year end!

Jan. 1st, 2016 09:24 pm
llcoolvad: (newer)
HELLO REMEMBER ME?! I have been a failure at journaling this year! I spend all my energy on Facebook, I guess. So the least I can do is a roundup of 2015.

As with every year, there were ups and downs. My aunt has been in the hospital since Oct 14th. She's 87 and fell, and while she didn't break anything apparently the fall set off a cascade of infections and since then she's been operated on, been put on dialysis, now is on a respirator, and mostly unconscious during that time. We changed her status to "no heroic measures", but she keeps healing up from various things and occasionally is completely conscious, so I don't know what will happen. The social worker told us that once you're on a respirator there is a lot less likelihood that you'll just code (which is both comforting and ghastly—like, how long do you linger?!). Going to see her tomorrow. I've been handling her finances, and my mother is her medical proxy, so that's been pretty stressful around here.

My own health wasn't great for the first 2/3 of the year (although obviously it's been fabulous in comparison). I was pretty optimistic in my few entries from last year, because I thought I was feeling better. I was, but it was on a logarithmic scale, I think. There is still a long way to go to get to "feeling good." My main problems beyond the surgery recovery were that I had high blood sugar, and I still had no energy. Once the snow finally melted enough to leave the house, I went to see an endocrinologist. He was very thorough and put me on some new meds, which have done their job and lowered my blood sugar to reasonable levels. I also finally started on thyroid meds in September, which surprisingly had almost an instant effect. I finally had a little energy and felt better. It's sort of evened out now, but I am not as draggy as I was. I think my levels are still a little hypo (and I still have a lot of the hypothyroid symptoms), so I am planning on asking for a slight increase at my next appt. I have not been exercising at all, really, other than trying (sometimes) to get some extra steps—thanks, Fitbit. The startling thing the Fitbit has shown me, however, is how little sleep I am getting. I am still pretty sore, so I roll around a lot and almost never sleep more than three hours straight. Most nights I get about six hours total. Not good! Since I put some weight back on the snoring is back but it's a lot different than it was, so I am not certain if the apnea has returned. I really think the poor sleep is more about being achey. I saw my eye doctor a couple of times this year because I had three small eye bleeds in one of my eyes (something you have to watch out for when you're diabetic) but thanks to controlling my sugar better, there's only a trace of one left, and he feels he can wait a year to see me now. So that's good.

I spent a lot of money this year, more than usual. I bought a new dryer. I had a large car expense (tires, brakes, and a 100K service thing all at once, ouch). I bought a computer. I took a class. I took over paying the cable bill for mother. I had some medical expenses. I stayed in a few hotels. I think there were others but I can't remember them.

I audited a Knowledge Management class this fall from my LIS grad school, which coincidentally is what I do for a living. If we're Facebook friends, you know all about Lazy and Crazy. If not, let's just say I had to do a group project, and predictably, the people in my group were...people. And all that that implies. If I were getting a grade from the class I'd be getting an A (a 98.35, in fact). Instead, I get a "nice job" from the professor. Auditing isn't very satisfying. But at least now I can battle feeling imposter syndrome. All good. And I get to cross a goal off my work self-evaluation.

I took a couple of mini-vacations this year: Cape Cod in June as usual, near Hyannis this time which was a nice change (saw the Edward Gorey house! went to the Cape Cod potato chip factory!). Then NYC in August with Patrick and Peter for Patrick's play in the Fringe. That was pretty awesome, if exhausting. I walked more in one day then I usually do in 3-4. Then finally Vermont in September with Steve and Val again. Man, do I love Vermont! I might think about retiring there. Good vibe. We were near Burlington, right in a cottage on Lake Champlain. Wow, talk about gorgeous. Burlington is big enough to make it reasonable to live there: plenty of shops and restaurants and people and things to do. Anyway, it was a surprise for me. I guess it's been a LOOONG time since I've been there. I also drove out to Western Mass in August to hang out with Suzanne and see Eddie Izzard in concert, hit the Van Gogh exhibit at the Clark (which was AWESOME), and almost wander around in MassMOCA. All really good. Jenn and I went to the ICA in Boston to see what they had, and there was a pretty great exhibit of sculpture that I liked.

Other random fun stuff (which I'm sure I would have forgotten if I hadn't documented them with pix): I survived the winter, which was pretty intense but after a while kind of felt like a challenge. I played pinball a couple of times in April. Patrick and I hit two bead shows in Jan and May, although I haven't done much with the beads I bought yet! Ugh. On the other hand, I have been coloring a bit, which I know is the current fad but I made all my coworkers color back in the 90s while we answered customer service calls about student loans, so I feel like I have cred. I saw three concerts: Richard Thompson in June with my old work pal Mark (he won tix), then Joe Jackson in October also with Mark, and Difford and Tilbrook (Squeeze) with Joanne in December. All shows were great, although I have to give the edge to Joe Jackson. He was on fire! I saw three theatrical things: one Cirque du Soleil with Jenn in July, and two Patrick plays with Patrick (the Fringe one was full-length, and the Suburban Holidays one was one-act). I watched fireworks from my pals' seaside house on the fifth of July, which was pretty fun. They close down the entire main road and have a block party for it. I also had dinner several times with my ex-Monitor coworkers, which is always fun. Three of the four of us that usually go out have now left the company, so we get to hear about who is left and what's happening. I worked there for 13 years, so getting all the gossip is fascinating.

And that's all I can think of. It was a year. Time crawled all winter and flew by all summer. I think the only part of the year that time seems normal is fall. We don't reallhy get spring...

I will post year-end watched/read separately. This is plenty long enough!

----

SO I guess now I can address my goals for last year, and if I managed to complete any of them:

MY DIGITAL LIFE: I got a My Cloud personal cloud storage thingie for Xmas.
Not only no, but it's actually worse! I got a new desktop in March and I moved my files over and then just kind of threw my hands up in the air and walked away. Renewed focus here. I need need need need to get this done. I have a bunch of hard drives under my bed. I have the old desktop. I have the old laptop. I am in duplicate file hell. I need to do this!! Especially because I just had to clear out some videos off my phone and put them on my desktop. I increased my dropbox storage to hold everything, too. I don't want to pay if I don't have to! Feh.

MY DOMESTIC* LIFE: The house is a wreck.
(*renamed at Deb's suggestion) Yeah? No. I am maintaining, but have made no inroads here. I always have great ideas for the weekend, and then I just don't have the energy to get it done. Small steps will win, here, but I need to make them.

MY CREATIVE AND LEARNING* LIFE: Revisit online learning, do more jewelry-making, make interesting photo sets, etc.
(*Also renamed, but not happy with it) Managed to complete this one by taking the class, doing the coloring, taking a couple of Lynda.com video classes in Photoshop. Win.

MY MEDICAL LIFE: Eat better, exercise, try to get blood sugar way down. Breathing is a good idea.
I guess this one is halfway, kinda? Blood sugar and eye better, breathing improved. I got the new Fitbit and have been wearing it basically 24/7 for the whole year. Food stuff got really sidetracked when mother decided she is now a vegetarian. As a diabetic, you're encouraged to go low-carb and eat lots of lean protein. Still, I can't blame her entirely. I just need to start planning.

MY FINANCIAL LIFE: I am one year away from only having student loan debt left. I will make that happen.
This couldn't be less done. I am exactly where I was for debt, although it's a little rearranged. I paid off my car in January, so that's good. The student loan is smaller. I'm down to two credit cards. But it's not much less in debt. So that's a renewed focus. I can probably make a huge dent here by decreasing the amount of meals I eat out.

MY SOCIAL LIFE: Continue as usual. I like my friends.
This counts as accomplished. Not only did I see lots of people, but I even saw the family (although not at the summer shindig). I have a date to meet my half sister, too. I finally arranged it (we're facebook friends) but I got sick, so we're doing it in January.

MY FRIVOLOUS LIFE: Nail art, funky glasses, silly jewelry, fun accessories.
We can count this one as fully realized, too. And I think this new year is in the bag, too: already picking out this year's glasses frames from Zenni and got a lot of nail polish for Xmas.

MY WORK LIFE: Patrick and I had a little chat tonight about how we'd like to be less negative and less stressed at work. I want to also be way more productive.
Alas, this one is really not great. I had some serious productivity at the beginning and the middle of the year, but the last 4-5 months have been terrible. And that negativity thing? It's sort of died down about work, but it's still simmering there. I am going to consciously try to be better this year. I feel badly about the lack of productivity since basically August. I can do a lot more. (Now that I am re-reading the post, it's interesting to me that I was unproductive at the same time last year, too. I need to figure out why that is and address that somehow.)

So that's a lot of no. Out of 8 categories I managed 3.5–4. Not good! So I guess I'm just going to continue those into this year. Goals often are multi-year goals, right? Sigh.
llcoolvad: (cold)
Resolutions at New Years are always challenging. How to make them achievable, but still meaningful? I had a pretty decent 2013, despite some challenges and sadness. I'd like to have a pretty decent 2014, too, and get myself on a really good path for the future.

First, the past. 2013 goals, reviewed:

1. Stuff, get none. Success? Nope. Started a new hobby (jewelry-making) and had all the start-up costs of tools, organizing strategies, materials, etc. Bought a bunch of clothes due to job changes and weight changes. Replaced my semi-broken iPhone 4 with a shiny iPhone 5S. I guess that's it, really. I didn't buy anything else much, a few CDs, a bunch of kindle books. I had other expenses, though, including two large car repairs (the clutch and the power junction box). I've been spending a lot of money on food all year, between the commute to Boston and not wanting to drag food along with me, and then the cafeteria on-site at new job, and then my general apathy about dinner. I buy all the food and additionals for the house, also, so my food expenses are pretty high right now. I also rented a storage unit at the end of the year, so that's an ongoing expense, too, until I decide to get rid of all that stuff.

2. Job, get one. Success? Yes! I started the year with my old company being bought by a massive company, which was pretty stressful and confusing. Eventually we had to move our office, so I had to go from a 20-30 minute commute to a 1-1.5 hour commute, which wasn't pleasant at all. Midway through the year I got promoted, which wasn't completely unexpected but was pretty good anyway. I then got a new, much better, job, increasing my income this year by 50%, so that was pretty awesome, too. And my commute changed to 15 minutes! Gotta call this one a big win.

3. Health, get more. Success? This one's really a no: in fact I did pretty much the opposite! Because of my knee injury Sep 2012 I mostly stopped exercising, except for a weather-dependent 2 mile (ish) daily walk with Patrick since this September. I've only had a few periods in time this year where I tracked my meals. I gained 35 pounds back, which sucked (12 of them since I started the new job).

4. Fun, have lots. Success? Yes. I've been reading some, watching a bunch of TV and movies, and seeing my friends fairly regularly. I also have been regularly corresponding with my family, who I managed to reconnect with at my uncle's funeral. Went on my usual vacation with Stephen and Val, this time to Maine, and did some sightseeing there. I went to a few concerts (B52s, Richard Thompson, NKOTB(!)) this year, also a couple of plays and performances (Wicked, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Odysseo, Suburban Holidays), so that was all good. I've also still been hanging with my ex-coworkers from my last job. No baseball in person this year, TRAGIC because they won the world series and I missed it!, but I guess I can really count this goal as a win.

5. Learning, get some. Success? Sorta yes, sorta no. I took up a new hobby which I like, but I didn't take the photography course I paid for (it's online, through the Great Courses, so I can take it any time)(I have a hard time with "any time". I like schedules). And I've been learning all kinds of stuff at my new job, so I guess there's that. But I still feel a bit fuzzy and distracted, and some nights it's still all I can do to watch TV and read the internet.

So that's 2 NOs, 2 YESes, and a half-and-half. I'm going to count the half-and-half as a yes, however. Because honestly? I did learn a lot this year, it was just all about SharePoint and my new company and stuff like that. So I get a pass, I think. Overall better than half is OK, but I need to accomplish more.

Now, the future: I had sort of a joke goal of "Fabulous by 50", but circumstances being what they are, I am amending it to "Fabulous While 50", which gives me a year and 8 months to meet it. I'll be 50 in August, but if I can get to fabulous sometime while I'm 50, I think that's ok. Fabulous to me means out from under crushing debt, healthy, and having lots of fun. To get there, I'm going to pretty much keep the same goals except the new job one, which I will replace with debt reduction:

1. & 2. Stuff, get none, and Debt, pay lots. 1 and 2 are pretty closely linked. I paid off about $22K of my debt since June of 2012. Considering my pay rate during most of that time, that's pretty good. I've decided that I HAVE to get it all gone, this time, as fast as I can — especially the student loan. I'm going to be 50! I can't stand having a student loan debt holding on this long. I am making enough money now that with some careful planning (and financial luck otherwise, like car doesn't die, mother doesn't get ill, cat stays healthy, don't lose job, etc.) I should be able to get it done in a bit over 2 years. I think. I will improve on the "stuff, get none" as much as I can to further this goal.

3. Health, get more. I have a free gym at work and I'm paying, still, for the YMCA, which I never go to. I could maybe do some swimming? Do a light bike routine (knee-dependent, of course)? Something. I might spend a small amount of money to meet with a personal trainer for a few times to get a routine that I can do at home. I have so many aches and pains that I don't want to start doing things wrong and make myself worse. I also need to be more regular about taking my meds. And I am going to go back to tracking my food and plan my meals better. I've been so mentally exhausted all year that I just default to the easiest thing. I am certain that I'll have more energy and be more alert if I start to eat better again.

4. Fun, have lots. This one should be the easiest, but always proves to be the hardest for me. I will continue what I've been doing. I am not in any kind of place to date someone, currently, so that can stay back-burnered. But I am going to try to do at least one special thing per month. Going somewhere fun, seeing a show, seeing a game, getting out into the city with my friends but not the same routine. Like that.

5. Learning, get some. Here I just need to calm down and focus a little. The hard part at work is over. I've gotten through the first four months. I think I can start to relax a tiny bit, which should let me be able to relax at home a little more. Make more jewelry, consider selling some. Take really awesome photographs. Take that course. Take another course. Audible now offers some of the Great Courses (audio only) through their system, so maybe do that! Keep learning. I've had a domain that I've been paying for for years, and I've never put to use. Maybe do that.

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