So long, 2017. Hello, 2018!

My friend Jade posted her year in review  a few days ago, and it made me realize that my year has actually been quite a bit less busy than some of my previous years.    Some things haven’t changed at all-  things are still great with Amelie, and nothing major has changed for either my family or hers.

I only had two major life changes this year-  We moved to Orlando in May, and I spent the last two months of the year completely unemployed and job hunting like a fiend.  I should have a job starting on 08 January, assuming nothing goes wrong with the paperwork, so I’m looking forward to that.

I don’t do “resolutions” any more, because they fall through way too quickly, but I will give myself a list of suggested “goals” based on the areas that I feel like I was a little bit stagnant this year.

I wrote 21 blog posts in 2017, not counting this one.  If not for my travel posts, it would have been far fewer.    Goal for 2018: Write more.  Even if it’s only one post a week, that’d be better than this year.

I read fourteen books in 2017.  Goal for 2018:  I plan on doing a Goodreads Challenge in 2018 to drastically increase that number.  I’m thinking 52 books is a good goal-  one a week.

We only took two trips out of Florida this year- Los Angeles in June, and New York City in July.  I can’t do much on this one for a little while, because first I need a regular paycheck and the accrual of vacation days.  I’d like to travel some more, but time and money are at a premium.   Goal for 2018:  At the very least, we should do some little trips around here on weekends.  For example, I’ve never been to Bok Tower Gardens, the Citrus Tower, or the Orlando Cat Cafe.  These are all places that I’d like to see, and that don’t require an overnight stay somewhere.

The one area where I feel like we did a lot in 2017 was concerts and show attendance.  During this calendar year, we saw all of the following:   Cabaret, Alan Cumming, The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience featuring Ramin Djawadi, The Flaming Lips, Panic! At the Disco, Neil Diamond, Bastille, The Head and the Heart, The Birthday Massacre, Bob’s Burgers Live In Concert, Queen with Adam Lambert, Kinky Boots, Green Day, Arcade Fire, An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Love Never Dies, La Nouba, and The Blue Man Group.   Goal for 2018:   Change my concert-going methodology to be more about quality than quantity.  Last year, we grabbed a bunch of show tickets that we didn’t end up using because the event came up and we realized we just didn’t care enough to deal with the crowds-  concerts should be a delight and a treat, not a chore to get through.  I forgot that at some point.

I was crappy at going to the gym this year.  I was strong early in the year, but then we came to Orlando, and I never wanted to leave the apartment.  My parking space is on the sixth floor of the parking structure, and leaving the apartment means I have to loop down all six levels.  It takes a minimum of five minutes just to go from my parking space to the street, and I hate it!  Goal for 2018:   Work out more regularly.  More time on the treadmill, especially.   I’ll be moving to a new apartment in May, so I’ll keep the parking lot nuisance in mind as I search for the next place.

I also slept really poorly in 2017.   I have lost all sense of what day it is, or what time it is.  My apartment has poor sound insulation, so every emergency vehicle, every small-dicked jackhole with more engine noise than brains, every drunken sidewalk fight-  they all keep me awake.  Goal for 2018:  Get better sleep.  Turn off the screens a little earlier each night.  If I do well with the exercise goal, that will help with the sleep goal.

I’ve been trying to eat healthier overall, and I’m better than I used to be.  However, I am terrible about cookies.  If they’re in my house, they’re in my mouth.  The leftover Halloween candy was especially bad-  I ultimately had to put it in a sealed box on a high shelf in the closet, because I would just grab a handful any time I walked past the bowl on the counter.  It’s too easy to snack.  Even worse,   I’ve noticed a definite trend between my sweet tooth and my mood.  It turns out this is not just me- there were lots of articles this year about how there is a link between sugar and depression in men.  This tracks from my own experience- if I have a lot of sugary stuff, such as cookies or candy, then I feel terrible later.  Emotionally, too, not just physically.  Goal for 2018:  Eat fewer cookies and less sweets in general!  I’ve started this already by simply not purchasing them in large amounts.  I try to keep them out of my kitchen, so the temptation isn’t there.

While this isn’t a goal as such, I need to spend more time on my friends.  I have more friends in Orlando than I had in South Florida, but we never see each other because most of them are incredibly busy.  Friendships need to be fed!   Some of my Orlando friends haven’t even met Amelie because the busyness has taken hold.   This shall not stand!

That’s all of the things that I can think of for a general recap of 2017.   I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year.  And, because this joke never, ever gets old for me, I’ll see you next year!

Do you want to change anything in the new year?  What goals have you set for yourself to do so?


8 thoughts on “So long, 2017. Hello, 2018!

  1. Bunny

    Happy New Year, Steven! Good luck with your goals. I saw a comic today where the family was making resolutions. When it came to the son, he said he was going to play more road hockey, hang out with his friends and watch more TV. When the family said those were not improvements and were worthless, he said maybe so, but at least his will be kept. Smart kid.

    I shall try, as always, to exercise more, watch less TV and get into more outside activities. We’ll see how that goes…


  2. Happy New Year! Funny how things don’t matter like…parking garages in normal life. You never even thought about the frustration a twice or more daily trip up and down would affect you. Then you live in that space and now a non-high rise parking garage is a priority. It is like so many things in life right?

    This past summer I gave up sugar. (except for red wine) I didn’t fit into my close and my anxiety was starting to creep back into my head. I started to exercise more consistently and things are so much better. The nice thing is that over a couple of months, you really have no desire for the giant cookie. And when you do take a bite, it is so sweet you vow to never have one again. Here is the short article that got me started.

    And here is to more sleep and a great first day back on the job!


    1. You’re so right- the parking garage frustration is something I never thought about until I had to live it. It’s the same with my car- I hate how much road noise I hear in my car, but I never thought about that while selecting said car because I had never experienced a bad example of it before. It never even occurred to me that “too much road noise” would be a terrible thing until I was living it. Fascinating how we learn, no?

      Thanks for the CNN link; I shall peruse!


  3. These are excellent goals, Steve. As you’ll probably notice (and laugh about) when you read my latest blog entry, we share a lot of the goals/resolutions.

    I do have one tip on how to deal with the cookie situation: Make ’em from scratch. That way you’ll know exactly what’s in ’em. You can freeze the dough balls. And then when you have a craving, just pop one or two in the oven for fresh-baked goodness. No more munching mindlessly through a box of crap!

    What book are you most looking forward to reading this year?


    1. That’s a good cookie tip. I sometimes purchase the pre-made cookie dough, and make three or four cookies at a time in the toaster oven. It does help me slow down the consumption if it takes me 10-15 minutes to go from wanting a cookie to eating a cookie. 😀

      For the books: I’m enjoying 10% Happier by Dan Harris right now because I’m fascinated with the idea of using the tenets of Buddhism to quiet the mind. I am *very* scattered lately, and I wonder if he’s on to something. I don’t have a lot of specific books in mind for this year, although Neil deGrasse Tyson’s latest book is on the docket as is “The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World.” I also have Joe Hill’s “Strange Weather on my to-read list- I loved “Horns” and I’m hoping for the same level of magic there. I’ve been adding books to my Goodreads to-read shelf since 2010; I really need to start whittling through those. 😀


  4. Happy new year! Good job on the goal front, and looking forward to hearing how it all shakes out in those more-frequent posts. 😉 Hope all goes well with the start of your new gig, too!


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