January 4th, 2008

2007 goals in review

  • Physical
    1. Get a bicycle and take some bike rides.
    2. Find a tai chi school, preferably that also teaches swords, and start attending.
    3. Walk the Seattle shore of Lake Washington.
    4. Rent a canoe or kayak and go paddling around on Lake Union or Lake Washington.
    No, Yes, No, No. I really do want to get a bicycle - really! - but as I expect to have to pay a few hundred dollars for one, it's an easy thing to keep putting off "until I can afford it" - and then end up spending the money on other things. I did finally get back into tai chi in November at Embrace the Moon, which does offer sword seminars or classes, so that's a success. I just didn't take as many long walks this year, and never made any effort to do the Lake Washington walk. I also never talked to anyone about doing any canoeing or kayaking, which is something I'd prefer to do with a friend rather than by myself.

  • Mental
    1. Continue writing weekly in my journal.
    2. Take a course related to graphic design and layout (most likely an intro to InDesign or Illustrator).
    Yes, No. I cheated a bit on the first goal, after getting my iPhone - there are a few weeks when I posted only a photo from Flickr and a brief commentary, and one when all I posted was a photo. The second goal I never investigated, partly due to adjusting to freelancing and the subsequent reduction in income.

  • Social
    1. Sign up to volunteer for KEXP.
    2. Go out on a date.
    Yes and Yes! I did not just sign up to volunteer, I participated in several mailing parties, spent a few hours helping cleanup/breakdown after the KEXP Barbecue, and spent three afternoons on data entry during the Fall Membership Drive. I went out on one real, spend-a-few-hours-with-a-stranger date, which meets the goal but doesn't sound like much to crow about. However, if the speed dating events count as a whole, that was four more, and if meeting each individual woman at the events count, then I actually went on about 30-35 dates. I'm not sure I should get "full credit" for all those speed dates, but regardless, I did meet the goal.

  • Professional
    1. Leave my current job.
    2. Earn a good living as a freelance editor.
    3. Add page layout/desktop publishing to my portfolio and career.
    Yes, No, and No. I did not work anywhere near capacity once I started freelancing, and I figure I need to be working at least 3/4 time to see a raise in my living over my previous salary. I also did not take any steps to get into layout and design work.

  • Financial
    1. Clear up my credit card debt.
    2. Put aside money to cover the final part of the dental work, the long-awaited permanent false teeth.
    3. Be able to afford an iPhone and the undoubtedly higher-priced phone plan it'll require.
    No, No, and Yes. I did hammer down the credit card debt quite a bit, but then I didn't end up having as much work as I hoped and didn't quite clear it out. So close! I did also buy an iPhone and go to a wedding in Vegas, and if I hadn't done either then I'd have cleared my cards, so I at least brought the debt to a more manageable level. I also did not put any money aside for the remaining dental work, although I did finally pay off the rest of the expenses so far. Fortunately for my technolust, the iPhone plan turned out to be only an extra $20 a month, and as going freelance meant my driving and thus my gas expenses dropped by a lot, the new plan was easily affordable.

  • Musical
    1. Continue attending at least one show a month.
    2. Do some jamming with Tony Sacco.
    No - although qualified - and Yes. Because my seemingly annual Christmastime cold came early, I missed out on attending a show in December. However, that was not my fault - or at least not my deliberate choice - and I attended 9 shows over September to November, so I'm okay with accidentally missing a month. Tony and I got together a couple times and we have two or three tunes in the works, so I met the goal, but failed on the follow-through of practicing and getting together some more.

  • Scriptorial
    1. Earn another editor credit for a game book.
    2. Get my concert reviews out to a wider audience.
    3. Begin developing Pixels and figure out if it's something worth pursuing.
    No, No, No. I'm set to do editing for Principia, Tony Dowler's game in development, but writing and development delays meant that my work on it was also delayed. I approached the Three Imaginary Girls site about running my concert reviews, but never heard back from them; later, a staffer at KEXP suggested they could use my reviews on their blog, but I never heard back when I sent a follow-up email. However, I did start cross-posting the reviews to MySpace, so I increased my audience a little bit. I thought about Pixels a bit here and there, but never sat down and started sketching out my ideas.

  • Local
    1. Have dinner at the Space Needle.
    2. Visit at least two of:
      • The Olympic Peninsula, up in the mountains and rainforest.
      • Mount St. Helens.
      • Grand Coulee Dam
      • Portland (return visit).
      • Vancouver (return visit).
    No and No. I never made any serious attempt to plan dinner with any friends at the Space Needle. All of my regional touring so far has been done when guests come to town, and there simply wasn't time to do that when Doug visited in June for Go Play NW.

Speaking of Go Play NW, I did not include "organize a game convention" among my goals for the year even though we'd already begun that work, perhaps because it wasn't solely my own project. However, I still want to acknowledge that we did succeed in organizing a game convention, which none of us had done before, and that seems a worthy accomplishment to include here.

In terms of the Year of Change, as I declared it in January and expanded upon in March, I'd say I did okay but could have done better. The two main aspects to the Year of Change were my professional goals and my social goals. On the professional front, becoming a freelancer was a huge change for me and a risky move, if a calculated one. However, my follow-through has definitely been lacking, and I've relied too much on the couple of contacts that were given to me rather than take steps to find new contacts and sources of work. I also didn't do other career-development projects such as taking a graphic design course or finding page layout work. On the social front, I finally took some new steps to meet women and get dates, and I finally had a real, honest-to-God first date with a woman I met through online personals. However, I didn't get a follow-up date with her, all of the other women who actually discussed meeting me for a date stopped responding instead of confirming plans, and I was still more inclined to dismiss possibilities than to try contacting them and seeing what happened. I did start doing volunteer work with KEXP, which gives me opportunities to meet new people who share my interests and make new friends. Overall, I'd say that 2008 looks to be a Year of Development: there are still changes to be made, but the main thing is to develop further the big changes I began in 2007.