Looking Back on 2015

Christmas tree and Chicago skyline
Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Can you believe 2015 is almost over? I can’t.

It’s been a long, and surprisingly quick, year. The first half of the year was good, but then the fall of frustration rolled around. Despite the ups and downs of the year, I did amazingly well on the two resolutions I made for 2015.

1. Continue to set three monthly goals. If a goal is completed, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in the green mason jar.

Up until the fall of frustration (looking at you, Mercury), I was doing fairly well with my monthly goals. And even during the fall, I kept setting goals. Making them, however, was the issue. Some of the goals I was able to make were:

– Drank only one cup a coffee per week (March).

– Bought red lipstick (February).

– Filed 2014 tax return (February).

– No takeout (February).

– Go to yoga 2-3 times per week (June).

– Find a new apartment (July).

Nothing too exciting, mind you, but goals are goals. Hopefully in 2016, I can continue to not only set monthly goals for myself but also accomplish them. With a few days left until January, I better start figuring out what those goals will be.

2. Read and review 50 books.

That happened. Somehow. I was worried at some points, namely when it would take me nearly two weeks to write some of the reviews. It has been years since I’ve been able to read a book for fun, let alone 50 in one year. This was the kickstart I needed to get back into reading again (not that I ever needed much prompting in the first place).

When I tell people I finished my book challenge, the question inevitably is, “What was your favorite book?” Then I hesitate, trying to remember all of the titles, wondering if I should pick my favorite fiction book or maybe one of the memoirs I read. So after some thinking, I decided on my top 5 books that I read, along with a few others.

Favorite 5 Books Read in 2015

  1. “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan
  2. “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay
  4. “Stardust” by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
  5. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman

Best Fiction

“The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Runners-up: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn

Best Non-Fiction

“The Children’s Blizzard” by David Laskin

Runners-up: “My Age of Anxiety” by Scott Stossel and “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” by Jill Lepore

Best Memoir

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling

Runner-up: “My Salinger Year” by Joanna Rakoff

I’m not sure what book challenge I want to set for myself next year. Perhaps read only book written by female writers? Or perhaps pick a genre for each month? I’ve still got a few days to decide.

2016 Resolutions

So what will my resolutions for 2016 be? To be honest, I’m not quite sure. One will be some sort of book challenge. Perhaps that’s all I really need. Every year that I’ve set multiple, and a lot of times, lofty resolutions, they are either off to a good start only to fail a couple months later or forgotten about until Christmas rolls around again. This is the first year where I’ve faithfully kept up with the two that I’ve set.

Until I get it figured out, I’ll be spending the last week of 2015 traveling to Dublin and London with a friend for my first actual vacation in … I actually don’t know how many years it’s been. Too many, that’s for sure.

So here’s to an adventure to close out 2015 and ring in the New Year!

 

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