2011 is only days away and I find myself reflecting back over the year. I am so amazed at how quickly the year tumbled by, it just seemed like it was 2009.
Each year holds surprises and the most wonderful unsuspecting experiences. I look back now at the things I held important and reflect on what I learned and what I must do next year.
A YEAR IN REFLECTION:
1. I want to return to writing, as I did in 2008 and build up a series of projects that showcase my writing potential. I am not looking for completed novels or screenplays, but I would hope to have a short story or two. Several chapters of a new novel completed, and perhaps have contact with a number of literary agents.
I did a bit of writing early in 2010 completing several mini board games and I did some major updates to Phantasm Adventures and Bloodbath. Overall though, I squandered my time and did very little in creating any new prose.
2. I want to publish my 2008 novel to the Kindel. I would be so thrilled to see a review, good, bad or indifferent posted on Amazon and perhaps a dozen people download my book.
I never got around to getting it on Kindel or other electronic media. I am putting this on the top of my list for the coming year.
3. I want to stay away from Everquest II a total of 60 days. I totally enjoy the game, but I find I often waste too much time playing it. So over the course of 12 months, I would like to be able to not play it for 2 months — not in a row, but just say I wasn’t under a subscription for 60 days.
I actually did quite well on this task and my cousin and I did not play for months. I would think that we were away from the game more than we actually played it. Even as I type this, I am barely playing the game and am looking forward to several months away. It is a fun game, but just such a waste of time.
4. I want to go to GenCon this year. Last year I sat with a friend who did go, and he told me how fun it was. I have not been to a GenCon for more than 10 years. I have moved away from my love of gaming and role-playing and I think it would be marvelous to spend a week at the great convention watching people and experiencing new games.
I never got to GenCon this year because of money and time. I have moved away from my passion of gaming for so long now, it is going to be hard to get back into it again. Another goal this coming year is to play at least 20 weekends of gaming or Monday Night games (or whatever night it generally falls on).
5. Return to Podcasting. Last year I wanted to do so many shows, but strangely the time slipped through my fingers so quickly. This year, I am scaling my expectations way back. If I could produce 1 show on EQual Perspectives and Travels With Troy, I would be so delighted. Further, if I could be invited to three other podcasts, I would take that as icing on the cake.
Made a few vane attempts at returning to podcasting early on in the year, but it was over by April and I never had a chance again to work with my friends. I will not be pursuing this in the next year, letting others carry on the torch.
6. I always love reading, but as I did last year I often found little time for it. Although completely two of Dan Brown’s mighty novels is an accomplishment — I fell way short of what my resolution predicted. This year, I have made a much more modest goal of reading three books. I could easily re-read a Heinlein book, and breeze through the latest Dan Brown novel, so that would leave just one other.
I surely could read more — though now that I am back at school, the mere art of reading is more of a chore than a pleasure. I have several books I need and want to read and I will make this a number one goal next year. Early in the year I did read several Heinlein books and that was great.
7. Play another MMO. In the next 12 months, I want to try for at least 1 month another MMO. As I have said earlier, Everquest II is so fun, but I want to broaden my horizons a bit. I do not think it would be too hard, later this year, to spend some time in another game — New or established.
Early in the year I did play RuneQuest but that did not last long and I did not truly miss out on much. I will only be concentrating on Everquest II next year and even then I want to only play 4 out of the 12 months.
8. Spend time learning more skills I can use on the job. Of course, how does one grade such a goal as this? It will be hard, but if I can earn myself a certification, raise, or new title — I would claim victory in this resolution. Such topics as SQL administration, Crystal Reporting, or even Windows 7 are just three of the many areas I would love to know more about.
I have truly learned so much this year concerning IT, computers, programs, and end-user support. This is the greatest job for learning technical skills. I wish I could have learned more secrets in SQL or Crystal Reporting, but I think I did very well in managing and learning new skill sets.
9. Take my wife on a 10-year anniversary trip. This year I would like to spend five days going somewhere special to honor our 10 years of marriage. To me, it does not have to be anywhere special, but I will leave that up to my wife. I just want to be able to say to her, that she has my undivided attention for a week and that we have something to look back on for the rest of our lives.
We took a nice vacation in the spring up to a lovely house in Sutton’s Bay Michigan and it was very relaxing and peaceful. I wish we could have gotten to go more this year, but we also had a cat die this year. Poor Cuddles simply slipped away last August — he will be missed, but months prior to that we knew he was sick and we stuck around the home for him. I am looking forward to some kind of trip this year and truly spending some quality time with Cherry.
10. Pay down our debt by 3000 dollars. We made good strides last year, but I would love to be able to drop 3 grand on our outstanding debt.
Our debt has been replaced with College debt. I started back to school in June and the bills are beginning to add up. We also refied the house this year and made allot of cost cutting savings. Overall we did well.
11. With taking Resolutions 9 and 10 into consideration, I would like to also make 1 house repair this year. Perhaps new carpeting or a new paint job on the inside. Otherwise, I would even consider this a victory to buy a new lawn mower — since the one I have is at least 10 years old.
Never did a house repair this year, but I did not forsee going back to school — I guess that was a Life Repair and if I take it as that, I did very well.
12. Excercise! I would like to continue my walking regiment the entire year, with my two to three walks a day at work, and trying to use the elliptical at least 1 time a week for a couple of minutes. Perhaps in the spring, my wife and I can continue our walks on the White Pine Trails until it gets too hot. Just keep it up.
Started out very strong and we walked and exercised up until late April and early May but then we started petering out in the summer and fall. Winter sucks. We need to get vigilante again.
13. Play three new computer games this year. Seems silly to many, but last year I just never got out of my Everquest II rut. I did buy Left4Dead and Sims III — this year, I want to expand my gaming potential with one more title. It will be my goal to play a different game every 4 months.
I played GTA IV this year and that was a ton of fun. Other than that, my non-EQII gaming has been pretty lame. I will say that this year was energized terrifically with my MODDING of Civilization IV, a game that was pretty much dead last year. Now the game takes up a ton of my time and I really enjoy modding. Big accomplishment!!!
14. Have my friends over playing games 24different times — I traditionally have a Monday night gaming group, comprised of Wade, Joe, and myself. This year, I would like to expand that to invite 1 other friend and play something other than computer games at least 30 times this year (basically 6 months out of the year). I have so many other good friends from Mike, Alan, Kim, Eric, and Rick, that I should have the chance of luring them over. Albeit, I would also like to go to their house (counting that as double — since I am such a wall flower).
Didn’t get very far with this. Gaming is still pretty much like it was in 2009 and I don’t see much change in 2011.
15. Spend time with my Family — I realized last year, that I spent so little time with my Mom, Dad, Brother, and outer relatives. I want to spend at least a weekend a month doing something with my immediate family. Museums, Movies, Going Out to Breakfast, Visits — simple things really, but so very important.
I spent a good amount of time with family, but need to push this a bit more next year. Early in the year I made a point to go to the movies with my brother — which served a good time to do some bonding. Also went over to my mom’s house more to have supper and play cards. Spent allot of time with my cousin and with friends.
16. Enjoying Work More. What am I talking about? Yeah, I know work is no fun. But last year I don’t think I really enjoyed my job as much as I could have. Set aside my differences of pay and compensation — just relish being at work and keeping busy. I guess next year at this time, I should be able to look back and say honestly if #16 was accomplished or not — I await eagerly 12 months to re-examine this goal and see how I have done.
My job is pretty good and I feel very confident in what I do now. Surely, I could learn more and be more proactive, but overall it is a great job with great benefits. Very happy.
17. Less Doctors, less pain. Last year I seemed to always be going to a doctor. After all the visits, I don’t think I was any better off or in less pain. This year my goal is to go to the doctor only 4 times. And not be on so much medicine. Last year, I averaged 1 IMITREX every three days. This year, I want to average 1/week. I can do this!
Overall my pain was pretty much the same as it was in 2009. I do notice that for whatever reason, I feel better in the later half of December and January than other times of the year. Went to too many doctors last year – my goal is less doctors and more excercise. Pain will always be pain. I must manage it better.
18. Buy a new computer. Some may think this is an easy task. But with my tight budget, and desires to go to Gencon, an Anniversary trip, paying down my debt, and a house repair — this is pushing it to the limit. I know so little about Windows 7, I would like to learn more how it operates and feels.
Never got around to buying a new computer. Cherry got a new computer and it is Windows 7 — Started out rocky but it is much better now. I also bought a mini but it had XP on it. Not bad, but Cherry mostly uses it for around the house. My old workhorse is still plugging along.
19. Start a new hobby. Hobbies are great — something to lose some time in dreaming about making something, collecting, or trading. Finding new friends, while talking to old friends about your discovery. I would like to comment next year on something completely different, some that I have no concept of now but will be so much more informed a year from now. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Just something new to add to conversations.
YES: School. I started back at Grand Valley State University bound and determined to get my degree in History. Life changing! This was the biggest thing I did this year. I got two As too!!!
20. Be Happy. Another one of those great resolutions that is hard to measure or quantify. I think last year I would have graded this as a remarkable achievement — I had a great year, regardless of minor pitfalls, and look forward to another adventuresome and thrilling year. Keep my health, family, friends, and my lovely wife around me and I cannot fail.
Overall I did well at being happy. I would say I made great bounds in staying happy and keeping my wife and friends happy too. I look forward to another great year.