2017 Retrospective

Since we're coming up on the end of the year, and by the time I make this blog public we very well may be at the start of 2018, I thought it might be a good idea to start by introducing myself, looking back at 2017 in all it's awfulness.

This year has globally been a pretty shit year. The Orange Menace was sworn into office, and our thoroughly bribed legislators have been working more in favor of their campaign donors than their constituents; this has been infinitely more obvious on the Republican side of things, but I don't doubt that it's going on to some extent on the Democratic side as well. It's been an uphill battle to convince legislators to vote in their constituents favor; and lately we've lost a couple of important battles. I'm certainly not looking forward to losing the student loan interest deduction on my taxes, which for years has been the only good thing about the mountain of student loan debt that I'm still trying to crawl out from under. Oh, and our government is doing nothing about climate change and has in fact gone so far as to remove the phrases "global warming" and "climate change" from government websites. If we don't acknowledge that it exists, it can't hurt us, right? Just like monsters when we were children.

So, the world is going to shit. Or the U.S.A. is, at least. In my personal and professional world, though, the major changes have been by and large positive, which is a little guilt-inducing.

I started a new day job as an administrative assistant at a prominent academic institution, which came with amazing benefits, including healthcare, discounted housing, and tuition assistance if I ever decide to go back to school to get a graduate degree. The salary isn't bad either, and for the first time in my life, my job consists almost entirely of writing, editing, and proofreadings tasks. I even care about the goals of the institution that I work for, which is a major bonus.

I started a new podcast, called Wine and Three-Quarters with three of my friends. We're looking at life through the lens of Harry Potter since we have one person from each house in the group. I'm the Ravenclaw. Podcasting is not something that I ever thought I'd be good at, since I didn't think I was any good at talking in general, but it's been a blast. Even if 0 people were listening, I'd still keep doing it because it's fun to hang out with Amanda, Jeaninne, and Jeff every week to talk about a different topic.

I also moved into a new apartment that's about a fifteen minute walk from my new job, and the short commute is absolute heaven.

A year is a really long time, now that I think about it. I tried a lot of things in 2017, and didn't stick with most of them. I'm at a different gym now than I belonged to at the start of 2017, and I had a long gap between the two of them where I didn't exercise at all. I ran the fastest 5k I've ever run, and then a month or so later injured my heel; I'm not entirely sure how. I have an appointment to get an ultrasound to see what's going on for the end of this week. Recently I've had the idea to train for a triathlon, so I signed up for the campus gym, but I've been enjoying swimming so much more than biking (I'm not running until I get my feet figured out) that I think I might just stick to swimming as my event for the time being? It's up in the air, anyway. There'll be a goal update on the podcast in a couple of weeks; hopefully I'll have made my decision by then.

I just, really like swimming. It's more like play than exercise. I think I ought to follow that, probably. But on the other hand, a sprint triathlon isn't going require as much training for the other two disciplines, really. If I just want to finish.

So in 2017 I've entirely failed to stick to a fitness plan, but I have succeeded in continuing to exercise in some way, shape or form.

I've also kept at the book, though I've taken a couple day break for the holiday. I plan to dive back into it seriously on Tuesday. It's coming along - I've got something like 20,000 words, and I've already scrapped one full outline.

I also joined Mastodon, which is this amazing open source social network. There's not a lot of people on it, yet, but there's enough. My home instance, if you want to check it out, is wandering.shop -- it was originally created for sci-fi and fantasy writers, but it's open to all sorts of nerdy people. I love it for the fact that I regularly get to interact with other writerly sorts, PLUS have conversations about tea, knitting, and general fandom. Also, everyone is super nice. If any of that sounds interesting to you, I would highly recommend it.

So that's my life in 2017; I'll be back in a couple days with a look ahead, at what I want to accomplish in 2018.