Welcoming the New YearThe recap of why 2013 was so bizarre, some of the latest status reports for 2014, and some thoughts about organization.


Doing the 2013 Recap

2013 was an unusual year. Even though I took on the word “FOCUS” as my theme, I’m not certain whether I really *had* more focus than any other year. Perhaps it was my theme just to keep me from completely flying apart.

My Daddy-do passed away in January 2013, and there seem to be blank spaces in some of my written records for February. My job ended suddenly on Feb 28 (with 7 days notice), and all of March and part of April was spent landing the next position. Then I had the very good fortune to spend a week in April acquiring a certificate in bellydance (my General Skills or GS certification from Carolena Nericcio from FatChanceBellyDance). In May, I spent a week at a bellydance festival, performing for the last time with a troupe that I’d been part of for two years. Upon retiring from the student troupe, I made a huge transition from “full-time student” to a “part-time instructor,” launching the beginning of what you might call my “student teacher” time.

Heading into 2014

Well, I’m happy to report that I’m still gainfully employed at the location that brought me on for a “four month contract” in April 2013. There’s still been no change in my status–I’m still a contractor–but two departments would really like to make me a full-time employee. We’ll see what happens.

Dance instruction continues to bring me so much joy. Monday through Wednesday after work, I’m usually teaching ATS to a variety of students. Thursdays I usually switch gears to study as a student, training with other advanced or intermediate dancers in my local area.

I’ve taken on “CREATE” as my theme for 2014, and have been putting my hand to “create something” every day. My daily updates can usually be found on either twitter or Google+, although I also cross-post my creative ventures to Cayswann Crafts on Facebook.

Thoughts about Organization

The other major hit in December: My purse was stolen from my car. Now, there were many ways in which it could have been worse, but recovery has made me think about several organization things. They didn’t get my phone, but I’ve had to replace my phone recently because an update of the HTC software made several regular apps I used suddenly stop working. Having replaced my stolen Nexus 7 tablet and now purchasing a new Nexus 5, I’ve been very deliberate about how to use my electronics.

Many people can identify with removing physical clutter from their homes, closets, etc. But have you thought about removing the digital clutter in your life? I’ve started keeping a master list of the apps I use on my tablet and phone, sorting them into folders, and ensuring that I have (encrypted) notes about my accounts and passwords. One by one, I’ve been logging into every app and evaluating whether I want to keep it. I’m amazed at how many duplicate-function apps I had on my devices. Exactly how many ways do I need to take down a simple To Do list? Right. This round of digital discovery has me focused on decluttering.

In my family life, around the house at my Sweetie’s, we’ve been talking about how to reduce the clutter. I’ve been given permission to dive into the paperwork of the house to bring some much needed assistance and organization. I’m definitely having fun recycling paper, sorting and organizing, and otherwise seeing everyone have less stress. The long-range plan is to attack every pile, every paper, every folder — both my own paper piles and those that belong to Sweetie. I’m getting better at having things backed up digitally and sometimes even indexed and inventoried in some of my digital records. (If you’re interested, my favorite app is Evernote. I love the interface both on my computers and my mobile devices–both phone and tablet.)

I have some wild plans about reducing the clutter in my online presence (trying to consolidate where I post journal entries, for example) but I have some technical issues to overcome before I can roll out the updates I have in mind.

I hope you all are finding 2014 working for you.

* * * * *
Today’s Blessing That I’m Thankful For: My Sweetie, for being there through all the ups and downs, pains and achievements of 2013. Here’s to our 2014 together.

P.S. Added note: I think I just found a possible solution to one of my website issues. I’ll just need to save up a few dollars, but there’s a “pay us to do it for you” option that looks affordable. So nice to see.