I guess around this time of year everybody is required to do a post looking back at the year that’s ending and forward to what’s to come, right? So here’s mine.
My retrospective kind of starts in 2008. I decided pretty early on in that year what my plans for ‘08 and ‘09 were going to be. I wanted ‘08 to be the year when I created some kind of foundation for myself, kind of like a starting point. So I saved up for an engagement ring, proposed to my girlfriend and started saving money like a madman so I could have some more flexibility in my choices. I basically transferred any money that was in my checking account the day before payday into savings, every time. I wanted ‘09 to be a year when I started doing the things I wanted to do.
It seems like the general consensus is that 2009 was a fairly shitty year. With the economy like this, that’s no surprise. Things just didn’t turn out the way people intended or would have liked. This is one of the few years I haven’t shared that same sentiment. I lost a few people this year—a couple uncles and an aunt—but for the most part, 2009 ended up being pretty close to what I wanted out of it. It was full of some fairly major transitions, from beginning to end.
First off, my nephew ended up being born on the day before my birthday. Obviously starting fatherhood was a much bigger transition for my brother than for me, but I think it still counts. The next big thing was no longer working at the law firm. It feels a little weird not to be practicing after 3 years of school, 2 years clerking, and another almost 2 years at the firm. Law school and everything that followed took up the majority of this decade for me, but I think I’m happier now than I’ve been at any point since 2002, despite the uncertainty. Somewhat related was taking the next step of filing the paperwork to start my own business. I managed to realize what I actually enjoyed doing, and start figuring out a way to make a living doing it.
Lastly (and most importantly) I got married. This easily could have been something I said a year ago, because I was ready to marry her on the day I proposed. Most of this year was just leading up to October 3rd. All that planning culminated in one, really fast, day. I don’t think there’s any other time that I’ve been able to have that many friends and family all in one place, and it was even better than I had hoped. The pictures don’t do it justice, so I wish it wasn’t as much of a blur in my mind. I’ll still be savoring it for a long time though, and enjoying the married life.
If ‘08 was me getting my foundation in order to prepare for ‘09, and ‘09 was mostly a transitional year, then I’d like 2010 to be the year that I build on the things I started in ‘09. There may be a few transitions, but nothing close to the level of upheaval in ‘09. So far, I’ve identified 3 areas that I want to work on. The first area is design, something I never paid much attention to. I knew some posters/websites/objects were appealing, but I didn’t think about why things were placed a certain way. This past year I started paying attention. I starting following more designers that I can learn a lot from, and also asking more questions to my brother when I need help. In 2010 I design as much as I can.
The second area is music. I’ve wanted to learn how to play the saxophone since high school. During the summer of 2003 I briefly had both the money and the time to rent an alto sax and pay for lessons, but I couldn’t keep it up. Now, thanks to my lovely wife, I have my very own tenor to practice with, and I intend to work at it throughout the year. So regular practice is my goal.
The third area is photography. I don’t necessarily want to take more pictures, but I definitely want to take better pictures, and that will certainly involve taking more pictures. I want to bring my camera with me to more places and be less nervous about taking pictures when I do. I’ve enjoyed photography since my undergrad Intro B&W class, and that interest exploded once my wife (then girlfriend) got me a wonderful present a few years ago. For the past few years I haven’t been in many pictures because I’m always the one taking them. I haven’t taken photography as seriously since that class though. I haven’t thought about the composition, the lighting, and learned how to really use my cameras. Next year I take more more photos and better photos.
Obviously this list doesn’t include a bunch of other things I plan on doing in the next 12 months—getting and staying in better shape, improving as a husband/son/brother/uncle/friend/person, continuing to get my business going, etc. I’m leaving those out because those are pretty much constants. I’ve always been trying to work on those areas, and hopefully I always will.
It’s amazing to see what can happen in a year, and I can’t wait to see where I’m at in another 365 days. I hope 2010 is good to all my friends and family members, as well as yours.
Happy New Year.