Fate's 2011 Resolutions Recap

2011 has been something of a rough year, rather have in the “bad times”.    Things are looking up now, and looking back, I see a lot of Fin and I supporting each other.   It’s weird how nasty happenstance can make a relationship stronger.  But, that’d be the subject of another blog post.

I’m going to make this recap short.

1. Better manage eating out and bringing lunch to work
EPIC FAIL.  I’m getting slightly better at the end of the year, but Sept-Nov were really awful on this.

2. 3 camping trips for 2011 – with 1 in a new location.
FAIL.  We did however take a few trips across the country.  Seeing Nashville was fun.   Sadly, our vacation time was largely nuked by family challenges.

3. Pay off one more loan.
WIN.   The “Dave Ramsey Plan” is working well.

4. Do more writing / more blog posting.
FAIL.  I’ve actually been far more focused on piano this year.

5. Ship something at work or home.
WIN.  I hope to post the press release about this when it’s out.

6. Improve garden and yard care.
FIN – WIN. ME – FAIL.  Fin made a lot of progress on the garden this year.  I’d like to say I did more, but I worked a lot this year.  Garden looks a lot better now.

7. Return to Martial Arts.
EPIC FAIL.  I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and most of my return is directly related to money.  I’m considering some alternatives on how to make this inexpensive, but the reality is this is an expensive hobby.

8. Unpack office, file ‘to file pile’, and unpack 1 garage box.
Mixed.  A couple boxes have FINALLY been unpacked. Office still needs unburied and shit needs filed.

9. Start making molded soap.
 Partial WIN.  I made one batch of molded soap, it turned out ok.  Need to continue on this.

10. Complete at least one carpentry / wood working project solo.
FAIL.  Never really had a solid idea that panned out.

Fate's 2011 Resolutions

Yesterday, I told Fin I wrote a couple blog posts. Her immediate response? “So, did you post your Resolutions recap and are planning on posting resolutions for next year?” Me: “….” Well, why not? It’s tradition… So, new years resolutions, again:

1. Better manage eating out and bringing lunch to work
Fin and I have a basic “frozen leftovers” system where we freeze main courses for me to grab with my lunches. Still, I find I’ve slipped on my lunch grabbing for the office. This year, my goal is to get back to eating out only 1x a week, and making that a more planned event.

2. 3 camping trips for 2011 – with 1 in a new location.
This is less a resolution and more of a plan. Next year, I’d like to make 3 camping trips instead of 2. This really depends on both Fin and my schedules, but I think it should be doable.

3. Pay off one more loan.
Making good progress on this. With any luck, this will be nuked from my resolutions list the next couple go-a-rounds.

4. Do more writing / more blog posting.
I’ve got a few writing projects in my head that I’d like to get accomplished. I’d also like to see myself blogging here more often and about more stuff. I started the year off right on that, let’s see if I can keep it up. This years goal is 1 post a month here, and at least half of a book I want to write.

5. Ship something at work or home.
My professional life has seen so many, many canceled projects and products and time sinks over the past few years. I’m hoping to get something out the door either professionally or in my hobby time. By the time this year is out, I’m determined to have SOME software being used by a new customer SOMEWHERE. Damnit.

6. Improve garden and yard care.
For 2011, I’d like to see us have a better looking yard / and continue on making the garden awesome. This year, we did a lot to get the garden started. This next year, I’m hoping to continue that tradition, and help Fin make an even better garden. There’s a few things that went wrong last year, and a lot we did right. This year, we should be able to do even better. Better yard care basically means keeping a solid schedule of cutting the grass, triming the bushes, and ensuring the garden doesn’t get overgrown.

7. Return to Martial Arts.
With the new job, the work/schedule/money matrix looks a lot better for making this happen. It might have happened last year, except I started in mid-Dec right before the holiday season. With the holiday’s past, this should be doable. It’s just a matter of getting the motivation now that several obstacles are improved. By December next year, I’d like to have a couple months attendance at a local school. After that, I’ll decide if my not returning was do to lack of interest or being overwhelmed otherwise.

8. Unpack office, file ‘to file pile’, and unpack 1 garage box.
I’m simplifying my unpacking resolution this year to something very specific. There’s probably too much crap floating around the house to see everything unpacked, but this should be doable and greatly improve our computer area.

9. Start making molded soap.
At this point, I’ve made some solid soaps, and an (accidental) batch of liquid soap. With this years Christmas presents, I have some nice soap molds. I hope to make some cool molded soaps. I’m also thinking about maybe introducing color into the soap as well. Right now though, I do like the no added colors and only essential oils for scent though.

10. Complete at least one carpentry / wood working project solo.
I like that I’ve got family willing to help with a lot of this sorta stuff, but, I’d like to start doing more of this stuff on my own too, now that I’m getting a better feel for how it works.

Fate Gets A New Job

I don’t talk much about work here for a couple major reasons. First, I’m not a big fan of writing ‘blog-as-therapy’ entries. Second, my old employer forbade work-related blogging. Big companies generally try to keep their outward facing image consistent. Individuals muck that up.

Now, I’m sure all 3 of our readers will likely have noticed something of a sharp decline in the amount of entries here. I like writing, and when I started this blog, I had high hopes the experiments Fin and I were doing in our daily lives (trash reduction, used vs. new, composting, soap) would make interesting reading. We continued the experiments but I never really wrote about them. And really, the experiments continued more from Fin’s stick-to-it-ness than my efforts. For the past year or so, I’ve been fighting depression.

In early November, I stayed home sick a few days with the flu. Staying at home, I realized just how crappy “the job” making me feel. Of course, it doesn’t help when you’ve heard so much news about lay-offs and friends having difficulty finding or keeping a job. The thought comes, shouldn’t I be happy to just have a job? In my head, there’s a whole essay that answers that question. The short version is that in life it’s important to be happy with what you have, but also strive to do what you want. But then, where will you go?

“But where will you go?” is a bullshit question for fear based decision making. When asked by yourself or others, it tends to be more of an answer than a question. It’s implied that there’s not a better solution or way. You’re at the top of the world already, any other direction will be a step down. Being successful means finding where you want to be, not asking a bullshit question to not make a move.

So, I sent my resume out to a select few companies that struck my interest. I interviewed, and managed to find something new. I’m not sure how long I’ll be in this new spot, or happy there, or any other thing really. For the time being though, I’m happier than I was before. Part of that is finding something that better fits with my desired lifestyle and ideals. I’ve moved into a “Green Company” that will be helping me continue with the volunteer work I’ve been doing at local schools.

As advanced as society and tools have become, our lives have also become complicated. Health insurance, transportation, standard of living, job security, etc… etc… It almost seems to me, that as we moved away from the farms into industrialized civilization, that we introduced complexity just to make things in life seem more meaningful. As much as the tools of civilization make our lives easier, I also wonder if they simply enable us to lie to ourselves too.

Fate's 2010 Resolutions Recap

Recap of last years resolutions:
1. Reduce / Eliminate trash at the office
Success. I started bringing in dish towels instead of using paper towels. At the my new job, I’m throwing practically nothing away on a daily basis. 🙂

2. Go camping / outdoors more often
Mixed. Fin and I spent more time outdoors, but spent less time camping. We did a LOT more outside though, with the garden.

3. Pay off another debt
Success. I got rid of a particularly nasty cash advance that had been around my kneck for a while.

4. Perfect a soap recipe / be able to make commercial quality soap
Success. I won’t say ‘perfect a soap recipe’, but we’ve been using my soap for the past year, with excellent results. Even the mistake batches have been good. Hoping to do another batch soon.

5. Return to martial arts
Fail. This never really worked from a time / money standpoint, and my old job was getting in the way as well.

6. Post more useful stuff more often
Fail. I’ve been really distracted for a while.

7. Grow and maintain a garden
SUCCESS. We had a great garden this past year.

8. Release some software / finish a project
Fail. I did make a lot of progress though…

9. Finish unpacking
EPIC FAIL. Yeah…. about those 5 new boxes of packed random crap…

10. Grow in maintenance / carpentry / plumbing / etc… skills
Continuing. I’ve got a lot to learn still…

Fate's 2009 Resolutions Wrap Up

2009 has been an extremely eventful year. If you told me at the start of last year, everything that would happen – I probably woulda thought you were joking. One of the things that I drive Fin crazy on, is that I tend to view plans more as guidelines, than actual plans. So, it isn’t really surprising how this years events are going to turn up in terms of ‘accomplished’ and ‘not’.

First, the accomplished:
Financial: Knock out one of my college debt accounts
Slight Win. I managed to pay off a couple credit cards, transfer some debt, and start making a dent in my loads of stupid.

Bucket List: Create new bucket list and accomplish at least 2 entries this year
Epic Win! Fireworks, BBQ, getting married, going camping, … I hit lots of entries on the new list and I’m looking forward to making a new list and doing more stuff.

Relationships: Do better than in ’08
EPIC WIN! I wake up every morning happy that I’m with a wonderful person, even if she is a bit of a nerd.

And now, the not:

Life: Figure out what I really want to be doing in 10 years.
Fail, but happy about it. This is a sorta weird one. I’m saying I didn’t figure it out, but I’m also thinking that’s a good thing. The best things in my life so far have been things I didn’t expect or know or have a clue about. It’s the things I overplanned that tended to blow up.

Personal Appearance: Move from “I buy clothes” to having a style
Fail, and not really caring anymore. I’ve decided that most all of men’s clothing = “I buy clothes”.

Personal Fitness: Run a 7 minute mile, continue advancement in martial arts.

Hobbies: Have Something to show for a writing project at the end of ’09
Hobbies: Release Self Hosting Microkernel
Fail, but I’m going to try again. The whole process of getting married and helping make a home killed the amount of free time required to do my hobby stuff.

Blog: Post more often
Fail. Funny, I just haven’t had as much to say, but that’s starting to change now.

General: Finish unpacking
EPIC FAIL! Dear God, it never ends…. And now, I’m convinced, I’ve accumulated EVEN MORE CRAP, not counting anything from Fin. How?!?! I don’t know…

So, to summarize, it looks like I’m 3 out of 10 on actually meeting my resolutions. I wonder how that compares to people in general.