2019, the new year: Looking back, Looking ahead

So, here we are again: a new year is upon us! As we recover from our New Year’s Eve hangovers, for many it’s a time for a bit of reflection on the past year and contemplation of the coming one.

For me, 2018 was, like 2017, a year of major change. I went back to work full time in early 2017 after book sales fell to the point where they couldn’t sustain us financially any longer (more on that in a later post), which required us to pick up and move from our home in Sarasota, Florida, back to Maryland.

As part of that decision, however, my wife and I knew that we weren’t going to stay in Maryland any longer than necessary, since we’d already spent the better part of thirty years there. I have nothing against Maryland, but for people who are gypsies at heart, that’s a long, long time.

Our cat, Nina, getting in some lap time before moving out of the apartment in Maryland
Nina, getting in some lap time before moving out of the apartment in Maryland

So, earlier this year — no, dang it, LAST year, in 2018! — I managed to land a job in, of all places, Hawaii! The processing and logistics took forever, but at long last we — myself, my wife, and our cats, Sasha and Nina — landed in Honolulu on 7 December (and yes, I’m aware of the irony!) to begin our new life as islanders. We’ll be here for at least three years, and if a job doesn’t come open somewhere else at that point in a place we really want to go, I’ll just extend another year and retire. Then we’ll pack up, head back to the mainland, put our stuff in storage, and live full-time in the RV. But that’s a ways off yet!

Getting back to 2019, I’ve got my list of New Year’s Resolutions that I wanted to share with you:

  1. Write consistently. I’m aiming for a chapter per week, which for me is around 3,000 to 6,000 words. We’re going to set up a dedicated space in our apartment that’s just for my writing, and every night I’m going to plant my butt in that chair and work on my next book, whatever it may be.
  2. Reengage with readers. I have to apologize for this, because over the last few years I really fell off the wagon in terms of interacting with folks. I’m not going to offer any excuses for it, but am going to find ways to restore that sense of community. That was one of the most rewarding parts of my writing career. I’m going to do a separate post on this soon, as I’d like to get some ideas about where folks stand with social media and the like.
  3. Eat clean. This is the year that my wife and I stop eating a bunch of crap. Now, we have certainly eaten better the last couple years than we probably have in a long time, but I’m determined to shift us over to a much healthier way of eating to help us stay healthy longer.
  4. Get my fat butt in shape. I know that this, along with #3, is sort of a perennial item on many New Year’s Resolution lists, but it’s gotta get done. I could stand to lose about 20 pounds and need to get in much better cardiovascular shape. Jan and I used to run half marathons, and I’d like to get back to that level of fitness.
  5. Explore, explore, explore! We came to Hawaii for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost (well, after choosing a place where we’d never have to freeze our butts off!) was to see as much as we could see in the time we’ll be here. We’re on Oahu, where there’s already tons to explore and do, but we also want to explore the other islands, as well as venture to other destinations like Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and hopefully other places like Japan, South Korea, and maybe even China. Who knows?

So, that’s what’s on my list. What’s on yours? Let me know in the comments section, and have a Happy New Year!

2 Replies to “2019, the new year: Looking back, Looking ahead”

  1. Finally lose excess weight. I just reupped my gym membership.
    See more of my out of state kids and grand kids.
    Get rid of “stuff” material possessions.
    Socialize more. Bit of a hermit.

  2. I just want to live love laugh find joy and be happy. I want to be aware, take all in and enjoy as many moments as I can. Let go of things that no longer serve a purpose and be free.

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