Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two-Thousand Twelve

In 2011, I had the goal of a post every day. I didn't share that goal with anyone, just in case I decided to change my mind, there'd be no witnesses. I was successful and actually logged 380 posts in 2011, up from 375 in 2010. In 2012, I decided I wouldn't have any specific plans to post and, well, it showed, with an anemic, pathetic 171 total posts.

Is that pathetic? I think so. I think I had more to say, there were times where there was something nagging at me, but I never got around to writing.

One thing that was different was that I traded regular laptop use for iPad. That definitely changed behavior - I became much more about consumption versus creation. I feel that's a bit sad, especially if it's a trend and not just my experience. How much are we missing when people consume without contributing?

I will try to do better in 2013. Not for any sort of vanity or pride, but because I felt like I left a lot unsaid in 2012. And boy was it ever a year, from our trip to the ER and resulting hospital stay to the numerous power outages and all the things that made for a rather frustrating year.

Without further ado, a look back at what I *did* write about in 2012.

January 2012: Things (7 total posts)

As with all new years, it provides the opportunity for new starts, new beginnings, new attempts to better ourselves (yes, you know where I'm going with this), new goals for oneself, the dreaded new year's resolutions. [...] I have too many things. Phsyical, mental, it's all clutter. So, for this year, I'm going to have a simple motto: SIMPLIFY.

I feel like I failed miserably and I'll dive into that in a separate post or series of posts in the near future.

Also in January: I canceled or suspended a few blogs, trimmed my Google Reader list and complained that Google wasn't following its own advice. Also, cheered for Ben for a big success at school. On to January's posts...

February 2012: One Little Word (5 total posts)

I regretted it the minute I said it. One little word I wish I hadn't said. I stammered an apology and moved on. It was out there, I couldn't take it back and I hoped that it wouldn't cause the listener to discount everything my boss and I had said in the past hour, trying to make our case.

Also in February: I again traveled to Miami on business, and I made a pledge to post more on my blog. (Ha!) And a book review. Did not read enough books this past year. On to February's posts...

March 2012: Free Therapy (13 total posts)

It's been quite fascinating learning about our children's diagnoses, a kind of free therapy. for instance, I learned that autistic children sometimes make use of a weighted blanket at dinner or sleep time - that it's comforting and heko them feel secure. So i've lately been adding extra blankets on the bed (this doesn't work in the summer) and been sleeping far more soudly. Or when in a meeting with our daughter's neurobehavioralist, he asks "Who lived in a house with boxes?" my wife quickly raises her hand, remembering the constant moving around they did when she as growing up. Or when he asks "Who uses lists as a coping mechanism?" and we both quickly raise our hands.

Most of my posts in March were summaries of the sessions I attended at the Email Evolution Conference in February. On to March's posts...

April 2012: 500 in 300 - Failure (23 posts)

I didn't make it. I really failed in winter. I'd need to run more than 5 miles a day to meet my deadline and that's not going to happen. Life's too busy for me to run every day and I'm still re-building at this stage. I am running a couple of times a week and I'll get to 500, but not in the remaining 42 days.

Most of April's posts were me tracking my diet and exercise. That would ultimately turn out to be a pain in the rear, I had made it too complicated. I'm not sure when, but I stopped running in a big way, probably near the end of summer. These posts are essentially worthless because they don't mean anything now in a historical perspective. I'm also still a ways off of that goal, not as far as I was at the end of April, but surprisingly close. I will get there. I am again mostly tracking, but for awhile there in November and December I enthusiastically jumped off the diet wagon and then quickly *ate* the wagon. On to April's posts...

May 2012: Tempest (53 posts)

A neighbor's car caught fire tonight. The fire engines came, everyone watched, they doused it with lots of water, they left, the people dispersed. Show's over, back to your normal lives. Except for them. They've now got a driveway full of burnt car and chemicals and insurance to deal with and all that. It's at these moments when you realize how insignificant one's trauma is to the world, even as it's all-consuming for everyone else. You want people to understand your pain but they've moved on. I hate that. I know people who've gone through stuff that changed them forever. Their reality is permanently altered. We join them temporarily for the journey (or in some cases, we simply observe it as we drive by) but all too often people live through their traumas mostly alone.

I picked back up posting, temporarily. There are more posts that aren't dieting stuff, but a lot of that as well. I started a series on identity that even now at the end of the year, I never finished. We celebrated Ben's fourth birthday and I also posted a number of nearly stream-of-concious posts. I'm also noticing that 2012 was a year of a lot of typos. This, too, I'm suspecting is a result of the shift to the iPad. (I'm typing this year-end on a laptop, so hopefully I won't disprove this theory and instead find that I'm just getting worse at typing.) On to May's posts...

June 2012: Weight Loss Update (18 posts)

That said, things are coming along well - I'm down to 150.4 as of this morning - 5.4 pounds from goal and highly motivated to get there. I've gotten out of the habit of snacking late at night while exercising and I'm drinking a lot more water now (I'm addicted to the carbonated flavored waters). I am also mentally preparing for the need to replace most of my wardrobe - I've reached the point where stuff is just to big to the point of looking bad or becoming difficult to wear - like pants - so much bunched material at waistline that it's annoying/uncomfortable.

As it stands today, I'm actually up from that point. This is my typical MO. Get close, and then something derails me and I lose ground. The good news is that each time, it's losing ground from a lower goal. So I'm still about 50 pounds less than when I moved here 6 years ago. In June I also had a long post about Autism, God and Parenting (which was also not ironically the title of the post) and five more in my identity series. On to June's posts...

July 2012: Holding Pattern (9 posts)

I realized late last night that I've been acting like I'm in a holding pattern - that I've been mentally "holding my breath." I can't completely explain it, but I've been holding back, holding off, restraining myself. I've been unwilling to do what I normally do, pursuing what I normally pursue. I've been delaying, postponing, deferring, thinking "someday," and "eventually." I've been trying to figure out the source and I've come up with quite a few.

There was also one more post in the identity series and one of my quick creative writing exercises. On to July's posts...

August 2012: Call It a Priority Maybe (13 posts)

Read a post on Lifehacker recently that's stuck with me - to boil it down, it said "Don't say you don't have time, say it's not a priority.". Sorry, didn't file the TPS reports because I was busy. No, I prioritized something else ahead of it. I've really been liking it - I've started to try to think about it at work when declining meeting requests or setting aside an email to maybe get to later. But in my non-work life, I've struggled with it. There are a few things I currently am not doing but would really like to be. But it finally dawned on me tonight - unlike work, not all non-work hours are created equal.

I guess I didn't internalize this because I like the notion but haven't practiced it. I'll need to give it some more thought. Also, a diet update and then just a series of throw-away posts based on stuff I took photos of. On to August's posts...

September 2012: So Worth It (5 posts)

Two bright shiny new cars in the garage. Looks so good. Ok, fine, a 13-year-old sedan and an 8-year-old small SUV. But I spent $8 each to get them washed this afternoon. In California, we very regularly paid to have the cars washed. Now, granted, the cars were newer, there were lots of car washes, and they also vacuumed the insides and washed the inside windows and wiped down all of the interior surfaces, but it was something we indulged in.

Within days, the 13-year-old car would die for good and then sit in the garage for weeks. We attempted to buy a new car in what turned out to be a horrible experience, then borrowed a car for a while from a very gracious friend, got a referral to another dealership (in Olympia!) where we bought a car (after he brought it to our house for a test drive!). Took forever to get the old one successfully donated and towed away. And mom and dad identified a major-important house repair that I started but then didn't get finished before the weather turned bad. Everything else this month was an identity post. On to September's posts...

October 2012: Tasked (8 posts)

I love the written word. It is my favorite medium for communication. In a book, I can pause, wind it back, read it again and again. I can put it down for weeks, or spend an entire weekend, book in hand. And then there's Twitter -- challenging you to choose wisely if you want to craft something brilliant in its tiny box.

A quiet month for the blog, but two introspective posts. The other sees me deciding to take the elevator more as an attempt to be more extroverted. I would abandon this idea within a few weeks as I discovered that I was actually more likely to encounter people (especially friendly people) if I started using the stairs again, partially because the interactions were quicker and face-to-face. It seems elevator-dwellers are more likely to be grumpy and keep to themselves. That was a surprise to me. On to October's posts...

November 2012: Run Down (6 posts)

I went out there yesterday and just decided to run. Did the loop around the lake, 2.7 miles. First run in a really long time. Today, I looked at the rain and decided I didn't want to run in that. So, walked down the stairs and out of the building for a walk and realized, I didn't even want to walk. I did, but man, I'm really sore from yesterday's run. Hopefully I'll still do another run soon. It's the danger season with Halloween candy, Thanksgiving and Christmas treats all in the immediate future. I need to run or else I'm gonna have even farther to go next year.

Yep, I called it. This month was one of those times that we really got derailed and turned sideways, when our son was diagnosed as epileptic on top of his autism (which was actually diagnosed second) after he had four seizures in one morning, the first on his bedroom floor prompting us to drive quickly (but legally) to the ER, from which we were transferred to a second ER and finally the Children's Hospital for an overnight stay and one of the longest periods in my life. Our stay + ambulance ride between the two hospitals cost more than the car we had just purchased, but thanks to insurance, our cost wasn't much at all. That's made me think about the state of health care in this country but I won't pontificate here except to say that I'm grateful for heath care and the current debate around mental health is a pathetic attempt to draw attention away from gun control, as much as I would appreciate more help/services for my children. On to November's posts...

December 2012: Conspiracy (11 posts so far)

So a new conspiracy has arisen - that Sandy Hook was orchestrated by the government (or a governmental organization) as a way to garner support for a UN Small Arms treaty. A mentally ill 20-year-old was conscripted to shoot children and then kill himself. That's even more ludicrous than the idea of 19 Saudi Arabian citizens being hired by the United States government (or a defense contractor) to hijack and crash airliners into skyscrapers in downtown New York and the Pentagon. Where do people come up with this stuff?

I've started to make an effort to post more, and Lori and I came up with a new product that we'd like to help farmer look classy after 6 pm while remaining authentic. In the new year, I'm committing to a post a day in January based on a theme provided by two friends of mine, and as I write this I'm also thinking about how I failed at "Simplicity" this past year and what I want to say about that and what I'm thinking about as a theme for next year.

(Disclaimer: It might just be "Simplify" again. Or it might be "Hang it all. The year I stopped caring and became laid back and everybody hated/loved me for it." Ehhhh... probably not because I'd hate myself for it.) I'm also putting together lists of what's tops in iTunes, but that's mostly just for me because it's interesting to see how stuff has changed (or not) over time and it's been too long since I posted such a list.

On to December's posts...

So as we wrap up 2012, Lori and I will be enjoying our time honored tradition: Kids to bed, Olive Garden-To-Go and movies. This year: Pitch Perfect and The Bourne Redundancy.

Past years:
2011 * 2010 * 2009 * 2008 * 2007a, 2007b, 2007c * 2006 *

The unfinished "Identity" series:

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