Christmas was a bit rough for me this year, and I’d like to tell you it was something meaningful like grief, being separated from family, or something that would seem to justify the discombobulation I have been feeling. But it is more like ennui, not really depression.
Normally, as I approach January, I’m excited. It starts in late December, and it carries me through to the New Year. I’m USUALLY looking forward to a new year, setting goals, making plans. Renewed commitment or a fresh page, whatever you want to call it. But I’m not feeling it.
It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about my goals, I have. Whether I would set some even though I promised myself I wouldn’t set any new ones until I achieved my last one — the weightloss one that has been kicking my ass the last 16 months. And trying to wrap my head around what I want to do in 2020. Particularly as I haven’t been tracking them for almost a year.
Group A. Health / Fitness / Cooking
My non-weight-related health areas are simple. I need to go to the dentist and I need to figure out what is going on with my legs (my hips have been hurting a lot the last few weeks and my legs seem a bit more swollen than normal). But the real challenge in this area is more for Jacob. He’s likely to have significant surgery in 2020 with a lengthy recovery, and he is DEFINITELY not looking forward to it. Particularly as it likely won’t give him any benefits in the short-term vs. avoiding some problems in the medium- to long-term. I’ll take off 4-6 weeks or so to help with the recovery, but still, nothing “fun” by a long shot.
On the fitness side, I know what I need to do, I just need to get back into proper eating schedules and routines, confirm my latest meds and get an exercise routine going in the basement, including assembling some equipment I bought over a year ago. I’m also hoping to use the push-scooter that I bought a while ago.
For the cooking side, I’m going to do a baking challenge in partnership with Jacob. Details will follow, but likely one target per month. There’s a few other little things in there, but that’s the big one.
Overall, though, here’s the problem. Not many of those are “woohoo” goals that will get me out of bed in the morning. Instead, they are more “good to do FOR me” than “fun to do”. And yes, I can find ways to make them more fun, so if you’re thinking of responding “oh, do this or that”, then you’re missing the point and you’re not reading properly.
Group B. Family / Home / Reading
For the family side, we’re thinking about a reward trip for Jacob after the surgery, likely to Vegas next hockey season to see the Golden Knights play. I suspect that will push us into 2021, so not really part of 2020. In the meantime, we have lots of shows at NAC and elsewhere to go to, some stuff to do with Jacob (Millennium Falcon lego, build a robot, design a board game or two, etc.), but most of it is day-to-day stuff. I have been thinking about a weekend away, either with or without the family, pros and cons for both, and I may even do both. Nothing concrete yet.
For the home, the theme of the year will be The Purge. I intend to dump a ton of stuff. But again, as with above, this is all work. It’s hardly something to look forward to, other than looking forward to being done.
On the reading side, I’ll do the PolyWogg Reading Challenge again. People want to do it again, but also want “badges” as rewards. Not sure how that’s going to work yet. I’m also thinking about working my way through a few huge series. Not sure about that yet.
The reading will be fun, but is it “goal worthy”? Honestly, I would do it without the challenge, the challenge just keeps me more organized and reading some more challenging stuff rather than the latest fluff.
Group C. Finances / Organize / Activities
The only interesting thing under Finances that doesn’t look like cleaning up is figuring out my retirement. I was excited about that previously, and I still am. So I’ll try to get that done in the next couple of months so I can start picking the date of my retirement. I’m about 5.5 years out, I think, but it would be good to plan for what that looks like in detail.
Under organization, I’m hoping the Purge helps with a lot of that, but beyond that, I want to make some progress related to genealogy, so a friend will be helping on that, likely in January. Some of that can be fun. I’d also like to do something with computers and video games for organizing a game console with Raspberry Pi, but it’s hard to figure out where exactly I would put that in my list. I might not get to it this year though as it’s a huge learning curve.
For activities, this was more a category for bucket-list lite activities, like axe-throwing or archery. I’ll knock a couple off the list, but after my 50by50 list, I’m pretty tame with my list. Some fun stuff, sure, but nothing BIG to plan around.
Group D. Learning / Photography / Astronomy / Volunteering
For formal learning, I’ll likely concentrate on finishing my MetaLiteracy course, a photography online course, and a “programming” course related to apps and games. None of them are huge draws for me. I want to do them, but they are more stepping stones to other things that I would like to do, but need a bit of pre-capacity building first. If I get really adventurous, I might CONSIDER a formal studio event. There’s a local guy who runs studio days where he hires 5-6 models who are looking to build their portfolio and in exchange for him giving them a good selection of free photos for their collection, he also brings in 8-10 photographers to practice so we get some experience too. And if by chance we come up with some great shots, we share them too. It might be cool, but I’m not ready for that yet.
In the broader photography realm, my really big project is my gallery website. I want to move all my photos from the Piwigo installation (separate software) and embed it directly in my WordPress gallery. That’s 13K photos and I’m about 10% done so far. I’ve got a basic workflow figured out, and I’m enjoying the feeling of accomplishment, but it is a HUGE project, and mostly just plain slogging for huge portions of it. I’m mostly trying to prevent myself from doing a deep winter dive into my cyber setup and emerging depressed in March wondering who everyone is and where all the snow came from that will be piled up in my driveway. It will open up a huge set of opportunities for more blogging topics, and photobooks, and a whole host of other things, but I have to slog through 13K photos to get there. I am going to try limiting myself to a single gallery each day, but that schedule would take me most of the year. We’ll see if I can handle two or not.
Over in the wonderful world of astronomy, the options are almost endless. I tried to withdraw as Star Party Coordinator, and there were no takers. So I guess I’m going to keep doing part of the job at least. I have some new helpers though, so that will assist me in managing the workload. However, my real desire for 2020 is split between figuring out astrophotography combining my iPhone with the telescope as well as also writing an entire PolyWogg Guide to Astronomy. I need to make sure it doesn’t descend into slogging for either one, but I really want to devote some time to it this coming year.
On the volunteering side, separate from RASC involvement, I’m hoping to be more available for AstroPontiac outings as well as tweaking some background settings for some of the websites I run. The outings will at least be fun!
Group E. Website / Blog / Media / Writing
For my website, I want to start posting more of my own writing, and I want to actually DO some of that writing. I started some stuff during NaNoWriMo, but I didn’t keep the momentum. I’ll finish my HR guide this coming year, and I finally feel like I have a way forward to put it in the form I want it both for online as well as download.
The blogging itself for old series (Being Jacob’s Dad, Honeymoon posts) will all get taken care of by the photo gallery update project, so I’m not worried about those. I would like to do more with music reviews though, but that’s a one-off project here and there. There is a theme that interests me around “what I learned in (school)”, haven’t decided if/when I might get around to doing that series. Could be fun.
So where does that leave me?
I mentioned that there will be some negative stuff this coming year, and what normally pulls me out of it is excitement around some goals. A built-in momentum from a variety of tasks and activities across multiple areas. Work will be a bit of a rebuilding year and relatively static, so that leaves me my personal life to look forward to for the following “top ten” list of things on my to-do list:
- Help Jacob post-recovery
- Lose weight and get in shape
- The Year of the Purge
- PolyWogg Baking Challenge
- PolyWogg Reading Challenge
- Solo weekend away
- Set retirement date
- WordPress Photo Gallery project
- Astro photography
- Finish PolyWogg Guide to HR
Hmm…work, work, work, fun but work to organize, fun but work to organize, fun, work, mega work, fun and work, work. I think I know why I’m not feeling the pull of 2020.
I need to find some more big-ticket fun items, not just the day to day stuff.