I’m not sure if anyone actually reads these recap posts, but, they’re going to be a monthly thing from here on out (more on that later), and I know it’d be a useful exercise for me at least to get all of this down. I’ve broken it down into the overview, and then categories for “business”, “health”, “money”, and “other”. The next post in the year-series is going to cover my 2014 goals in each of these categories, plus a brief overview of how I plan on reaching them, and then the last post in the series is going to be a massive round-up of tools, apps, techniques, and resources that I’ve found useful in taking stock of 2013/planning for 2014/doing this work overall.
(In case you’re new around here: I take the wholeee month of January to set things up for the new year, I am definitely not one of those people that can have everything planned between Christmas and New Year’s.)
Without further ado, here we go!
2013 got off to a really strong start, and overall, was still my best year in business yet, even despite the bad things that happened. Things started to go a little off the rails about halfway through the year, in July, when I had an adverse reaction to an SSRI I’d been put on for anxiety, which actually made me borderline suicidally depressed. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t want to eat, and I spent most of that month crying for hours every day. August consisted of getting myself off the medication that was causing that (on my own – a whole ‘nother story to be told in another, very long blog post), which meant withdrawal symptoms like migraines and hours of dry heaving and more insomnia, and I had barely got back on an even keel from that when the shit hit the fan as outlined here.
I don’t mean to sound Negative Nancy here – it could have been a lot worse. But it was still a surprisingly hard year, and I think the surprise is part of what made it so hard. The last five years have easily been the best of my life, but there have also been a lot of really big things in that time span (moving down here from Missouri and leaving everyone I’d ever known, both of my grandfathers dying, the tornado, separation and then divorce – not to mention the experiences in the relationship that lead to those decisions, which were fairly traumatizing, and that’s just hitting the huge events; there were other things, too).
After all of that, I kind of expected 2013 to be a breeze, but instead, I had a whole new host of things crop up. I almost wonder if part of the problems I ran into this last year was because I’m not very good at processing emotions, and after going through all of that, maybe I had some issues that my mind didn’t think I had fully worked through, and those problems were my way of saying to myself “woah now hold up we got shit to deal with, yo.”
I would be willing to stake everything I know that, if nothing else, the anxiety rearing its head was a function of that – I spent so, so long (years! literally years!) in blinders-on survival mode, not knowing where anything was going or how the bills would get paid or in general, what the everloving fuck was going on. And as Grace says, our shit doesn’t hit the fan then, because we know that it can’t; it’s later, once the immediate crisis is dealt with, that we collapse.
Who knows. Anyways. The year was definitely not a total wash and I have a lot of fond memories of it, but it was very, very hard, especially the last three months.
Like I mentioned, this was a pretty good year for me biz-wise – the best yet, actually!
Income was split about 60/30/10 between services, products (including my book on Kindle), and classes/workshops/group work. I also had some useful-but-not-a-large-percentage income from affiliate payments and recurring payments from ads on my Youtube channel. My bestselling product was by far the planner bundle, with the client follow up action kit & the launch checklists nearly tied for second. As usual, service interest/profit slowed wayyy down around October, and stayed slow through November and December, though the 2014 planner sales helped make up for that.
My favorite things? Doing the classes and the workshops, having Rock the System hit #1 & #2 in its categories during launch (and having it get so many positive reviews both during and after launch!), and getting a guest post up at Design*Sponge. Speaking at RISE, and at the women’s business conference in Galveston.
As mentioned in the overview above (and in this post), health was pretty much a clusterfuck this year. In addition to all the mental health messiness, I also had a cancer scare in May, which was extremely not fun. The anxiety striking hard in April, and then the bad reaction to the medication in July, played havoc with my appetite, which meant I lost weight that I did not want/need/mean to lose. I’ve been making a point to exercise more as part of my overall wellness plan, because I would prefer not to go back on medication after having such a horrific experience, and exercise is one of the few things proven to do better than medication at mood regulation.
That exercise, combined with my overall fairly-active-lifestyle and fast metabolism, has made it really easy to burn way more calories than I realize, and then not eat enough calories to make up for that, which comes with a whole ‘nother host of fun issues. (I didn’t realize that this was what was going on until recently when I did some math at the prompting of Jeanie, and thought, oh shit, that’s why I’m hungry all the time.) I have also struggled with insomnia and quality of sleep fairly consistently all year.
I’m still trying to figure this out, pretty much. [insert borderline hysterical laugh at how woefully inadequate that statement is]
My favorite things? Uh. Surviving. Still being alive at the end of 2013. Gonna call that a win.
Oh, money. Money, money, money. I don’t even know what to write here but I know it’s worth writing about. I have such a conflicted relationship with money, honestly – I have these awful cycles where things will go really well for a while and then either I will screw something up or there will be an incident entirely outside of my control that is disastrous to my money. I don’t know if it’s some sort of energetic hoo-hah or what but I’m pretty sick of it – I ended 2013 having wasted a lot of money on overdraft fees, with no savings (despite my best efforts throughout the year). I want to stop the two-steps-forward-one-step-back dance, once and for all.
My favorite things? I did work through some of my money blocks in 2013. I think I have honestly made progress, but I still have a ways to go, for sure.
- 2014 was pretty much the first year I tried dating as an adult. It was interesting. I have a lot of hilari-awful stories as a result – one such story detailed here (and it’s not even the worst).
- I also realized that my penchant for being an asshole magnet is probably at least partially because I find sarcastic guys wildly attractive. (Let’s not talk about…whatever that says about me.) Since I am sarcastic but also a sweet person, I tend to assume that other sarcastic people are the same way. Nope. Turns out some people are just sarcastic to cover up the gaping black hole that resides where their soul should be. Whaddyaknow.
- My BFF got me hooked on Supernatural. I also rewatched Fringe, and I feel like I should have more pop culture references to make here, but I’m drawing a blank. Sorry.
- I started writing fiction again, and plan to pick it back up this year.
- I got seven more tattoos. I think I am officially “tatted up”, y’all. (New site photos will showcase at least some of them!)
- Rain continued to be my anchor – I honestly do not think I would have made it through the last two years without her. She came into my life at exactly the right moment.
- I got to visit my family three times – brother’s high school graduation, my birthday in September, and Christmas; I got to spend a lot of quality time with my Missouri BFF which is wonderful because all of these things are good for my happiness levels. I love them so much and it’s so hard (worth it, I think, but hard) to be far away form them even if I love it here in Austin. My sister also visited me for a week for her birthday in March, and that was great too, because I don’t get a lot of 1:1 time with her.
And that, ladies & gents, was my very-long-and-probably-depressing recap of 2013! Tune back in soon for the looking-ahead-at-2014 post. Which will be less depressing, I promise. Probably still long though. I’m a wordy sonofagun, can’t help it. And feel free to ask any questions if you want more details in any particular category, or if knowing more behind-the-scenes info would be useful to you.