At Year's End

It's that time again, folks! 2018 is here and wow, did it arrive super fast! As per usual, I didn't blog much. I thought about it a lot though! If only I had a thoughts to blog post brain extension to solve this problem... OH WAIT! I do! (looks at hands) I guess I'm just lazy then. Anyway, you know how this works. Let's look at last year's goals and see how we did, then make some new goals.

Last Year's Goals

1. Learn at least 3 new programming languages Fail

After I switched jobs, I actually had very little need for this. Anything that I would have learned wouldn't have been used, and thus quickly forgotten. I still think there's value in it, but it just became a low priority. So while I failed at this, I'm not broken up about it.

2. Learn at least 3 front end frameworks I don't already know - Success

I didn't learn 3. Technically one of the frameworks I learned I started learning in November of 2016, but I don't think I felt really comfortable with it until well into 2017. So I'm counting it. I also didn't learn the frameworks I listed, but I still learned 3. So I win.

3. Follow through on at least 2 personal coding projects not including this website - Fail

My personal priorities changed after the first few months of the year. I continued working on this site into April, and then I took a break because it was soaking up all my freetime. It wasn't a bad thing, but I wanted to do other stuff. I think once I headed out to Google I/O and switched jobs, the year got away from me. I spent time planning out finding a new place to live, finding another vehicle, planning a trip / surgery in South Korea, and suddenly it was December. Oh yeah, and once the Nintendo Switch arrived...all freetime was gone.

4. Get out of my house / comfort zone more - Huge Fail

This is an ongoing problem for me that really needs to change. Spoiler Alert! This will be a goal again this year, only with a measurable part. One could say "Jess, you flew all the way to Seoul! Does that not count?" and the answer is...I guess? I don't think of it that way. I don't play video games on weeknights. And I've been playing a number of huge, open world games that take forever. This is what took up my weekends this year, which means I've not been going out and doing shit. This is a problem. I love these games, but I need to get out more.

5. Don't settle anymore - Mixed

I'm no longer settling in a lot of ways. I went out on dates this year, and despite there being a lot of interest from the other parties, I was feeling emotionless and empty inside. So I ended it rather than continue on. That's good in a number of ways. I also made some really solid choices on what I want in a job / employer that has been super awesome for me. So you might be like "Isn't that a success then? Why is this labeled as mixed?". You're right, it probably should be, but it's also mixed because I don't think I'm satisfied with how dating and my love life has gone since making this goal. Is that because I'm not settling? Debatable...probably not. OK FINE! This goal is a Success.

6. Stop thinking and start acting / doing - Fail

As per usual for me, I still am thinking and not doing. There were a few times I didn't let this happen this year, namely with getting a gym membership and going (at least for a while). This is continually a problem though. The only major goal I set and accomplished is building a VR gaming machine. Much like the social goal, I need to make this more measurable.

7. Get my retirement plan in order - Giant Fail

Much like the opening statement of last year's definition of this goal, I've been actively avoiding this. I do eventually need to address it though. I need to get my priorities in order for it.

8. Learn to not hate cardio - Impossible

So... I tried. I gave it my best effort. I learned that I can do cardio, but I will never stop hating it. What I can say is that I like what cardio does for me, and I like how my body feels after working out, in general. I plan to return to the gym after the new year's rush ends. So like...February. Cardio will be a part of that. I'm not going to enjoy doing it though.

9. Make use of my passport - Success

I went to South Korea! Passport used! *success music plays*

10. Visit friends as often as possible - Mixed

My goal was 4, but I didn't get to that number. I visited friends in San Francisco. I visited friends in New York. I also visited Family, which only half counts because that's always planned. I didn't travel more than that because time got away from me, and stuff (Zelda, moving, Korea) got in the way. I've already got plans to visit 3 different friend locales in 2018. So I'm sure this will get better.

Final Verdict on 2017 Goals

3 successes, 1 Mixed, 5 Fails, and 1 deemed impossible. It seems 3 successes is my standard now as it's happened for several years in a row. Consistency is not improvement though. I can do better. Overall though, what a whirlwind of a 2017. I never would have expected I'd fly to the other side of the world to get surgery this year. The unexpected is exciting, and I want to keep that up. Onward to 2018!


2018 Goals

I did categories last year. It really ended up only being two categories. So we're not doing that this year. I might have some goals that have logical grouping, and if I do, I'll put them next to each other. Otherwise, I'm rather looking forward to 2018. I think it's going to be a great year.

Alright, let's do this! Leeeeeeeerooooooooooooooy Jeeeeeeeeeeeenkiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins!!!!!!

1. End the great hermitage of 2017

Yes, this is my "Be more social and get out more" goal. It's number 1 because I think it's the biggest thing that really needs to change going into the new year. I love my me time, and like any introvert, I love cancelled plans. I need a balance though. I always feel great after going and being social. So my goal for this year is to do one social thing a week. It can be arranging plans to hang out with a friend, going to a meetup, a facebook event, or a party. It just can't be professional related or going to the gym. Those don't count. Valid excuses include being sick, injured, weather issues, or extenuating circumstances. I also give myself 3 passes that I can use up at any time. Stupid introvert brain...

2. Build some things, dammit!

This is my "turn thoughts into reality" goal from last year. This year it'll be measurable. I have a number of things I want to see happen. So we're doing a sub-list.

  1. Make every other Sunday "Project Sunday" where I dedicate time to build / make something.
  2. Make or finish 4 costumes
  3. Build out more website features to this site, namely the commenting system, pagination, and blog navigation
  4. Pull R2-D2 out of hiatus and add more stuff to him (dome for sure, legs are a bonus)
  5. I need sword mounting / storage gear that displays well in my apartment. This is something I could definitely build myself.

3. Reprioritize financial goals

2017 was expensive. Moving cost me a lot due to using a rental agent, hiring movers and having to do first and last month rent. The Korea trip was as expensive as you'd think. I hadn't expected to spend so much this year. So, I have plans to shift my goals to other things. Here's another sub list.

  1. Allocate more funds to savings
  2. Spend more on clothing (more on this later)
  3. Put some funds towards R2
  4. Put funds towards my apartment (more on this later)
  5. Save for laser hair removal on my legs

4. Replace my wardrobe

Since moving to Boston, I've gone shopping only a handful of times, and I've not enjoyed much of any of it. I think a lot of it has to do with the styles that are in right now. I'm really not a fan of the 80's resurgence, as no one could ever say the 80s were good fashion wise. I've also been so darn lazy with my wardrobe choices most of the year too, which has annoyed me. I've done the "software engineer uniform" for a large part of the year, aka t-shirt, jeans, and a hoodie. Don't get me wrong, it's comfortable, but it's literally the least I can do. I know from the past that when I put effort into my clothes and stuff, I feel really good about myself. So, I'm going to make an effort to do that this year with my clothing choices. I especially want more dresses in my life, as I wear them rarely right now. Part of that is laziness with leg shaving, which is why my prior financial goal bullet point of funds for laser on my legs is there. I have long legs and dark hair. I'd wear dresses more if it wasn't annoying to shave them.

5. Make my apartment feel like a home

I moved in August, and I'm still using a folding table instead of an actual table for my dining room / eating space. My guest room is a mess. I've got one or two things on the walls, and I have no curtains hanging, despite curtain rods being present. Obviously given the Korea trip and the aforementioned cost of moving, home goods have not been at the top of my list, but I want to get to a place where I feel less embarassed having people over. I need furniture, rugs, curtains, a table, a better desk, and wall decorations. By January 1, 2019, I want to have a place that feels much more cozy.

6. Keep off the weight

I didn't mention this earlier, but I lost over 10 pounds this year. I saw a photo of myself at Google I/O in May, and all I could see was my belly. I was really self conscious for quite a while after that. I'm sure no one else ever noticed it, but it's all I could see. I have an ideal healthy weight that I hit right after getting back from Korea, and I felt really great about it. Part of it had to do with working out, eating better, and then having surgery, which made me not want to eat for a bit. I've since gained a few pounds back, but not a lot. I'd like to keep myself hovering around that goal weight. I like how I feel about myself when I'm there.

7. Learn how to do hair stuff

I made a goal in years past to learn how to do eye makeup better, and that went exceptionally well. I get compliments on my makeup frequently now, which is awesome. Plus it's super fun, and I enjoy it. It's contributed to an addiction to Urban Decay makeup and a need for more makeup storage though. So there are downsides. Ha! Anyway, I've never been confident doing anything with my hair other than blowdrying it and what not. I absolutely love the loose curl look, and I have everything I need to do it. I just need to try it and get comfortable with it. I want to change things up and try all sorts of things. YouTube should help me here, but I think the biggest concern for me is melting my hair or burning my hands. So wish me luck!

8. Learn three.js

Here's my one specific coding goal. Three.js is a library that allows full 3D animation on the web using canvas. I love doing animation on the web, and I've wanted to learn 3D for so long. I think this would be a great entrance into that realm, and it has both personal and professional benefits. So this is a solid one for me to take on this year.

9. Swording

My relationship with HMA, sword training, etc, has been a rough one this year. I left my sword club towards the end of last year partly because of injury and the other part because I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't having fun, and I asked myself if I'm not having fun, why am I doing something? So I stopped. I've been thinking a lot about my history with sword training, what I love about it, and what I don't. I've realized that I really don't enjoy classroom environments for it. I like to learn and get better, but I don't learn well with physical activity in a classroom / drill environment. I need a balance of classroom and sparring to really enjoy it. I realized that I missed the approach my past groups had, which happened to be reenactment groups. While I don't care much for taking on the historical personas and what not, I love the training and camaraderie of those groups. The swordsmanship and techniques there may not be HMA quality, but who cares? The HMA community also seems to focus entirely too much on tournaments and competition, which really doesn't interest me. So I'm trying to figure out what I want to do in relation to this. I've considered spending more time with the Viking Irish, and I'm also strongly considering starting my own group of Amazon fighting women. I just need to work out the logistics. Regardless of all of this, I want to get back into swords in a way that feels healthy for me. If it's not swords, than maybe it's a local parkour club or something. That'd be cool too.

10. Dating / Finding love

As I mentioned earlier in the 2017 assessment of my "Don't settle" goal, I wasn't feeling dating much this year. My heart wasn't in it. I've been thinking a lot about my feelings and why it hasn't been there. I know I'm so overprotective of my heart being broken now that it's kept me from opening up. I'm hoping to change that. My mother told me a story over the holidays about my grandmother and her history with love. I never met my grandfather. He died from cancer years before I was even a thought. I realized I never saw my grandmother with anyone new. I asked my mom, and she told me that my grandmother did attempt dating. She met a man who ended up lying to her face and cheating on her. After that happened, she never dated again. She spent 30 years of her life alone, largely as a hermit. I never knew this, and it really made me think about how similar our situations are / were. I don't want that to be my story, too. So my dating hiatus ends with 2017.

Closing thoughts

Given how 2017 when, I think the theme of 2018 is "Expect the Unexpected". It was an interesting year, and I expect 2018 to be even more so. Let's plan on seeing each other this year, you...friend that's reading this, and let's make it a fun time! See you soon!