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January 11, 2014

A Backward Glance

2014.

Wow. I remember when I graduated from high school and I thought, "When the ball drops to begin the year 2000, I'll be 38!" At the time, that sounded so far off. But as we all know (or at least those of us over 30), time really does fly. A month ago, I turned 52. My daughter turned 30. (30!) I've been blogging for 8 years and working at Barnes and Noble for almost 7. I've been married to the love of my life for 25 years. Rachel's been gone for almost 9 years and Papa Bill only 4 weeks. And it all seems like yesterday.

Tempus fugit.

But, is it me or did this past year fly much faster than usual? Maybe it's the fact that I was away from home for almost 7 weeks out of the entire year. Or that I worked longer days than ever before. Or that I spent mindless hours watching a wide variety of TV shows on Netflix. What I didn't do is blog as often as I hoped. Or ride my bike as much as I should have. Or lose those 10 pounds…

But it's a New Year (I can still say that until February, right?) and a clean slate awaits.

For the second time in 33 years, I didn't send out Christmas cards. Back in November, I was ok with that choice. I was too busy with work, too sad about my stepdad's health and too worried about money. So I decided to skip it. Skip it and the gifts and the decorating and the baking. I just wanted to get through the holiday season, hop a plane and spend Christmas in Oregon with my parents.

We make plans and God laughs.

But I'm still making plans. I plan to catch up on all my book reviews before I post my Top Ten of 2013. I plan to post my Top Ten of 2012, as well. (Yep. Never did that, did I?) I plan to start exercising as soon as the weather permits. Gotta wait for those bike trails to be free of snow and ice before I can back out there, but I'm ready to roll!

Other than a few photo essay posts, I haven't been very active on the old blog and it felt strange to simply jump in with a couple of book reviews, so I thought I’d take this time to share the highlights of the past year with you. Consider it a belated Christmas letter of sorts. I’ll even try to brag about something. ;)

As mentioned, I was away from home for almost 2 months this past year. I think that’s a record! I took 7 trips, some with my husband and some solo. Here’s a visual recap:

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
I learned how to snowshoe 
at an elevation of 9,000 ft. (approx.)


 Depoe Bay, Oregon
Celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday
with my brothers

Kingston, Washington
Celebrating Father’s Day with my dad

 The Black Hills, South Dakota
Road trip with the grandchild!

Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico
Celebrating our 25th anniversary

Depoe Bay, Oregon
Saying goodbye to one of
the most influential men in my life


Depoe Bay, Oregon
Spending Christmas with my mom

So, there was quite a bit of traveling; most of which was very fun and exciting. I saw whales, bald eagles, elk, and mountain goats, and I didn’t get trampled by a moose. Or a buffalo.

I also mentioned that I spent a great deal of time in front of the TV. Rod had back surgery in November and was out of work for 4 weeks. As a result, we watched A LOT of TV. And now we’re completely addicted to Justified, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Sherlock, House of Cards and Parenthood. It’s no wonder I didn’t have time to blog. Or answer emails. Or dust.

Speaking of computer time, I have made an effort lately to “unplug” and spend more time reading rather than sitting in front of the computer for hours. It’s going pretty well, but I still can’t seem to cut the cord on Facebook or Instagram. I got sucked back into Twitter, only to decide it really isn’t my thing. I miss keeping up on some of my blogmates’ chats, but there are only so many hours in a day… Same goes for Pinterest. I’ve still got my boards, but haven’t looked at any of them in months. After the demise of Google Reader, I discovered Bloglovin’ and while I may not comment as often as I used to (darn that clumsy iPad!), I still enjoy keeping up with what’s going in your lives, adding book recommendations to my insanely long list of books to read.

And on that note, it’s time to share some of my recommendations with you…

But before I do, I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and say thanks for being such loyal readers. Here’s to the next 8 years. OMG. I’ll be 60!!

For more New Year's posts, go here, here, here and here.

24 comments:

  1. This was such a heartfelt post, Les, and I can relate to SO much of what you shared. Thank goodness there are so many blessings in life to balance out the sorrow. I hope 2014 brings you and yours health and happiness.

    I'm glad you're going to continue with reading and recommending. I always look forward to your thoughts. :)

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    1. Funny how this was such an easy post to write compared to a book review! Maybe I should change the focus of my blog. ;) Seriously, thank you for your kind words. You are one of my faithful readers and a true friend. xoxo

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  2. Yes, 2013 went by in the blink of an eye. I'm glad to see the year was good to you, for the most part. I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up with everything and have had to scale back. I wonder how I kept up the pace I did!

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    1. I think it's all about moderation. I can enjoy a few nights of reading and tackle emails and respond to comments a few days later. I've learned it helps to have a backlog of reviews to post when I feel I've been too quiet. I do enjoy posting photos, so I may do more of that sort of thing in the coming months.

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  3. It's fun to try to track the year in books. You've got some beautiful nature shots, Leslie. I think you made 2013 a great one! I'm looking forward to seeing your top ten.

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    1. I've been keeping track of the books I read since 1991! Every so often, I think about posting some from those old journals, but my thoughts and notations are pretty simplistic. ;)

      Glad you enjoyed the photos, Hali. I posted 365 shots one year on a photo site call aminus3. You can take a peek here, if you like.

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  4. What an excellent recap post. I'm in just about the same boat as you (except I'm 55!), the same 10 pounds to lose, no Christmas cards sent out. I did manage to keep blogging.

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    1. Aw, thank you, Pam. As I mentioned to Joy, it was pretty easy to compose. I wish my book reviews came that easy!

      Here's to another great year of blogging and enjoying our fine wines. :)

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  5. 2013 did go by ever so quickly and it seems to keep happening as I age. It sounds like you had an amazing year, with ups and downs.

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    1. Yep, time does fly the older we get, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Les, im so glad to see your post for so many reasons: I love to know what you're thinking, I love to see where you've been and what you've been doing. Clearly, dusting is not, nor should ever be, a priority in a life as richly full as yours. I share the same sentiments about time. Where has it gone?, when we began blogging we were in our 40's, and as you say, before we know it we'll be in our 60's. So weird! I look forward to your reviews, of course, but is love to see your posts on anything. xoxo

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    1. You always write such sweet comments, Bellezza.

      Yes, dusting should never be a priority, but oh my goodness, when I was a young bride, it seemed so terribly important to tackle the job every single weekend no matter what! Of course I wasn't working 40+ hours a week, on my feet, lifting boxes and stacks of books...

      xoxo

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  7. Always so nice to hear from you, Les! I was happy to see you pop up in my reader. I was mostly MIA last year, but I am hoping to do better this year. And, yeah, I suck at unplugging. I tried to in December and I stopped taking pictures, so I need to work on things.

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    1. And it's always so nice to see your comments, Kailana! You are another faithful reader and I so appreciate your visits to my blog. Thank you!

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  8. Here's to hoping 2014 is an in eventful year for you in all of the best possible ways. I'm glad you were able to find some of the bright moments amongst some of the darker ones at the end of the year and there's nothing wrong with taking a step back from it all for a bit. I'm glad your feeling the blogging pull again, though!

    So Sherlock, huh? We don't have ANY TV shows going right now--probably because our evenings are a bedtime struggle with Evie--but I would like something for when we do have a few bonus minutes. I'll have to check it out.

    Happy new year Les!!

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    1. Yes! Sherlock!! I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I do... not sure why... but I have a feeling you'll love it, as well. I hope Evie's sleep schedule settles down so you can have some time to relax.

      Thanks for your friendship, Trish. I love to keep up with you and the kiddos and appreciate you taking time from your busy day to pop over and visit my blog. I'm still hopeful that I'll get down to see you and Andi some day!

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  9. Oh that tv - it does suck a person in. We have too many shows we love and there are always so many movie choices on as well. Thank heavens we don't do Starz or HBO - we'd never leave the tv! You really did have a lot of great travels this year!

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    1. Yes, it does, Lisa. But sometimes it's just the ticket to help me relax after a long, stressful day. We don't watch regular tv (only get the first tier on Time Warner), so it's pretty much just shows on Netflix. If we had cable, I'd probably never get off the couch! And, we don't have DVR or Tivo, so I don't have to stress about catching up on saved shows. ;)

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  10. Yes, where does time go! Loved reading your recap. Can't wait to hear more about your favorites and all that good stuff. I hope this year will be a wonderful one for you!

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    1. It really does fly, doesn't it? I was looking back at my photoblog and was stunned to see that my last shot was posted 4 years ago. I never would have guessed it's been that long.

      Stay tuned! I'm on a review roll. Should have a few more to post this weekend. :)

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  11. Anonymous5:40 AM

    Thanks for a wonderful article. I love it and can relate to it. Time is cut in half, for real, we all noticed right? I do spend too much time behind the computer and I do worry about money as well. Yet everytime I read something good I think: why do I even open that laptop? And dusting, what is that??? With time cut in halfm, dusting is not on the list anymore. Ever! :) Thanks for sharing with us and looking forward to more.
    Gerda from The Netherlands.

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    1. Thank you for your nice comment, Gerda. Do you have a blog? I'd love to visit, if you do.

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  12. So good to really hear from you. I think that blogging may help to calm and slow one. I feel like all the other things are a bit like someone pulling on one's sleeve, and saying look at this, read this. I so love the blogging world where I can visit when I have the time to really appreciate what someone is telling me. I'm a slow kind of person, and do better when I'm not rushing or rushed. Again, I just loved this.

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    1. I think you're quite right, Nan. I've started spending more time reading 3-4 posts at a time from one blog, rather than visiting a whole bunch. I like the way it feels to settle in and really visit someone (via their blog).

      Thank you, dear, dear friend, for your lovely words.

      xoxo

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