It’s tempting to say this year was filled with nothing but loss — the deaths of my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, and a friend/critique partner, plus parting ways with my agent. But that’s not the whole story.
I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago as I dealt with the resurfacing of a childhood trauma. I did a lot of work with my therapist in the first half of this year and am much stronger and more centered. That’s a huge win.
This past year I also took my first-ever solo camping trip which made me nervous to contemplate (see above), and ended up having a glorious time.
And while I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, I did want to continue my Hoop Dancing Challenge tradition. In 2021, I hoop-danced for just over 24 hours. And this year? Well, I logged 27 hours and 11 minutes!
Here I am this afternoon with my trusty hoop that brings me so much joy. I’m incredibly grateful to have this outlet, especially on days when it’s a struggle to get out of bed to face another day of our harsh reality. But music and movement kept me going. Hooray for funk!
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year! Don’t forget to dance in 2023!
I met my goal to hoop-dance for 24 hours in 2021! While hooping for approximately an hour each day ended up being a bit much, the experience was mostly joyful. My official stats are 1,446 minutes: 24 hours and six minutes of dancing in the spin. One entire day of this exceedingly difficult year was devoted to an activity I love.
Post-challenge victory photo. December 31, 2021
And if that’s not enough of a WIN for this last day of the year, right before my final hooping session, we took a walk during the first substantial snowstorm of the year for this part of Colorado (which comes the day after two wildfires in nearby Boulder County as a result of extreme drought and hurricane-level winds).
Emma in her sweater, straining to identify an intriguing odor.
At this moment, I’m focusing on the good stuff. The array of birds visiting the yard as I hoop-danced this morning (Black-capped Chickadee, Bushtits, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-billed Magpies, American Crow, Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay) and the glorious feel of snowflakes on my face as we walked three miles around the neighborhood.
Happy New Year! Wishing you much joy. ✨
On New Year’s Eve of 2019, I counted up my hoop-dancing minutes and found I’d danced for 19 hours that year. That felt impressive and I thought to myself “How cool would it be to dance for 24 hours in 2020?” Well, we all know what happened that year and I didn’t hit the mark. Not by a long shot.
Last night I added up my hoop-dancing minutes: 17.5 hours. While that’s fewer minutes than 2019, there are still 8 days left in this year. I’d only need another 389 minutes and, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. 2021 has been another extremely difficult year–in some ways much harder than the previous–and I really want to close it out doing something that brings me so much joy.
Self portrait December 24, 2021
According to my complex mathematical computations, I’ll need to average 49 hoop-dancing minutes per day to hit my goal. I just danced for 36, smiling the whole time. Now I’m off to ice my recently de-booted foot so I can get back into the spin later today.
Limpkin, Kapok Park. May 6, 2019
First post of the year
laying down some attitude
won’t go quietly
It’s the last day of 2019 and the final day of the decade, which feels like an awful lot of pressure. What exactly have I accomplished in that time?
I quickly realized that contemplating this past year and the previous nine years was not morale-boosting if I only focused on my quest for traditional publication of my novels. So. I shifted my gaze to another aspect of my life.
Self-portrait, December 31, 2019.
I just went through my calendar and added up all my 2019 hoop-dancing sessions. And you know what? I hooped for 1,162 minutes this year (and there’s still time to add more today)! All those minutes translate to just over 19 hours of hoop-dancing this year. Nineteen hours of me dancing, whether I felt like it or not, knowing I always, always feel better after a hoop session. I didn’t sell the novel about my beloved character Poppy Valentine this year, but I danced myself through that disappointment (and the overall fog of hard-times-on-the-planet) and drafted another book.
Hoop-dancing and drafting? Not too shabby. Turns out I did accomplish a few things in 2019.
Happy New Year to everyone! May we all keep dancing in 2020!
In this part of the world, we’re in the final hours of 2018 which has been a shit-year in so many ways for the planet and its inhabitants. I don’t have any profound insights to offer. I would, however, like to share this photo I just took from my dining room window.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~ Rabindranath Tagore
It’s not a great picture, but it makes me happy. There’s much going on here (falling snow, flight, eating, turf battles, perching, etc) and I wanted to include this image because birds never, ever fail to brighten my day. I’m hoping they’ll do the same for you. Either way, it feels right to include feathered friends as I say goodbye to a difficult year.
The one other consistently bright spot for me this year has been the Sunrise Movement. No one is fighting harder and more effectively in the face of climate change than these young people with their action plan, aka the Green New Deal, that includes massive job creation. PLEASE consider pledging a monthly donation (mine is $5 per month) to this incredible organization that’s given me more hope than I thought possible.
I wish you and yours a Happy New Year! Here’s to continuing the good fight in 2019!
Wildebeest, Zebu, Tracy, and Zippy on this New Year’s eve.
It’s been a hard year on the planet, but we’re still upright.
There’s definitely strength in numbers, and I’m grateful we have each others’ backs.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
Here’s hoping we kick every ass that needs kicking in 2018.
I wanted to end the year with a photographic image I’d created on the last day of the year. So I grabbed my camera and in the fading daylight, captured this image of Loki:
Whoa, that’s kinda scary and weird. Slightly disconcerting. An image that overstays its welcome fairly quickly.
And then I captured this:
Ahh. Delicate beauty that evokes peace and calm. An image that grabs my attention without gimmicky extra eyes or blurred pink tongue.
And that about sums up the philosophy I want to carry into the coming year. Every day is going to have its bizarre-scary-weirdass-infuriating-heartbreaking-unjust moments, but there will always, always be moments of beauty. It’ll be up to me to notice them.
Here comes 2017.
We’re in the last few hours of 2015, one of the most difficult years of my life.
But not only am I still standing, I’m still running.
Despite the frigid temperatures (about 30 degrees in the sun),
Zippy and I went for a run around the neighborhood.
Cold yet life-affirming.
And now a friend is coming over to hoop with me.
That will be a warmer yet also life-affirming activity.
This morning some of my favorite kinds of birds showed up
A lovely way to say close out 2015.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a glorious, life-affirming 2016!
I tend to withdraw when things get rough, which explains why this has probably been the year I’ve blogged least frequently. 2014 has been a non-stop year of challenges for me and the people closest to me (and a whole lot of people I only know via the news). More than once I’ve threatened to stab 2014 between the eyes. And way more than that, I’ve screamed at 2014 to go fuck itself.
Did 2014 care? Not in the least. Were my threats of violence and profanity healthy responses to a year that closed out by kicking my family squarely in the ‘nads? I’d say that’s an affirmative, but your mileage may vary.
Looking back on the past year, I’m struck by how I kept expecting things to improve. Starting in January with my glute/hip/lower back issues that kept me from running and lifting weights and yoga and hooping and all the other stuff that helps keep me sane, I was positive that in the next week or so I’d regain my physical self and, therefore, also my emotional equilibrium. But it never happened, at least, not 100 percent. However, the shit kept coming and I had to make-do with what my body could handle. And when that wasn’t enough to raise my endorphin levels, my thoughts turned stabby. So maybe that’s why I’m feeling especially worn down right now: in hindsight, that optimism feels so naive and pathetic. I didn’t get all better and it never got easier.
Which is why I’m torn about welcoming a new year. This last one sucked sucked sucked and the next might, too. On the other hand, 2015 is still shiny and full of hope and no one’s had a chance yet to stab it between the eyes. I’d call dibs, but maybe me and mine will catch a break this time around and there won’t be any need.
Happy New Year.
Lots of friends are posting their goals for 2012
and I'd like to share one, too:
I hope to to see the beauty that's always there waiting for me to notice.
© Tracy Abell 2011
AGNES by Tony Cochran
Happy New Year, friends!
May 2012 be filled with nacho-bearing pals!