A Look Back at 2014

And here we are at last: the end of another year. This one seems like it’s been a bit crazier than most. I thought I might take some time on this, the last day of the year, to look back at a few of the . . . livelier events of the year as portrayed on my blog. Maybe I’ll have something to add in the way of perspective. Who knows? And at the same time, if you missed any really good posts by yours truly, perhaps you can catch up on them now.) Ready to take a walk with me? Top ten posts (as measured by page views) for the year 2014. Here we go:

Honorable Mention 1–New Book Deal, Baby!–It might not have cracked the top ten, but the news that I have a new book coming out in Fall 2016 definitely deserves a spot on this list. So much happy there, and great to be able to share it with people. Sorry you’ll have to wait so long to read it, but that’s the way publishing works.

Honorable Mention 2–When TRC Loses a Permanent Tooth–The year began with an ouch. Seeing my son walk in the door missing is front tooth is still branded on my memory, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that sucker punch of a feeling. Strange that teeth should have such an impact. The good news is that he’s now had his root canal, and soon-ish he should be able to get the cap put on his tooth so his smile returns to the way it was. Yay for that, but man did it take a while. A reminder that sometimes small, quick events can have very long-reaching effects.

10–The Day My Job Blew Up–Speaking of quick events, we officially begin with a personal post, all about the changes that happened at my job when my boss’s position was eliminated. That sort of gobbled up my life for the first half of the year. The good news? I think it’s all ended up more or less okay. My boss moved on to better and brighter things in warmer climates, and he seems like he’s doing well down there. Meanwhile, life at work has returned to normal, for values of “normal” that mean “the school is still over 2 million in the hole, and there are going to be more cuts next month, so hold onto your hats.” Still, I’d like to think the library has paid its dues, but I’ve long since learned not to make such rash assumptions about anything when it comes to my workplace.

9–Bryce Waxes Philosophical about Perception and Reality–A lengthy, reflective look at how we all tend to evaluate “the way things are” by the small slice of reality that we’ve each encountered. It was a response to the Ordain Women movement. (More on that later in the list. Looking it over, it’s a nice piece, and I’m glad it got as much attention as it did.

8–A Plea to Netflix and HBO–A response piece I wrote about my frustration for the amount of random sex HBO and Netflix toss into otherwise awesome television series. This one got noticed by a few outlets and generated some good traffic and responses. It’s a trend I don’t think is likely to change any time soon, alas. Not as long as the TV shows keep getting good viewership. It’ll take some blockbuster shows that haven’t been pornified to make companies change their mind.

7–Denisa has Enslaved House Elves–Okay. I’ll admit it. I intentionally made the title of this post (I Discover the World-Shaking Truth about My Wife) clickbaity in hopes that more people would see it. And it worked! It was a fun post to write. I’m still convinced she’s got house elves somewhere around the house, though I have yet to find them. The hunt continues in 2015.

6–A Mormon Carebear Stare–I’ll admit I was worried when I heard Mormons had been asked to “sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth.” I’m very pleased to report that my fears were unfounded. In practice, I haven’t seen anything dire (or worse–disgustingly hokey) as a result of this. I have seen the church post some pretty savvy social media fodder, and have it picked up by members and spread around the interwebs. I’m all for well produced videos that accurately portray my religion, as well as articles that bring misunderstood aspects about it into better focus. So this is one area where I’m very pleased to find out I was wrong.

5–DC Chops Her Hair for Charity–A feel good story for a change. My daughter had lovely long blonde hair, and she cut it and donated it to charity. I was very surprised by how short it got cut, and I think she was too after the fact. (There were a few tears later that day–but she was very happy with what she’d done. Charity that costs us nothing often isn’t worth a whole lot.) We’ve since discovered that DC’s hair grows at record speed. It’s much longer already, and she’s back to braiding it.

4–Ordain Women–Ah, the lovely Ordain Women post. This generated a huge outpouring of responses on Facebook, and took me quite a long time to curate and contain. (In hindsight, titling a post “Ordain Women?” and starting it with the words “Yup. The time has come, sayeth the Bryce” wasn’t my most genius word-smithing ever–since the whole point of the post was to discuss the complicated nuances of the concept, and not to take a firm stance one way or another. I’m very pleased to look back at the post and see some positive change in the intervening months. Women can still be seminary teachers after they have children, for one thing. (Baby steps, people.)

3–Picking Your Trenches–This is a post I’ve been tempted to put up again a few times since I first wrote it, because I think it pertains to so many things. So often, people who could be friends (should be friends) dig a great big trench on either side of an issue and focus only on their differences instead of their similarities. It all becomes about that one issue. Abortion. Gay Rights. Evolution. Politics. Health Care. You name it. People stop becoming round characters and choose to become flat–to become wholly focused and defined by that one issue. This was written particularly as a response to the Ordain Women movement, but it applies to so much more. Glad so many people read it. I hope it changed some minds.

2–A Look into Mormon Polygamy–Man. A lot of my top posts turn out to be all about Mormonism. Go figure. When the “news” broke that Joseph Smith had 30-40 wives, it made a fairly big splash with Mormons. Not because he’d had the wives, but because the story so many people had been taught had turned out to be not quite the whole picture. This is another post that caused a lot of discussion–most of it positive and helpful for once. (Yay for that!) Not much more to add on it, though.

1–Social Media is Awesome–Look, Ma! Something not about Mormons! There was a viral video going around all about how horrid smartphones are. I wrote a response to it, and it really took off. Probably because the people sharing it on social media liked being able to defend themselves from the attack the video was making on social media. I also think it spread as much as it did because it was for a wider audience. That video still makes me bristle. Grr.

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