The Lost Year – 2014 in Review

It occurs to me as I look back at my posts from last year, I didn’t do a 2013 “year in review” and that’s poor form on my part.

As I sat down to do this review of 2014, I went back and reviewed my goals. I knew that I wasn’t really working towards them, and we’ll get into the reason why in a minute. But to say that nothing really got done in 2014 would be a mostly true statement. At least from the perspective of personal goals. And will henceforth be referred to as “the lost year.”

So what happened in 2014 you ask? My wife decided to divorce me. She found someone else she would rather be with (trust me, I’m the better man here) and left me. Destroyed our family, made dealing with our special needs son more difficult, and refused to talk  about or work on the marriage. Between dealing with the emotional and mental fallout from that, there just wasn’t enough energy to do the things I had planned on doing in 2014. I gave no technical talks, did zero CodeCasts, and didn’t finish my book. What this means is that all of my goals for 2014 will be moved to 2015.

The only thing that got done was music got written for my band’s newest record. Between me writing music like crazy and my singer/lyricist’s ability to write lyrics at neck breaking speeds, we got most of a new album written and even had some left over for a new EP that’ll see the light of day in early 2015. This was the outlet I chose for dealing with my issues. It was quite a healthy outlet and let me work through some of the stuff in my head and in my heart.

Lets look at what was suppose to get done in 2014 and will now get accomplished in 2015.

Weight Loss

I’m mostly finished with getting to where I want to be weight and body wise. I did manage in 2014 to get down to around 165 pounds but then put went back up to 175. Also got my body fat percentage down to 19% but it’s now back up around 23%. My goal in 2014 was to get my body fat percentage down to 15%. This will be the goal in 2015. I’lll look at accomplishing this by really getting serious about my exercising. I’ll get back to walking and running almost daily, and hitting the gym to lift weights following a routine, sticking to it. We’ll also attempt to eat less fast food, and expand the meals I eat at home sticking to leaner meats and better snacks.

CodeCasts.tv Episodes

One of the things I wanted to do in 2014 was get CodeCasts.tv back up and running on some kind of at least semi-regular schedule. I’d like to see me getting a new episode out every week, but will settle for every other week if that’s what it takes. It may start out every other week and move to every week as I get more episodes completed and waiting for release. Some topics I have to look at covering are: Metaprogramming Ruby, Bash, Various Unix tools (grep, ack, sed, etc), test driven development, and maybe some VIM related episodes.

Writing

First and foremost, I’ll finish my book “Ship It!” in the first quarter of 2015. For me “Finished” means it’s purchasable on Amazon as that was the original goal. My good friend (who’s also a self published author) finished the initial round of potential edits earlier this year but given all the other things I was trying to deal with, it just fell to side.

Also, for 2015 I will attempt to write a fictional short story of Amazon Kindle Single length (5,000 to 30,000 words) and release that as well. I have a character that I’d like to explore and a short story seems like a perfect way to begin doing that. It’s a bang for buck scenario where I can start to write stories in a fictional universe while working towards a goal of a full fledged book for the character down the line.

Music

While my band has been hitting it out of the park (believe me, you’ll love what we put out here soon), I haven’t worked on my personal music and songwriting since before I got married. This is an area I’ve long wanted to improve in and since I have time again I’m going to put some effort into. My goal is to release a 5 song EP by the end of the year, at a minimum. A full length album would be a nice stretch goal, but definitely want to get the EP done and released. And by “released” I mean at a minimum it can be purchased via Bandcamp.com. I will do my personal best to record all the instruments, using helpful software instruments where ever possible.

Some of these goals I’ve already started to work on. I usually transition from working on the current year’s goals to the next year’s in December. Given that most of these goals are being carried over from last year, it’s easy to start working on them now. Keep your eyes and ears open, I’m hoping to bring lots of goodness your way in 2015.

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