Friday, December 26, 2014

Year in Review: 2014

It is time for my annual review of the closing year, so that will take the place of my usual Friday links post. I pick a few posts from each month to review, based on the somewhat random criteria of popularity (with me or others) and representative nature.

For more info, see the 2013, 2012, and 2011 editions.

One of the interesting things for me about going through my 2014 posts was seeing the pressure building in the first half of the year. Looking just at my own life, I am ending 2014 in a much happier place than I started it. Looking more globally, though, it is clear this has been a tough year.

In January, I ranted about sexism. I ranted about how to make STEM more attractive to women and about men feeling entitled to women's stories, and people judging other people's decisions even though they do not understand the full context in which they are made... but there is also an epilogue about using mindfulness to deal with this nonsense.

I also was working through a lot of questions about my own choices, which led me to write a list of some things I know but struggle to really believe.

February was a tough month, at least judging from my posts. I looked for a more inclusive view of productivity, and wondered whether it is fair to make people earn your respect. I also wrote about the cost of spending so much time in a male-dominated environment.

In March, I talked about keeping side projects low stress. I posted my recipe for New Zealand steak and cheese pies. And the assholes were getting me down, so I wrote a rant about how having an autism spectrum disorder doesn't make people assholes, being an asshole does.

Things were coming to a head in April. On the bright side, Pumpkin turned seven. But I was really struggling at work. I posted some tricks I use for surviving as a woman in a male-dominated field. And then I quit my job.

In May, I discovered that quitting my job didn't immediately relieve the pressure. (I found my driver's license, by the way. It had fallen down between the driver's seat and the center console in the car.) But following my arrow was already starting to feel pretty good. Things weren't that great outside my head, though- and the horror of the Isla Vista shootings led me to write about starting the work against racism and sexism with myself.

Mr. Snarky and I also continued our tour of unlikely tourist spots in Southern California, and spent a weekend in Torrance. I also turned 42! I didn't write the post about it until June, though. I also wrote about some things I want to remember and wrote a post for National ASK Day, about asking other parents about guns in their home.

July started with me writing  about what a wonderful June I had. July itself wasn't too shabby either- we had a terrific family vacation in Colorado. I also worked to make peace with my aging body.

Ugly things happened in August. Words failed me as I contemplated the events in Ferguson and beyond and I wrote about how we can't skip the hard part in confronting racism. In response to Robin Williams' suicide, I thought about the difficulty of maintaining health, particularly when you have a chronic disease.

In September, I released Navigating the Path to Industry. I've been pleased with how well it has done, but by all means- buy a copy and tell all your friends! On the family front, Pumpkin started asking some truly hard questions and I discovered a miraculous recipe for pretzel chicken.

I apparently failed to write a post for Petunia's fifth birthday in October, but I did write a post with some of her trademark phrases. My second children's book, Petunia, the Girl Who Was NOT a Princess, was released. I haven't received my first royalties report on that yet, so I don't have a good feel for how it is doing, but by all means- buy a copy and tell all you friends! Around the time my Petunia book was released, the We Need Diverse Books campaign was in full swing, and I wrote about the need for diverse books for kids, and included some recommendations.

In November, I did a fun science experiment with my kids (it demonstrates gravity).
I decided to become a publisher, and the fallout from the sexist shirt worn during the Rosetta comet landing led me to ponder the difficulty of fitting in.

I didn't write that much in December, but I did write about how small changes can help me feel more organized. I have several interesting post ideas written down in the writing journal I mentioned in my gift ideas post, so stay tuned for some more posts soon.

I'm on pseudo-vacation until the new year, though... so those interesting post ideas may have to wait until January. In case I don't post again in 2014: thank you for reading this year. I am so grateful to have my community of readers and commenters here. I wish you all a happy new year!

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