2016: The Report Card…

2016 written on sandy beach

I’m not great with endings, but man, am I going to be glad to see the end of this year. I’ll be waving it goodbye and good riddance with way more than the usual amount of enthusiasm.

Because we had a fair idea about how messy things would be likely to get at hubby’s work this year I knew this year would be difficult. What I couldn’t have predicted was the farewell that resulted in me changing jobs, or the chain of events that resulted in hubby (eventually) retiring, or the separation that resulted in us making the decision to relocate in 2017. All of that happened quickly, but it took the remainder of the year for the dust to settle. Throw in some family dramas and health issues and 2016 (especially the first half of it) was a year of endings…although, as we all know, one needs an ending in order to have a beginning…and boy, is there a beginning just around the corner!

The thing is my year has been difficult, but other’s have been so much more difficult. The events that have created the environment within which we have chosen to make a sea-change, have happened around us – not necessarily to us. Our plans have been brought forward, but not taken from us. For that – and many other reasons – we’re grateful.

So yes, it’s been tough, but those challenges have provided us also with the opportunity for the next adventure.

As for the year that was? I’ll do a full wrap-up next Thursday, but for now – with just over a week to go of 2016 – I figure I’d better face the performance review thing, ie how I went against the goals I set and, by the looks of things, very promptly forgot!

The Word…

My word of the year was “epic” and it was “awesome.” It was this meme.


It absolutely was an epic year – epic shit was faced and epic shit was achieved. In many ways (possibly not the ways in which I would have liked) I was if not a force of the awesome, certainly on the side of awesome.


Lake Crackenback
Lake Crackenback

I didn’t make it to the RWA Conference in Adelaide in August, I did however manage:

  • A couple of weekends in Canberra to see hubby’s mother
  • Easter weekend in Lake Crackenback
  • A long weekend in Wellington to catch up with a friend and go to a game of rugby
  • Two weeks in Bali with hubby in May
  • A long weekend in Melbourne with Miss T and another mother-daughter combo
  • A week in Mooloolaba in July to breathe briefly between jobs and to celebrate avoiding having the heart attack my doctor was afraid I’d have.
  • Our annual “camping” long weekend in Eucumbene in August
  • Mollymook for hubby’s birthday in October
  • A quick run back up to Mooloolaba property scouting in October
  • The Milford Track and Queenstown in November
  • Victorian High Country in November
Peonies at Lake Dunstan, Old Cromwell
Peonies at Lake Dunstan, Old Cromwell


I finished one partition job in July, took a week off and started another. Rather than driving to work, I’m now commuting into the city. The days are longer, and the commute is a total of 3 hours, but although I miss my old crew, my blood pressure is almost back to normal – and I have Fridays off.


I worked hard, I played hard. That should tell you everything! Let’s just say, 2017 promises to be the Year of Living Frugally!


I was going to do all of this:

  • Publish another two chick lit novels.
  • Publish the first two astro workbooks in the Tuesday Toolbox
  • Release Baby, It’s You on ibooks
  • Release Baby, It’s You and Big Girls Don’t Cry to print on demand.
  • Revamp the cover of Baby, It’s You

What I did was:


  • Published Wish You Were Here (in October)
  • Released Wish You Were Here to print on demand – and got so busy with selling the house I didn’t tell anyone about it
  • Revamped the cover of Baby, It’s You so it aligns with the other two


  • Wrote a 3000 word feature article for Wellbeing Astrology in April
  • Spent much of February and March writing 2017 horoscopes for these diaries.



My view and visit numbers are up, but my posts have been much fewer than in previous years.

To date the numbers are:

  • And Anyways: 102 posts (178 in 2015)
  • Jo Tracey Astrology: 126 posts (182 in 2015)
  • Jo Tracey Author: 43 posts (nil in 2015)


The sad truth is that after losing the same 5kgs 3 times this year, I’ll be finishing 2016 just 2 kilos lighter than where I started it.

I managed to get through another year without a head cold (it’s now been a couple of years since I succumbed) although won’t be surprised if by the time this goes to press the sore throat I woke with this morning has developed further. (Spoiler alert….yep, I succumbed…I think it could be man flu).

I spent my birthday with an extreme purge aka salmonella, and my blood pressure peaked crazy high in the middle of all the madness in March – crazy crazy high – and the beta blockers I was prescribed to control it and my anxiety literally took my breath away. Since changing jobs, and since hubby went on long service leave (and has since retired), that’s all settled down.

My back is still seriously dodgy – due mostly to carrying so much extra weight around my tummy – although all other indicators show that despite the weight, I’m actually rudely healthy on the inside. I doubt, though, that I’ll be able to get away with that for much longer.

Speaking of tummies, mine is no longer happy with what I’m feeding it, so I suspect an elimination diet is on the horizon for me in 2017.


There’s been some extreme de-cluttering taken place, and hubby has turned a chaotic garden into a landscape.

The painting has been finished and the house is ready to go on the market immediately following Australia Day.

The “path” before:


and after…


and the view looking up from the pool.


My rating

If I were looking to rate my performance, I’d probably rate myself as needs improvement in some areas, exceeded objectives in others, and met expectations in a couple. Overall, it would come out as “effective”. My report card would read something like:

Joanne has the potential to achieve so much more, but is easily distracted and easily deluded and commits to more than she can deliver. Improved focus on the task at hand, better organisation, and realistic goals and targets should see Joanne’s performance improve in 2017.    

What would your report card say?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

19 thoughts

  1. What a mammoth year you’ve had! It’s heartening to see that you travelled quite a bit in 2016. Here’s to a great 2017 – bring it on! #teamlovinlife

    1. So much travel…2017 will be much more local…which, given we’re making a sea-change, will be as it should be.

  2. I think you underestimate just how much you have achieved. Wow! You published a book, you released another and you have another in the pipeline and you travelled and more! You’ve achieved much more than I have this year. My report card would say that though I mean well, I need to improve my organisational skills and have better time management. It would suggest I not spend so much time scrolling around on Facebook! Have a fabulous Christmas and here’s to a wonderful 2017 of hitting goals and having fun! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  3. Wow Joanne, you’ve had a pretty big year, including lots of beautiful places you’ve travelled to. I agree with you about saying goodbye to 2016 – it hasn’t been a great year for me either. Roll on 2017 and make it amazing for all of us! #TeamLovinLife

  4. Sounds like a very full on year Joanne with highs and lows. My word was Balance which I don’t think I achieved so I’m trying ‘simplify’ for 2017 and hope I’m better at that. Merry Christmas and may 2017 be fabulous and amazing for you. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.

  5. I think you are underrating yourself instead of giving yourself the deserved congratulations for making it..and getting a house ready to sell (That I suspect you’d rather not) is not pleasant. Been there…and I have pool envy..because ours looked like that in the past 3 house we had in the Hills. Now, no pool and renting..but hopefully one day a pool may be part of our lives. I think you need to be less critical and more congratulatory. That’s my 2c. Denyse x

    1. Awww thanks Denise. I’m probably super hard on myself, & yes, hubby has our pool looking pretty spiffing. Happy Christmas!

  6. The good and the bad often balance each other out when you look back at it all with less emotional involvement. Even changing jobs (traumatic at the time) can bring with it a great sense of achievement when it’s all done and dusted. I hope your home sells quickly and you get a great price to let you make your big move a happier one. Merry Christmas!

  7. I loved reading your Bali post and clicked on the original Bali post and pinned it to my Indonesia Board. I enjoyed your honesty and humour.

  8. Oh I love this… I know I wasn’t on the inside of your dramas, but it felt like you achieved a lot this year – with your writing and books and travel (tramping!). You do so well to balance work, the blogging, the writing AND the astro stuff… plus you exercise and travel and cook. Don’t sell yourself short! I’m excited for your 2017!

Comments are closed.