just have six more graded classes to make it through, so with hard work and dedication and maybe a little luck, hopefully I can maintain it through the end.

New Things (Not Already Said Above)

My mug. It says “Let’s Get Lit”.

I’ve been more social lately. I’m involved in a book club (although of course with my luck the first book took so long to arrive I didn’t get to read it with everyone. But I already have the January book). I also found a group for spouses without kids. One of the ladies hosts a craft night which I went to once so far and would like to go to again at some point.

I’ve been trying more new recipes. Since I recently got a crock pot, many of the new recipes utilize that. I’ll be sharing some of those with you soon.

Recently I also joined HitRECord. Originally I was just submitting some of my photos to collaborations, but the other day I started finding prose and poems that could go with other people’s artwork, so I got started “remixing,” combining those together. Some of the remixes have been more time consuming than coming up with my own stuff (probably partially due to the fact that I’m just figuring out how to do it) but it’s been really fun and is definitely going to become a hobby.

Due to getting pumped up about art again after being on HitRECord, I think I will probably be doing a lot more creative stuff in the year to come…when I have the time. I still have just under two weeks of my winter break left, so I’m getting in as much stuff as I can while I can before I have to get back to hitting the books. Next time, I’ll take a look ahead at 2013.

A note on Amazon & Beachbody links: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I am also a Beachbody coach and receive a commission on sales.

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6 Thoughts on “A Look Back at 2013

  1. Oh my goodness girl, how do you do everything!?

    Really nice summary of your goals for the year! I’m crossing my fingers for your goals in 2014. 🙂 Happy new year!

    • Haha I don’t. Hence why most of them are just under ‘some progress’. Most of what I have gotten done lately was because I haven’t been working. When I was working full time and taking two classes at a time, I hardly had time for anything. (Which is why there were less than 10 posts here for the first four months of last year lol).

      Thank you. I’m doing a 101 in 1001 instead of yearly goals. Happy New Year 🙂

  2. Interesting article, Amana! I hope you can make lots of progress with all your goals in 2014! I actually started knitting but gave up after a while. 🙁 So disappointed. I definitely want to start again soon! Need to finish my scarf!

    • Thank you. I’ve made a fair bit on some of them. But who knows how far I’ll get once school is back in session. Well at least you got started. You can always resume 🙂

  3. What was the Novel that you helped writing? Is it already on sale?

    • I was just working on one of my own novels in progress. It’s not on sale since I haven’t finished it. I am going to be selling an e-book version of a satirical novelette I wrote in the nearish future though. It’ll be called The Kingdumb, and I’ll post about it here when it’s available.

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