I hope 2014 brings you fantabulous successses, great health and a lot of good cheer. I hope that 2014 is much better than 2013, even if the previous year was great.
|The container garden just outside my kitchen door|
2013 was a better year than 2012 for me. It started out very badly, with Mma going in and out of hospitals.
By June, I was prepared to let her go if that was how it was supposed to be.
Only she rallied back and the second half of the year was so much better I'm even optimistic that we will have a 2014 that has no medical emergencies. Now wouldn't that be wonderful!
As to my personal health, I'm eating a lot more healthy foods. Take outs are extremely rare, a lot less dead animal, be it chicken, fish or meat, plenty of veggies and fruit, more time spent in the garden. I've even started eating morogo, a wild indigenous greens that grow in the region.
|The leaves in the bowl are thepe, a type of morogo growing in my garden. |
Chilli and cucmber also from my garden
I lost around 30 pounds, then gained back around 10. Not great, but not bad either. And the inital weight loss was due to stress and skipping meals, so I'm happy to be on a more healthy track.
The big career development is that I got back to blogging.
I didn't even know I missed it during my quiet period, and the online world seemed so far away then. But once I started again, I was reminded why I invested in blogging for so long (since January 2006).
The commercial end of my business was in fits and starts throughout 2013. I was fortunate to have some long-term contracts, including a course that was to be accredited by SETA, a government agency. This meant that I had work even though I was not actively marketing my business.
I also landed one or two corporate clients - a big thanks to friends who recommended me to potential clients and yet checked with me first to make sure I had the capacity before passing my name along. Your support was invaluable.
Sadly, the self publishing end of my business came to a complete halt. That was a bummer, because that's the direction I really wanted to take my career.
My garden continued to keep my outdoors, so I could get fresh air; not go stir crazy confined to the house with a mostly sick person.
It is my gym, my solace , my source of beauty in a period where my life had shrunk to small daily tasks that are part of the routine of a care-giver.
|My garden is more of a potager, with flowers, herbs and veggies all growing together|
1. Mma turns 75 in April. We're talking about a big family celebration. You've seen through one of the family Christmas photos I've posted here that we are a pretty large family, so a big celebration is a default setting around here. We just need to arrange the food and drinks and we're set to go:-)
2. Focus on own projects- For financial reasons I can't abandon client work completely, but my greater focus is going to be on my own publishing projects. These include:
- Writing and publishing more children's stories, and finishing those stories that were already in my publishing queue.
- Publishing more non-fiction ebooks (one or two?)
- Publishing selected stories from writer friends
- Blogging more and improving the standard of content (not just here, but also on my gardening blog)
3. Increase my garden's food output - The hard part (setting it out, creating the beds, doctoring the soil etc) is mostly done and i've harvested great crops from it. However, I'm still not using the beds to capacity; I could do better, get more food/more variety of veggies and herbs out of it.
|Ummm, yeah. There's lots and lots of greens in my garden|
I'm also looking for sponsors for the related blog (well, if I'm going to spend hours in the space, best I make it pay in as many ways as possible, don't you think?)
4. Give my alter ego life - I've periodically mentioned that I planned to write some fiction under a pen name. Well, What's her name has been very busy during the tail end of 2013.
She has finished some story drafts, designed and launched a blog which updates daily and joined Goodreads. She even "met" some people online. And yeah, she feels a bit different from me.... She's more assertive, her writing is more relaxed and I think she's funnier than I am. I like her. And I think 2014 is going to be a big year for her.
To kickstart my 2014 blogging plans, I've joined the 2014 VA Tips &Tricks Blogging Challenge starting the week of January 4, 2014. As the challenge founder, Susan Romig Gershon says, participants are going to blog through the alphabet starting with A for the first week then continuing with a new letter each week until we reach letter Z.
Each topic should be something about that week's letter. For example, Attitude for A or Best Practices for B, etc. The duration of the challenge is 28 weeks.
My aim for joining the challenge is to introduce my blog to new readers, growing my readership and hopefully, my blog's ranking too. Some of the participants are old friends from TAVASA, so there is also the familiarity of doing something with good friends. And having some kind of theme to follow also gives me ideas for posts for the next 28 weeks, which helps guarantee my blogging consistency.
Anyhoo, the posts will be clearly marked as as part of the challenge, and I hope that you will find them informative/useful.