Reflections and Resolutions: 2013-14 Edition

It’s that time where we say good-bye to one year and welcome in a new year. I’ve seen posts on FB and Twitter of people hoping that 2014 is better, and I do know that some of my friends had a really horrible 2013. My heart goes out to them and I’m sending lots of good vibes and prayers that 2014 makes up for it.

For me, 2013 was a great year.

The biggest thing was that my health and fitness levels improved about 110%. I know I’ve gone on about this a LOT, and I’m sure anyone who reads this is kind of tired of hearing it, but I’m damn proud of myself! Seriously, it sucked trying to get back to the level I’m at now. The pain sucked, the frustration sucked…it was not a happy time. But once I got a few things figured out, things eventually started happening, and now I feel great. Granted, it’s a daily process. I still have pain, but I can usually work through it. And when I can’t work through it, I’ve managed to fight the all-or-nothing mentality that used to say, “Well, you couldn’t make it to the gym today. Time to give up completely.” I would say that besides the physical improvement, I’ve gotten a boost in mental and emotional health as well.

I also got to travel, visit some cool places, see some cool things, and I gained a love of being outdoors. Jon and I took several trips and developed a love of museums and zoos. We started geocaching, which was a huge factor in getting us out and getting us active. Some of the scenery we’ve seen while caching has been breathtaking, and taking pictures of our adventures has been fun. These experiences often meant getting out of my comfort zone and doing something I probably wouldn’t have done in 2012, like attending Becoming an Outdoors Woman and hiking big hills.

I also successfully organized our local gaming convention, wrote two novels, won a set of knitting needles, started attending a local knit night, and accepted a new position at my job.

Going into 2014, I’m feeling optimistic, even though for the first time in a few years, things are a little bit unsure. With Jon graduating from college this month, his job plans are still undecided. He’s had several interviews, but nothing has been solidified yet. We don’t know if or when we’re moving and we have no idea where we’re moving to. We don’t know what he’ll be making. For all we know, six months could pass with no job offers. Any big travel plans will be have to be put on hold, and at some point we’ll probably have to tighten up the budget and let go of a few things. Still, I’m not anxious. I’m just excited to see what happens.

I’ve never been one for resolutions, but I have some definite goals for 2014.

1. Be able to run a mile by the end of the year

2. Walk or run a 5k

3. Do strength training at least twice a week

4. Try a spin class and/or Zumba class again

5. Finish novel revision and submit for publication

6. Read 70 books (Goodreads challenge)

7. Make it to Gen Con

8. Maintain organization

9. Attend more events and social functions

10. Do more Random Acts of Kindness

These might changes, and other things might be added, but this is my kick-off list. I want to get as much out of life as I can. I want to have experiences, and I want to be strong when things don’t turn out as expected. I want to get older and wiser, and I want to see as much of the world as I can…even if it’s just things in my backyard.

To 2014…I hope it’s the best year yet.



Love to Game, Hate to Lose

Yesterday I played games with friends and made a concerted effort not to be a bad loser.

Since meeting J. Felbs, I’ve come to enjoy gaming as one of my hobbies, and recently that enjoyment has grown quite a bit as I’ve cycled into a pretty heavy “want to game, must game” phase. I’ve talked about gaming in the past on this blog. I like video games, table top RPGs, board games, and recently I’ve started playing a certain trading card game that I’m having a ton of fun with.

But fun comes at a price for me and those around me because I’m a very sore loser.

No one likes to lose, but I think sometimes I take it as a personal affront, as if losing means I’m a stupid person. I tend to forget the way luck works and I lose sight of the fact that everyone is trying to win, not to personally beat me down. It’s really sad when I scream and rage at video games (though after the last scary fit I threw, I’ve learned to just turn the console off if I get frustrated).

When I’m losing or when someone is playing against me for strategy, I trash talk. I play the pouty card. I get exasperated. Sometimes I just quit. And after every game I play in which this happens, I realize how badly I acted and I feel kind of guilty and I promise myself that next time I’ll be better.

During my childhood, I remember family gatherings in which games, mostly card games or board/card hybrids played a huge part in our social interaction. It seemed my family was always playing games. They loved it. But inevitably, there was always a couple bad losers at the table, and as I got older, I remember wondering why they got so mad. It was just a game.

Now, I completely understand it.

Yesterday, during several different games, I did my best not to get mad and not to do any hardcore trash talking. I tried to take a step out of my mind for a little bit and tell myself “Hey, it’s just a game, and they’re playing to win, just like you are.” It kind of worked. I remained calm and only slightly irritated. I didn’t throw my cards or game pieces. I only tried to give J. Felbs half a guilt trip instead of the usual “Why are you so mean to me?” spiel. At one point, I even told him to just go ahead and win and I stayed calm the whole time.

I suppose one of my goals for 2013 should be to try to be a better loser because I really do love gaming and I don’t want to make it a bad experience for me or those who game with me. Plus, it’s hard to game by one’s self if everyone else has told her to go away because of her sore loser tendencies.

I think I’ll try to avoid that.