Once again, summer has busted up the joint and scattered my thoughts all over the place. Now that I have a couple of weeks to regroup before the fall semester begins, I plan to take full advantage of the down time by filling it with as much fun as I can stand. Since I have a minute, I figure why wait until December to reflect on the year, why not take stock now? Just to be sure there isn’t one more thing I should try to cram into the year before it is over I make the most of the remaining four months.

Can you believe there are only 134 days until Christmas? My favorite color is green, btw.

Anyway, who knows what December will bring? I may not have the opportunity to rake myself over the coals do a proper year-in-review post. So, what have I done so far in 2013: The Year of Something Better™?  Well, this time last year, with heat oppressive and routine monotonous, the readership here at averaged around seventeen humans. By comparison, 2013 is no different. Even though the number of followers continues to climb, it seems I’ve lost some readers. I am evidently no more interesting now than I was a year ago. I have made a few friends, met a couple of bloggers in person, and accomplished some of my writing goals. I make myself keep on keeping on the way I always do. The payoff for my brute force tactics? Exhaustion. Experiments with a few test balloons of my work in progress, Beyond Belief, have been encouraging.

Over the last year, many of my posts fell somewhere between snarky and sweet, with a little shameless self-promotion thrown into the mix. The FP gods took pity on me and featured one of my rants. I don’t know why. I suspect it was to give bloggers an example of what not to share. Lesson learned.

There is no mistaking this entire year has been one of learning. Volunteer training alone topped out at over 300 hours. I don’t write much about volunteering. I do it and that’s all I care to share about it here. There are thousands of dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to staff crisis intervention agencies and community outreach centers. I am privileged to know many of them. Choosing to go back to school has been an eye opener. It’s a business just like anything else. Back to school at mid-life has all been done. So, I may write more about my experience. I may not. For now, suffice it to say, it’s no cake walk.


From the dog days of summer to a long winter’s night, time passes quickly. Each moment shared with friends old and new so far has been filled with laughter, games of chance, change, and most of all love, lots of love. I have enjoyed it all and plan to keep going.

One step at a time, of course. 

28 thoughts on “Taking It All In Stride

  1. Perfect musical choice for this one! I am so impressed with your year thus far. Well, we are supposed to see a cold front for the next week, temps in the low 90’s. My front and back yard are covered in roof shingles and fence. I have reached out to both Texas Womens and North Texas, but I think I will have to look at UofT before I make a final decision. I am following your lead, you are an inspiration!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Val, that is hilarious – cold front in the low 90’s!
      I think it’s wonderful that you are exploring your options and so very honored that you think of me as an inspiration. Choice. It’s a glorious thing, isn’t it? New roof???

      1. We will see, the DFW metroplex is a strange place isn’t it.

  2. artsifrtsy says:

    I think this is a novel time for a year in review – but then again you are pretty novel in your thinking. For me this is the typically the “too hot to care about anything outdoors – countdown to the leaves turning” season so it makes sense. The roller coaster is coming so it may be best to take advantage of the opportunity now. I find that my readership seems to drop in late summer and it makes me wonder what everyone is doing besides staying inside in the AC and reading.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      My thinking is a novelty I suppose. Kinda like the pet rock. HA! Oh, the countdown to the leaves turning, that sounds great. The roller coaster, yes, it’s gonna be a wild ride this fall for sure!

  3. I’m so bummed that you trademarked 2013: The Year of Something Better™. I was going to use it myself…but in December, of course. Now I have to wrack my brain for something nearly as clever. Hmm. 2013: The Year of Something Gooder™???

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Gooder hmm. I suppose it’s better than the year of something gassy. 😉

  4. lylekrahn says:

    It only makes sense to do a year in review at the real year end in August – that December thing is just an accident of the calendar. The way you worded your stats review was more than little humorous! I understand the feeling. If you don’t mind my asking, what drew you to that course?

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I don’t mind at all Lyle. The EAP/ADR combines the things I am most passionate about in a way that allows me to use my past experience to do meaningful work now and in the future. Service is a big part of my life. I’m preparing to take a leadership role with an organization that matches my values and goals. I want to choose that role and the organization for myself. Crisis intervention, emergency administration, customer service, community service, escalated dispute resolution, public awareness – this and more make up my work experience. This degree program, I am hoping, will tie it all together. There is always more to learn. Thanks for asking.

      1. lylekrahn says:

        I certainly understand the importance of aligning with the values and goals of the organization. All the best with pursuing that challenging dream.

  5. Trying to take it all in stride now. How are the stars aligned that the following all happens at the same time? (1) new textbook (2) new online lab to go with new textbook (3) new online learning environment to go with all the courses I teach (4) new online environment for consulting work I do…new, new, new…change is good they say, but all at the same time? Training, training, training…daily. Thank goodness for blogging when I treat myself to reading/commenting breaks.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I can totally relate, Georgette. New system install, new policies & procedures, new staff, new city, new empty-nester lifestyle. It never ends, does it? It doesn’t take long for the newness to wear off though, and then we’re ready to move on to something new.

  6. I’d say you’ve had a pretty full and productive year, Honie. Going back to school at our age is no cake walk for sure. My fall semester will be my hardest yet (15 credits) and it starts in three weeks. I’m not ready! But then, I just want to jump in and get ‘r done. I try to visualize next May when I’m graduating.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      See the degree – be the degree. 😉 What a sense of accomplishment you must have, being so close to completion. I cannot see that far ahead. Right now I’m just trying to visualize a good parking spot. HA! It has been a pretty full year. That’s what I was going for so I can’t complain. Three cheers for homework!! Yeah, no.

  7. Impower You says:

    What can I say but I never get tired of that popcorn cartoon and I never get tired of your blog.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      That cartoon cracks me up too. Sometimes I feel like an ear of corn. (No offense to corn.) Thanks for being one of the seventeen, Leah.

      1. Impower You says:

        🙂 You’re welcome.

  8. unfetteredbs says:

    No cake walk indeed but for the $$ they SHOULD give us plenty of cake and coffee. Agree?
    I’m glad I am a new reader to your fab blog. I’m also glad you’re gonna keep on rockin’ it.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Agreed, cake and coffee and a three drink minimum at least once a semester! $$ – no kidding! I’ve had to resist looking at the fee breakdown. Thanks so much! Rockin’ the fab blog. That’s a tag line, isn’t it? HA!

      1. unfetteredbs says:

        Tuition and fees are ridiculous. I cringe and CRY

  9. Carrie Rubin says:

    Can I ask what you’re getting your degree in? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. Just say ‘chocolate-tasting’ if that suits you better. 😉

    1. unfetteredbs says:

      I’d sign up for a chocolate tasting degree

      1. Honie Briggs says:

        I hear there’s also a certificate program. You know, for those who want to put their skills to work right away! gaaahhh! can you imagine the dissertation? I’d never want to look at another piece of chocolate. Okay, almost never. 🙂

        1. unfetteredbs says:

          How about a Dessert dissertation? We could diversify Mmmmm I think we are on to something here. That and the fat farm.

          1. Honie Briggs says:

            The funny farm! e-i-e-i-oh boy, a dessert dissertation! I like the sound of that. Bring on the cake!

    2. Honie Briggs says:

      Emergency admin and planning/alternative dispute resolution. I already have a PhD in chocolate-tasting. 🙂

      1. Carrie Rubin says:

        I should have known! About the chocolate, that is, but the emergency admin and planning/alternative dispute resolution sounds like a great area of study, too. 🙂

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