Well, 2017 is on life support and only has a few hours left to live. It is customary for people (especially people with blogs) to reminisce about the year that just ended and to make wild-ass promises about the upcoming year. Since I am a people, and especially since I am a people with a blog, I am required by law to post such a blog.
2017 was a very good year for me. I was in good health. My job, though uninspiring, affords me such luxuries as food, clothing, shelter, central air, hot-and-cold running water, electricity, and internet service. I feel guilty when I complain about anything, because quite honestly, I have nothing to complain about. When I let life’s nuisances and annoyances get to me, when I wail and gnash my teeth and rend my clothing, I feel quite silly and ungrateful because I have it better than the vast majority of people in the world, either now or in the past.
The theme of 2017 for me was minimization and simplification. As we go through life, we tend to accumulate stuff. These things slowly take over our lives and consume us. We find ourselves spending the majority of our waking hours maintaining, managing, upgrading, and declaring our fealty to the useless things we accumulate. Well, in 2017, I said “no more!” I have begun shedding the things in my life that no longer serve me or bring me joy.
But enough philosophizing. I meant to reminisce instead. Below are some of my reminiscences about 2017.
Though I was not new to blogging before 2017 rolled around, this was the first blog I put any real effort into and kept up with anything approaching consistency. As a result, I met some really wonderful people, got to read some fantastic blogs, and received lots and lots of encouragement. That has absolutely been the best part of blogging for me. I love the community of bloggers who support each other, encourage each other, read each other’s stuff, and have a great time together. I wish we were not spread out all over the world, for it would be a real hoot to get together with you all at a picnic or a pizza party or somewhere just to eat and laugh and talk and have a wonderful time together.
I half-completed a few things this year.
- Almost completed restoring a vintage 1950s vacuum tube radio. It fell victim to my Short Attention Span (SAS).
- Nearly completed a model of a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500. (Another SAS victim.)
- Attempted to teach myself how to cartoon (Realized very quickly that I am not a cartoonist, nor will I ever be.)
I had more success with a few other projects.
- Built a Virtual Private Network (VPN) using a Raspberry Pi computer board
- Painted two oil paintings under the tutelage of a Bob Ross certified instructor
- Managed to write 200+ posts for this here blog
- Bought a Canon T-6 camera and took up photography (still not good enough to post anything, though)
- Cut the cord. I now no longer have cable or a land-line phone, though I still have Internet. This has saved me over $150 a month! I have not missed cable TV one little bit.
Other things were a complete disaster or ended in abject failure.
- Meant to clean out the garage — didn’t even get started
- Ditto on the attic
- Decided to stop collecting old books and so tried to get rid of my collection of 800+ books. Found out old books are worthless. I may end up tossing them in the recycling bin.
- Failed miserably in my resolution to read a book a month. I only managed to read about 3 or 4 books this year. I realize this is pathetic, but I shall do better this year.
- Failed miserably in my resolution to finish writing a book this year. I only wrote half of two novels. Perhaps if I put these two failed attempts into a single binder, that would count as an entire novel. Hmmmm. We’ll call that one a near miss.
I’ll put all of these in the Win Column.
- Remained employed
- Remained healthy
- Did not lose anyone close to me
- Got a new roof on my house to replace the hail-damaged one. Insurance picked up huge portion of it (though I still had to fork out significant $$$)
- Daughter got a job and moved all the way across the country and is now self-sufficient
Here are my wild-ass promises for 2018. (Some might call them delusions.)
- Finish writing one of the two novels I started in 2017. (Bonus points for finishing both of them.)
- Continue writing consistently in this blog. The adjuncts to this will be to grow my readership and to continue growing my circle of blogging friends. Most of the fun of blogging is meeting new people!
- Clean out the attic and garage.
- Continue my path towards minimization and simplification.
- Try to lead a more interesting life so that I will have something to blog about. (This one goes into the Fantasy column.)
I hope you all have a safe and fun New Year’s, and I hope 2018 is wonderful and successful for you all!