Mistakes I Made in 2016
Last week in a bout of self reflection about the last year, I wrote about the things I did right in 2016. Because this is the internet, I know there was at least one person out there thinking, “Well isn’t she just a little high and mighty.”
Don’t worry person – this post is for you!
Though I’m proud of a lot of the things I did or attempted last year, there were certainly some areas that need improvement.
Neglected Physical Health in Pursuit of Mental Health
The first thing you may think while reading that above statement is, but physical and mental health are tied together. Why yes, they are! Last year I was so sad so much of the time, that I did whatever I needed to in the pursuit of instant satisfaction. This included froyo, french fries and days laying on the couch watching Netflix when I couldn’t get out of bed to save my life. Here’s the good news – I’m feeling a lot better these days. Here’s the bad news – my overall health is probably at an all time low. Now I’ve already done a lot to fix this with treating my sleep apnea and begin the tedious process that is calorie counting, and I know it’s not a forever state… but my life would be a lot easier now if I had just taken a little bit better care of my physical self last year.
Buying a Second Horse
I have mixed feelings in this. In some ways, I needed to try (and fail) in my quest to get a hunter in order to get the entire life perspective regarding horses that I so desperately needed. The mistake in buying a horse has nothing to do with Roman. Roman is a perfectly lovely creature. However, my mental state was not as good as I thought when I made the decision to buy a hunter. I was desperately looking for something to make me happy, and thought a horse might do the trick. Spoiler alert – my issues had a lot less to do with lead changes than I thought. Also, I set up a very precarious financial situation for myself in buying Roman. Now it could have been way worse and no damage has been done beyond repair, but this is definitely something I wish I could go back and change. Of course I can’t, so at this point I just hope he sells soon to a lovely new mom.
Believed Fiction to be Fact
Let me give you a little insight to how my brain works. Let’s say one day I bought a pair of beautiful coral patent leather Coach stilettos. I think to myself, damn these are some beautiful stilettos. I could wear these shoes on my first major appearance on the book tour for my future novel. That thought alone isn’t a problem, but I tend to spiral. I think about how awesome I’m going to be wearing the shoes during my reading. I think about what dress I’ll wear with the shoes when I meet Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight show. I think about the massive success the shoes will bring me when I get a large advance for my second book.
I simply go nuts until I kind of start to believe this all will happen. Then one day I look at the shoes in my closet, and I get angry. WHY AM I NOT A FAMOUS AUTHOR YET, SHOES?! HUH!? HUH!?! EXPLAIN YOURSELF!
And that’s why I don’t buy expensive shoes anymore. Kidding. Sort of…
I do this train of thought with everything though. I do it with horses. I do it with men. I do it with opportunities in my life. It makes me bat shit crazy and frustrated and hopeful all at the same time, and I need to stop the habit or at the very least find some kind of inner balance with it all.
Not Making Reading a Priority
Despite being an English major, I am not very well for someone my age within the world of creative writing. It hurts my pride to admit that. Though I certainly read more than the average American last year, I often chose mindless TV before picking up a book. Some of my goals in life for the next few years require that I get through a lot of literature, and I wasted the better half of a year on re-runs of Parks and Recreation. Though this isn’t the world’s worst thing, it’s a big area for improvement.
Honestly I could go back and pin point a lot of wrong turns I made in the last year. Most of my misgivings were part of a grander learning process I’m still getting through, but the areas outlined above are my main areas of regret.
27 thoughts on “Mistakes I Made in 2016”
I can relate to literally all of this (minus the second horse I guess, though I did pick up Highness who I have no use for really…). What are you planning on reading? I guarantee you’re more well read than I am. 🙂
I have a pretty extensive list of memoir and creative nonfiction I’m getting through. The plan is to review and share them on the blog in monthly chunks to share books I love and also keep myself accountable regarding reading.
Post the list! Post the list! Eagerly awaiting the 2017 blogger book club 🙂
Soon! I have the first 3 books written up for January. Might add another one to that, not sure yet.
I look forward to these posts! I have so many things I need to read and I guess I could review them on the blog, but I feel like my interests are all over the charts. Cause everyone is interested in biographies about Judy Garland and Hughette Clark?
If you ever need a break (and like stuff like Downton Abbey), I just started a series called Poldark that I’m really enjoying. Memoir type stuff sounds kind of heavy, depending on who you’re reading I guess. It will be interesting to see some book reviews on your blog!
LOVE Downton Abbey. I’ll add that to my overall reading list, because you’re right – the memoir can get heavy. I try to mix heavy ones with celebrity ones (went from something about incest to Amy Schumer) which helps.
Haven’t read the books, but the show on PBS is fun (and mildly aggravating because I get mad at characters easily).
I can relate. I spent pretty much all of last year lying around. It doesn’t feel great. I want to be more active! I’m hoping that this year, I can get some of my big projects underway. It’s felt like everything is just dammed up and I’m living inside my head, waiting on my life to get out of my way.
I certainly don’t think you sounded high and mighty! It’s important to celebrate successes and not just focus on the negatives!
Also send Roman up here! I need a big TB to love on.
Haha, I’ll cut you a deal on him. 😉 He’s a really cool dude. You’d probably like him a lot!
I bet I would! I keep swearing I won’t fall for another TB, but I just get the feeling it’s inevitable. It’s only about 5 and a half hours to drive down there. Hmmmmmmmmm.
He’s a pretty fun dude! 😉
Damn, girl. That is a pretty short list. And pretty harmless. I was expecting a longer scroll list. When #4 (and last) was “didn’t read enough”, I was like “damn, where is the scandalous stuff?” Just kidding. Sort of.
I read a lot. My husband kind of commandeers the TV with his sportsball stuff, and because I seem to not really be able to connect with TV shows, other than Law & Order repeats (I love me some Sam Waterston), I end up reading quite a bit.
If you’re interested, I’ll send you some of my recommendations.
Oh, there were plenty of more mistakes…. I just don’t blog about those 😉 Would love to get some book recommendations from you!
I read a lot, but like you, I also waste a lot of time watching Netflix and should read more. I am trying to work on that this year and set an easy goal of 75 books. But Parks and Recreation is still my fav.
You might already use it, but I really like Goodreads for helping me stay on track with reading and finding new books to read. It links up to my Kindle app too, and updates automatically when I finish a Kindle book which is cool.
As far as these mistakes go though, they all seem like pretty reasonable mistakes you’ve just got to make at some point so you can learn from them.
I try to keep up Goodreads as a secondary way to track things, but I’m not a power user. It’s a cool site though!
Oh man, I am also SO guilty of turning on Netflix instead of picking up a book! I get to the point where I just don’t want to use my brain cells anymore..but.. I should!
None of these mistakes seems irreparable at all. You are doing great digging yourself out of a pit of grief, everything won’t be perfect. The fiction for fact thing is tough though, because you are setting yourself up to almost always be disappointed. Ask me how I know! A good habit to break…
Looking forward to your book list.
I’m embarrassingly excited about your book list and reviews. I read a ton (in the neighborhood of 300 books/year) so I’m always looking for something new to read. And I love talking about books almost as much as I like talking about horses.
I relate pretty hard to your list here…
I decided since I had a thyroid problem and couldn’t lose weight, that I should just eat whatever I want because who cares?! And now I weigh the most I ever have, and my thyroid is under control so MAYBE I should take some of the blame for said weight gain? Oops. I’ll work on that this year I suppose.
As for buying the second horse? I don’t think that’s something to feel regret about. I think you needed to do that to realize how perfect Simon is for you. If it helps at all, I have two I should not have bought… Do they make diet ramen?
Mistakes are just further chances to learn about ourselves, the important part is to forgive and allow yourself to make mistakes.
Well said, L. Hard to remember sometimes, but a very good point.
I do the same thing with thinking one thing is going to dictate the future somehow. Although usually, its something like “Oh we hd a great conversation. We will be dating soon.” Rarely happens that way. Kudos to you for putting this out there. And way to go on improving things. That’s always the toughest part!
I have a saying? quip? that I like to use a lot in life because it allows for mistakes, without making me feel like I should regret it. I’ve certainly made a lot of bad choices throughout my life, but in the end, they’ve gotten me to where I am now, and have helped me get to where I want to be. So even though they weren’t right, it’s hard to truly regret them. The saying? “I make the best choices I can, with the information I have today.”
Today, you have more information and knowledge than you did last week, two months ago and six months ago. Did you make some mistakes? Yep, sure did. So did I. But you know what? You shouldn’t regret it, because it’s helped to make you into the person you are today, and the person you’re GOING to be in 6 months. And I for one, happen to really love that person.
What Tracy said!
equally as important as analyzing your mistakes, is analyzing what you did right. Which you already did! Good for you! Turn your ‘mistakes’ into positives by learning and growing from them. I do not think mistakes exist when you learn and grow. Re word them into positive statements about what you ARE going to do! I applaud you for sharing your story and being so open, as I have said before.