Another year has ended. Hello, 2020!

As 2019 ends and we enter the roaring 20s, it’s time for my yearly wrap-up and review post. This was an eventful year for me, with the passage of my father and a significant job change that I haven’t really talked about on the blog.

It’s also the closing of a decade, and for me, that’s much more momentous-  at the start of 2010, I owned a condominium in South Florida, lived with my girlfriend and her adorable cat, and had been with the same company for eight years.   I stayed with that same company until they dissolved in 2016, but during that time, they sent me abroad, and I worked for them in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Bavaria.

At the start of the 2010s, K and I split up amicably and I short-sold my condo.  I moved into my brother’s spare room for a short while, then I began a string of moves that would take me to Germany and back.  I started this blog, visited twenty-seven new countries, and saw countless concerts and musicals.   I dated other people after K, and stayed with someone for about four years who ultimately wasn’t right for me.   I’ve been single since that relationship ended, and I have no interest in changing that status- I’m not entirely closed to the idea of love, but I’m not looking for it either.  As long as I have friends to go with me to concerts and cons and restaurants, I’m doing just fine.

At the end of 2010, my newest niece was a newborn, and now she’s an adorable nine-year-old lunatic-smartypants.  The lunacy runs in the family, and it’s entertaining as hell to watch my brother coping with fatherhood.  My sister and I have started an annual tradition of taking a trip every year during her summer break from teaching.  This started when I was overseas and we went to Rome and Venice together, but in recent years we’ve taken trips to other places we hadn’t been like Boston and Philadelphia.  The rest of my very large family has spread geographically, in interesting ways.  My sister’s branch of the family all moved up to Orlando before I moved back up, and various aunts and uncles all moved from northern climes down to Florida.  Some of my cousins are closer than ever before, and some are further away.

In the past ten years, I’ve strengthened and reinforced some of the deepest friendships of my life, and I’ve made many, many new friends all over the world.  I’ve traveled extensively, and I’ve seen things that have enriched my soul in ways I can’t even fully quantify.   I would call the past ten years a wildly successful part of my life.

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Let’s get back to the regular year-in-review stuff.  I started doing goals instead of resolutions last year, after realizing that resolutions are kind of pointless and they never last the entire year anyway.    How did I do on last year’s goals?

2019 goal – Be healthier: Eat better, sleep more, and get some damn exercise.

I did ok on eating better, but my sleep and exercise habits are still basically rubbish.  I let my gym membership lapse this year, because when I do work out, it’s either in the apartment gym or at home.

For 2020, I obviously need to keep moving forward on this one.   Working from home warps my sense of what time and what day it is and getting out of the house regularly helps recalibrate that.

2019 goal – Travel more: I’ve decided on a try to make at least three out of state trips and at least one international trip for the year.

I didn’t make it out of the country this year, but I flew to New York three times, as well as trips to Dallas, Philadelphia,  Chicago, and Washington DC.  I’d call this one a success despite the lack of international travel.

For 2020, I still have no International travel on deck, but I already have plans for a few out-of-state trips.

  • My cousin is getting married in the mountains about forty miles from Portland, so I’m going to spend a few days in PDX before the wedding.  After the festivities, my sister and I will be taking our annual summer sibling trip by going to see Seattle.  (We’ll already be on the left coast, so it makes sense to try to fit that visit in while we’re already most of the way there.)
  • I’ve got tickets to a concert in Nashville later in the summer, so I’ll be checking out that city as well.
  • For the first time since 2003, I plan on going to DragonCon in Atlanta.
  • I almost pulled the trigger on airfare to the Waikiki Spam Jam (I’ve wanted to go for years,) but my Portland/Seattle trip will eat a lot of time and I don’t want to ridiculously overdo the time-off requests at my job.

2019 goal – Feed my inner introvert: Spend more time with books and less with little screens, whether they be my phone or my television.

This was a mixed bag.   I read enough books to meet my arbitrarily chosen Goodreads reading challenge goal.  I had a significant decrease in screen time,  but I still watch too much television.   I have spent lots of quality time on my own, though, and I definitely not let my inner introvert starve this year.

For 2020, I will set the same Goodreads goal and keep reading for pleasure.  I will try to clear some of the things loaded on my Kindle before acquiring new titles.   I will try to reduce the amount of television I watch.

The networks have been helping me out by not making too many new shows that I actually want to see.  And also by making shorter seasons for the things I DO want to see. The Mandalorian’s first season was only eight episodes.  Watchmen wrapped up with nine episodes.  I feel a lot less guilty about a show that only eats eight or nine hours out of the year than one which runs 24 episodes, with a third of that being filler.

2019 goal – Write more in this blog.

This was an utter failure.   I only wrote four blog posts all year, despite having plenty to talk about.

For 2020, I have a more specific blog goal than just saying “write more.”  I am setting myself a goal to do a minimum of 52 blog posts- that’s one per week, with this post serving as my first one.  If I have a busy week and can’t get a post out the door, I will have to double up the following week so that I don’t fall behind.  If I manage to do better than 52 posts, then that’s groovy too.

2019 goal – Listen to more music, live or otherwise.

I did really well on this-  I started the year off with Hamilton on their Orlando tour stop, and I followed that up with the Boston Pops, the Fixx, Waitress twice, Fiddler on the Roof, Aurora, Muse, Alice Merton, Tom Jones, Weird Al, Information Society, Hugh Jackman, Howard Jones, Men Without Hats, A Flock of Seagulls, Carly Rae Jepsen, Queen + Adam Lambert, Billy Joel, Bishop Briggs, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Alice Cooper, Dennis DeYoung, Night Ranger, King Princess, Sara Bareilles, and Beetlejuice on Broadway.  And that’s just the live stuff- I also listened to hours of recorded music.

For 2020, I realized that I don’t need to set a goal for something that I am already compelled to do.   I’ve already purchased tickets for ten or eleven shows through this summer, and I’ve got another eight or so on my radar with loose plans to go to them.    Music is as vital to me as breathing, and I don’t really need to set a conscious goal to do either one.  I plan on buying a new gadget or two sometime soon to improve the soundscape in my apartment as well.

2019 goal – Let go of rage.

I am much improved in this area, although I still find it challenging at times.  The passage of time helps a lot- the things that were a source of anger for me in 2018 are all well into my rear-view at the close of 2019, and I had a few perspective-setting events throughout the middle of the year, like the death of my father.  I also made a change this year from a frustrating and unsatisfying job into one which is much more challenging and enjoyable.

For 2020, I just need to continue on my path toward being centered and easygoing.  I’ve kept an active social life with local friends this year, and that has helped me enormously-  being around people I like helps to keep me happy.

Aside from the other goals I’ve listed for 2020, there are a few more things I want to accomplish:

  • I want to see more live Shakespeare.  I used to love watching the Bard’s plays, but I haven’t seen one in ages and I miss it.
  • I need to make a firm decision about my geolocation by the start of this summer.  I’ve been saying for a while that I hate the heat in Florida and that I’d like to go further north, but I am not decisive on this point.  Inertia is real, and it’s hard to move again now that I’ve been in one place for a while.   I have family and friends and a social life here in Orlando, and it’s difficult to think about what my life might look like in another place.  I was capable of making friends and gaining a social life when I moved to Germany though, and I’m sure I could do the same somewhere else in the US.  My Aunt thinks that DC is where I should go, and it’s on the short list if I decide to relocate after all.  My lease here is up at the end of the summer, so a decision needs to be made with enough time to set a move into motion if that is my choice.
  • I have long felt that I own too much “stuff” and I’ve been going through cycles of decluttering and offloading things I don’t use for years, and I want 2020 to be the year that I finally get rid of all the extra crap.   I don’t own a lot of stuff, but somehow it still feels like too much.  Then again, I might be a little psychotic on this front-  this photo looks too cluttered to me:

Do you have any goals for the new year?  How do you feel about entering the roaring 20s?