According to ancient Roman myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, passages, gates, transitions, and endings. It seems appropriate that we think of him today as we end one year and transition to another tomorrow.
Janus is usually represented by a two-faced figure, one looking back and the other looking ahead. For the past week, television and newspapers headlined what happened in 2016. Was it a good year, a bad one, or a mixed bag? Like most years, it depends on what happened to you personally.
For me, 2016 was a mixed bag. It started out fabulously. My husband and I spent six weeks in Arizona, visiting our son and his family. When we arrived, our newest granddaughter had mastered rolling over and didn’t need to learn how to crawl. Toys that weren’t close were easily reached by rolling and belly-scooching. Her mom decided to give her more room and put toys farther out of reach. To no one’s surprise, Baby Girl learned to crawl. And we were there to witness that milestone. (Later in the year, while visiting our house, she took her first steps alone. Another major event we got to witness.) Considering we live over 2,000 miles away, we were thrilled. Pictures and videos are wonderful but not as exciting as being there.
My writing career stumbled along in 2016. With three partially-finished manuscripts, I couldn’t settle on which one to finish. Each of them seemed overwhelming. When I have a task that’s overwhelming, I freeze. Instead of breaking it into manageable parts, I procrastinate. Finally, I looked at them from a practical standpoint. Which one was farthest along? That’s the one, Mission to New Earth, that I released in August. Despite not finishing another story, I upped my marketing efforts. Along the way, I met many wonderful writers who generously shared space on their blogs and helped promote my new release, and allowed me to return the favor.
Enjoying family, vacations, and good weather made the year fly by. Health-wise, that’s another mixed bag. Admitting that getting older means we can’t (or don’t have the energy to) do what we used to do is a rude awakening. For fun, I joined Goodreads annual Reading Challenge. In 2015, I didn't complete the challenge, more because I didn't log in the books read. This year, I surpassed my goal of reading 75 books. Feeling pretty good about that.
Then there was the world scene. Here in the U.S., we witnessed one of the most contentious elections in my lifetime. Enough said about that. Despite everyone claiming to want “world peace” we have a long way to making it a reality.
Janus has two faces—one looking back and the other forward. What can we look forward to in 2017? A snowy winter, if predictions are right. Now is a good time to leave Michigan and visit Arizona. LOL Baby Girl isn’t a baby anymore. She’s a toddler who runs. We have to see that in person. If only life revolved solely around family, it would be much easier. But careers, health, government, world affairs occupy our minds. Unless we cut ourselves off from news reports and social media, we can’t escape. Writing about the future (as with my science fiction romance stories) can take my mind off the uncertainty of the world we live in. Reading has always been my escape. So is writing. I can make like an ostrich and bury my head or model myself after Scarlett O’Hara and think about unpleasant things tomorrow. Or face reality.
Do you make goals (resolutions) each year? One of the online classes I took this year was writing a business plan. I wrote one twenty-some years ago when I first started my writing career. Did you know you’re supposed to write one each year? <ducking head> I write (or think about) goals each January, but never incorporate them into a business plan. Writing that plan, including goals and action steps, seems like a good start for the new year.
How was your 2016?
Here’s hoping 2017 is a great year. That’s the wonderful thing about the human spirit. We can always hope.
Happy New Year to all the readers and my fellow contributors.