Tag Archives: new year

2016: A Nowtrospective

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (which I’ve not read, btw), author Stephen R. Covey declares one of the titular habits thusly: Begin with the End in Mind.

Real original, dude. Begin your New Year’s post with a quote from a culture-saturating motivational book.

Hey, shut up. This is my post, and I’ll do what I want with it.

*ahem*

It’s with that idea in mind that I’m doing a New Year’s restrospective, not on the year that has just ended, but rather with the year that lies ahead.

You know this whole “New Year” thing is really a misnomer. It’s just another day. You can make changes at any second of any minute of any day of any month of any year. But hey, yaaaaaaaay inspiration! Tony Robbins, blahblahblah.

HermioneDeathLook

Sorry.

new_year_2016

In 2016, I:

  1. Did All the Things I Set Out to Do.

EndofListLemon

I’m going to admit that this list is not a complete one.  In a book that I actually read this year called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (lotta Ste(v/ph)ens in this game, apparently), one of the things he talked about was not sharing your goals with everyone. The idea behind that is if you share your goals, dreams, intentions, etc., with everyone, you get a false sense of accomplishment just by laying out that list. I had always thought that spelling out your goals for others to see would make them hold you responsible should you start to slip or pull some much-needed encouragement when things get rough.

The flaw with that plan, besides weighing everyone else down with the responsibility of keeping your divergent butt on track, you’re also surrendering the active ownership of your goals to other people.

Nobody is going to do the work I need to do for me. Nobody else can. I know several people that would love to, have asked how to help, and offered whatever they have in order to help me. The answer is simple.

I have to do the work.

I’ve never been good at doing the work. In school, once I learned how to do something, homework was useless to me because I didn’t see the point. That was from elementary school. It took me many years and thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loan debt to understand the value of doing the work and seeing it turn into good grades, opportunities, and eventually my first published academic paper.

In another book I read this year–

Why isn’t this just the list of books you read this year?

DeanRealization

–That’s not a bad idea. Maybe when I’m done waxing philosophical. On Writing by Stephen King. It’s an amazing read, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. In this guide, the creepiest dude in Maine lays it out like this: “Amateurs wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

On Writing and The War of Art have had a great influence on me this year, and what I took away from both of them was that the most important thing is to do the work. Reading these books, I felt like Bart Simpson at the chalkboard scrawling out line after line of “I will do my work.”

“I will do my work” doesn’t just apply to writing, though. I have many goals that I want to see fulfilled so I can look back on 2016 and be satisfied that I did everything I could to make those goals become realities.

One goal I had from 2015 was to read more. Now that the year is over, I’ll share with you the list of books I read in 2015.

  • On Writing – Stephen King
  • The Shining – Stephen King
  • V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
  • The Last Days of Video – Jeremy Hawkins
  • Button, Button / Uncanny Stories – Richard Matheson
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (previously read)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man TPBs vols. 1-22 – Brian Michael Bendis
  • Ultimate X-Men TPBs vols. 1-12 – Mark Millar, et al.
  • Tough Sh*t – Kevin Smith
  • Carrie – Stephen King
  • In the Blink of an Eye – Walter Murch
  • Deadpool Kills Deadpool – Cullen Bunn
  • TMNT/Ghostbusters – Erik Burnham & Tom Waltz
  • Gotham by Gaslight – Bryan Augustyn
  • Superior – Mark Millar & Leinil Yu
  • Tales From the Script – Peter Hanson & Paul Robert Herman
  • The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
  • Dancing Barefoot – Wil Wheaton
  • Jaws – Peter Benchley
  • Y: The Last Man Deluxe Books 1-3 – Brian K. Vaughn & Pia Guerra

Jeez, there are sure a lot of comic books–

You read through V for Vendetta and tell me it’s not a novel that happens to have pictures. But sure. Not counting comics, I still read 14 books this year. I started more than that, but I’ve only included the books I finished. I guess that could be a subheading for my one-item list up there:

In 2016, I:

  1. Finished What I Started.
It's too good to use just once.

It’s too good to use just once.

 

I’m off to a good start. I finished this post.

Happy New Year, everyone.

WE’VE SURPASSED THE FUTURE FROM BACK TO THE FUTURE AND NOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE

Do the work.

(20)13 is a Lucky Number, Right?

It’s Two Thousand Thirteen.

"That's 2-0-1-3."

“That’s 2-0-1-3.”

A new year, with new challenges and new opportunities. I’m proud to say that I’m going back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in Film. While it’s not far off from my Theatre major, I’ve always loved making movies and I’m excited at the prospect of becoming more technically proficient at it. I feel different about school in general, too. I don’t feel like I’m squaring off against an adversary, but rather like I’m meeting an old friend. I’m sure there will be times that are harder than others, but I’m looking forward to classes, and I feel like I want to be there, which is honestly not a feeling I’ve ever had about college.

So yes, 2013 is a new year, with new outlooks, new opportunities, and… newborns.

That’s right, everyone. I’m going to be a father.

Whoa. Just reading that made me gleeful, terrified, anticipatory, stressed, excited, worried, teary, “and a little gassy.”

"Aaannnnngaaaannnnnngaaangggg!"

“Aaannnnngaaaannnnnngaaangggg!”

Seriously. The wife and I just talked about how we’re officially in the third trimester. Our little bundle of awesome mini-us is due in late April, and her name is Joely Jane. I’ve seen pictures of the kid, and I must say, she’s pretty cute.

"It's Shake-n-Bake, and I helped!"

“It’s Shake-n-Bake*, and I helped!”

Now all I need is a shotgun, and I’ll be set. Well, not exactly. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but when you learn you’re going to be a parent, there’s a shift that occurs that lets you see the world in a way that’s different from any view you’ve had before. It replenishes the wonder. You start looking at everything with this strange mix of professor/bodyguard mentalities.

“That’s so fascinating!”

“That’s SO dangerous.”

“I want to look closer.”

“Do you want to DIE?”

Like that.

Really, I just can’t wait to meet this little girl. Hold her in my arms, kiss her sweet face, smell that heavenly fresh-baked smell. She’s going to rule my world with a chubby fist. She’s got throngs of family and friends who are eagerly anticipating her arrival as well. Everyone we’ve talked to about the kid is so excited for us, which is awesome. It’s multifaceted, I’m sure. Everyone loves a baby, everyone loves someone pregnant, and everyone loves an underdog.

For a long time, Aubrey and I weren’t sure we were ever going to get to be parents. We tried for three years to conceive, with no luck. It was heart-wrenching and exhausting. We had seen doctors at our local women’s health office, and they referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist last summer. After a few months with little progress, we looked at each other and really accepted the possibility that we might never have kids. We decided that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We loved each other, we had a great life, a great marriage, and we could make our future whatever we wanted. After three years of suffocating under infertility’s weight, we were finally breathing again.

That’s when we got the wind knocked out of us by a positive pregnancy test.

PositivePTest

“Good thing you just peed.”

The amazing thing we thought would never happen to us happened! We had no choice but to laugh and shake our heads about the timing. Of course we would get pregnant right after we decided we would be fine without kids. When we announced the pregnancy, the outpouring of love, encouragement, and congratulations was overwhelming. Most of the people in our lives knew this was something we were dealing with, so their investment in our struggle only added to their payoff from our victory over it.

We’ve been excited for all the ultrasound appointments we’ve had, getting to see our little girl move around, suck her thumb, and even look straight “into the camera.” I’ve loved that Aubrey’s bump has been growing more and more noticeable. I rub it, talk to it, sing to it, read to it. I know my little girl is just below the surface, listening to me and kicking her mom in the guts when she gets excited. (Sorry, honey.)

All at once I feel like April can’t come soon enough, and like there’s not enough time in the world between now and then. So much to do to get ready for this kid. Our baby shower (that’s right, OUR baby shower; it’s coed and we’re both really stoked for it) isn’t until March, which is good because we haven’t finished registering yet, and bad because we won’t know what we have and what we still need until about six weeks before Joely hits the scene.

"Welcome home, sweetie!"

“Welcome home, sweetie!”

I’m not really worried about it, but it would be nice for Aubrey to have something to nest with during her nesting phase. What I am worried about is the crazy rush to get everything home, take stock and buy whatever’s missing, and put it all together before the Eagle has landed; not to mention that this will all be between Spring Break and Finals.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair.”
“It give you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
“Write that down.”

This year will be rife with opportunities for personal growth. One of those will be to personally shrink a little. I know, it’s a cliché goal, especially at the onset of a new year. But I have medical reasons for it, and I think it can only help me to be more active with Joely once she becomes mobile. I have goals to write a blog post every week, write more in general, read more, cook, create something with my hands… It’s an impressive list. That was important to me when compiling my list of goals for this year. I want to shoot for a lot of big things, so that even if I fall short, I can look back at the year and say, “I did some cool stuff.”

I was watching the show Dinner for Five, and in one episode, someone says, “Whatever you do, you do better when you have kids.” That was very inspiring to me. I want to do what I do better because I’ll have a little one looking up to me.

I don’t want to disappoint her.

2013.

That’s a lucky number, right?

TotallyJason

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