Observant readers may notice that there was no 2016 recap post. That would be an accurate observation. Truth be told I did start composing last year’s recap, but didn’t actually get around to finishing or posting it. Life sorta crept up and to be perfectly honest I’ve been a little narrow sighted over the past year. I was able to accomplish a lot this past year, almost all of it work related. I’ve found a lot of success this year, my career is growing, but I’ve also neglected myself somewhat.
The short of it is that I’m working in my field at a company where I’ve got great opportunities to make positive change, I’m living comfortably in a city brimming with cool things (that I really need to get out and experience more often), and I’m easily in the worst shape of my life. 2/3 ain’t bad.
I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish professional this year. Since starting full time in January I’ve been able to complete an enterprise wide transition to Windows 10, implemented a new toner inventory management system, integrated a new OS deployment process, and taken on a leadership role within my department. I’ve been given great opportunities to not only expand my capabilities but the capabilities of my team and our organization. On a scale calibrated only for measuring my own personal success, I’d give my professional self a solid 8/10.
Let’s get the personal rating out of the way. I’d rate myself a pretty meh 4/10 this year. Not because of any failings or falling short of personal expectations, but because I just didn’t really do all that much. But what I DID do, I think I did pretty well. Two of my best friends got married this summer (Winnipeg Winniwedding Time Lapse) and I had the amazing privilege of being a part of their wedding party. This was easily the highlight of my year. My good friend Tony and I had an awesome, though much delayed (13 hours!!), journey from Toronto to Winnipeg via train, which is still something I recommend everyone do at least once if they are able. Being able to see so many of my good friends for several days in Winnipeg really energized me. I’ve been using work as an excuse not to get out and do things, and taking a week off to just be around people that I like spending time with for the sake of it really reminded me that while I’m an introvert who expends social energy, I really do love being around people and being social. Will and Rachel’s wedding pushed the entire trip over the edge and is a day that I won’t forget.
And thaaaaaaaaaaat is basically the only thing I did for “myself” all year. Thus the 4/10. I saw far fewer movies this year than I think I would have liked. That being said, and I’m starting to see a bit of a theme here, I really enjoyed what I did get out and see. Thor: Ragnarok was an absolute blast and Blade Runner 2049 was a truly fantastic follow up to one of my favourite movies of all time. We also embarked on our 3rd annual Star Wars road trip from Saskatoon to Regina to see The Last Jedi in IMAX. The movie seems to have mixed reactions from most people, and maybe it’s because we turn Star Wars into this big once-a-year group event, but I enjoyed it. It’s not without its flaws – the story was good, the plot had a few holes, the script was weak, and I think there was a bit too much humour and one-liners tossed in. But I had a great time and Mark Hamill’s performance was absolutely fantastic.
Academic year rating: 10/10. I completed my program this year and graduated from Seneca WITH HONOURS. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself for such an accomplishment. Though strike action by the Ontario College Faculty Union strike my convocation ceremony was cancelled and rescheduled for the end of June, 2018. But I have officially completed my program and received my diploma. No longer just Steve, the Red Wizard who’s good at computers; now Steve, the Red Wizard who is officially good at computers.
But that also means that all of my student loans are now in repayment. It’s manageable but it also means I’m still a bit financially limited at the moment. I had to miss out on a trip to Las Vegas with the boys, but they had a fantastic trip all the same and we’ll be planning another group trip that I won’t be missing out on next time.
So, as is (poorly executed) tradition, this (somewhat) annual update will come in three parts;
Part the first: Past Resolutions
- Find the time
Or, as my last update put it, make the time. Did I make the time? Maybe. But actually, did I? Not really. So that goes back on the list.
Part the second: New Resolutions
- Make the time for myself
This is sort of tied to the carry-over resolution, but I need to specifically make time for myself. I want to rediscovery my hobbies, maybe start new ones, but overall i don’t want to feel “lost” when I’ve got downtime. Since finishing school and starting work I’ve gotten very used to being busy, but whenever I’ve got time to myself I don’t really know what to do anymore. Part of this is my ADHD brain needing stimulation, part of it is having not had time for myself for so long I’ve forgot what I used to do. I also find that in my downtime I feel a strong urge to be “productive”. When I’m watching movies, TV, or even reading for leisure, I don’t really feel like I’m getting anything done. I need to teach myself how to switch off and not get things done again.
- Let’s get physical
My apartment has a super convenient bus stop right out my front door that I use to get to work every day. But this also means that, unlike when I was in school, I don’t need to walk or ride my bike for 30 minutes each morning to get where I’m going. I also spend most of my time at work sitting (best worst part of IT). My diet isn’t bad but no matter how good your diet is you still need to incorporate some form of physical activity to help shape a balanced lifestyle. So tying back into finding time for myself and fostering new hobbies, I need to incorporate physical activity back into my life. Whether this means finally taking advantage of the gym membership I get through work, picking up a physical hobby, or just going for regular walks (you know who loves walks? Dogs.Been thinking about that a lot lately, too), I’m going to make it a major part of my lifestyle starting this year.
Part the Third: Putting it all together.
All of these resolutions are intertwined. Making time for non-work activities, for other people, and most importantly for myself. Rediscovering old hobbies, discovering new ones, and reincorporating physical activity into my lifestyle. Part of accomplishing all this will be laying out achievable goals and building realistic plans to work towards those goals. I think part of this should also include regular posts and updates to help keep myself accountable, and to also get me writing more.
Doing these posts at the end of the year is always a lot of fun but also difficult because I need to think back over the entire year and there are always things left behind as a result. Throughout 2018 I’m going to start writing and posting monthly recaps at the end of every month. Not only to make 2018’s annual recap easier, but also to get myself writing more and being more mindful of the things that I’m doing on a regular basis.
I’ve been writing this post over the past 4 days I’ve been visiting Saskatoon, it’s probably time to hit Publish and start working on marking down some of the smaller goals mentioned above.
Overall, I’m giving 2017 an 8/10. Here’s to making 2018 at least a 9/10.