2014, The Year of Landmarks

December 31, 2014

Wow. This year absolutely flew by me, at something approaching light speed. I have read somewhere that as you get older, the years seem to go by faster and faster, and if 2014 has proved anything to me, it is the truth in that statement. I type this now, on a computer in Maryland, thinking about the people I know and the people I miss from throughout this blur of a year. Some folks got married, some of them moved or changed jobs; heck, one even had a kid and moved across the country!

My own life has seemed to be on an upswing of sorts… *knocks on wood* at least in the last few months. I got a job teaching full-time at a high school in the district I’d been subbing in, I have my own classroom, and Christine and I got a whole new apartment. We even got a new (ish) car! It’s incredible what time, patience, and support from my amazing family can provide. I want to take this small moment to say thank you to them, all of you who take time to read this business every year, and those who helped me whenever I needed it. The people in my life make my life worth living, I truly believe that. So, thanks.
Well, let’s take a look at this past year’s resolutions:

1. Focus on financial responsibility and independence.
One of the best parts about teaching full-time is the boost in the paycheck! Subbing was nice, but salaried pay is even nicer. I have legit health insurance now, you guys. I feel so grown up!

2. Read at least a dozen books. 
Did I read a dozen? Almost. I feel like as soon as September hit, I knew I wasn’t going to accomplish this resolution. But, thankfully, I have been able to read a book or two with my students, and I think that should count for something.

3. Donate to charity again.
Alas, financial difficulties in the first half of the year kept me from doing this one. I would like to do this regardless, either to Planned Parenthood or a youth organization that’s more local to help a noble cause. If you have a suggestion, hit me up.

4. Keep writing.
I have continued my goal of one new poem per month, and as of today I have written 20 poems in 2014… with one more brewing upstairs! I plan on posting that one after its finished in the next few days. I can also take this opportunity for a shameless plug: Christine and I have a separate WordPress blog called The Bird & The Fish, wherein we write prose-only short stories together. It started as a writing exercise but has blossomed into one of my favorite side projects.

5. Get outside my comfort zone.
This one’s a little iffy in my opinion. I didn’t go skydiving, for example, or go backpacking in Europe, or anything like that. But I did get a job as a teacher, and that job has forced me to handle things I might never have handled otherwise. And there was that two-day drive to California just for an In ‘N’ Out burger. So, I’ll file this one away as unresolved for now.

For a year that I felt went really positively, I sure didn’t conquer that many of my resolutions! Oh well. Now for what I plan to accomplish in the next twelve months… Here are my 2015 New Year’s resolutions:

1. Become part of a (or start my own!) book club.
With my love and passion for reading, I’ve always wanted to become a part of a real discussion with the text. A bonafide book club would be a chance for me to read recreationally and continue that conversation in a very real way.

2. Renew old friendships.
Moving down to the south end made it a lot harder to keep in contact with friends (both old and new) in a face to face way. I want to make a conscious effort this year to get more of that beloved face-time with some of you guys. (Here’s looking at you, Fozz)

3. Survive my first year as a teacher. (Flying colors optional)
This one sounds deceptively simple. One step at a time, right?

4. See some more cool stuff.
I managed to travel to California a couple times this year, as well as all sorts of awesome historical landmarks out here in the DC area. Heck, I spent all day today in Gettysburg, PA. It was totally awesome! I love seeing more of this beautiful country of ours.

5. Keep writing!
Okay, so it might be a repeat offender, but I always want to keep on writing. As life gets busier, I can’t let that time for reflection and creativity slip away. Hopefully that one’s an easy one.

Again, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who I managed to see this year. You guys are beyond words. And for those of you who I haven’t seen yet: I’m working on it. Until next time, folks.