As I am away next week, and highly unlikely to have internet access, I have decided to do my end-of-year review early. This means, of course, that some or all of these notes may already be inaccurate before the end of the year, but that's just a risk we'll have to take.
This could become a monstrously long post, as it has been quite an eventful year. In order to try to avoid this somewhat, I'm going to gloss over an awful lot and speak in generalities. If you want more information, it can probably be found elsewhere in the blog, as I've blogged about many things over the year. If not, then by all means ask, and I might answer. Or not.
My Year in... Work
How to comment on a year in work, when the one solid rule of this blog is I don't talk about work? Well, probably the key thing is that I'm still in work, and we're still relatively busy at work, both of which are very much good things. All in all, it has been a pretty good year, although not the banner year that 2007 turned out to be.
In 2009, I intend to do better again, and I also intend to actively seek out new challenges (within the same job). Mostly, though, I'm hoping to get through the next year or two, which could be quite hard given the economy.
My Year in... Band
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of 2008 were the competition results for the band this year. There was, initially, some hope that we might do quite well, but this was soon dashed. Okay, we won at Calender, but that was really a fluke. There were also too many last places, and the failure to even qualify at Cowal.
However, the year ended hopefully, with the band learning some new tunes, and improving in general. The fund-raising performances over the past two weekends were also very encouraging.
And, finally, the band once again have a full and (I hope) stable committee, and a dedicated and stable (I hope) Pipe Major and Lead Drummer. This shift in personnel leads me to be optimistic for the year ahead.
My goal for 2009: I would like to see the band continue to improve, for us to win a few minor prizes, to not come last in any competition this year, and to at least qualify at the four Majors we are attending. Also, we have trips to Ireland and France to look forward to.
My Year in... Gaming
I might as well get through all the disappointments together, I suppose. Gaming was the second one. This year saw the release of the fourth edition of the "Dungeons & Dragons" game, which should have made it a really good year for gaming. Alas, it's not a particularly good game, so that was disappointing.
More disappointing, however, was that we found it really quite difficult to actually get together for a game. Frankly, I'm too busy, especially on Saturdays, which means missing a lot of weeks. And there's a certain extent to which the group has now gone too long without any new members - we seem to repeat the same patterns over and over.
In 2009, some of this will have to change. It is my intent, certainly, to block off the first several Saturdays in a row for gaming purposes, and to make these an appointment not to be missed. We'll also need to try to find some new players, and I need to come up with some idea what we'll do if (now) we have, indeed, rejected 4e D&D as our game of choice.
My Year in... Love
There is absolutely nothing to report here. More depressing still, this is in no way surprising.
Something will have to be done here.
My Year in... Resolutions
I don't make New Year's Resolutions, as I discussed in January. However, back then I did put together a list of things I wanted to get done this year. Every single item on the list was resolved to my satisfaction. (The big move didn't actually happen, but it will happen in February. My only real concern now is that I need a bunch of new furniture, and I have a horrible feeling I'll just miss out on the sales.)
My Year in... Travel
Another success. This year I visited a new State in the US, a new country in Europe, and two quarters of the UK. Oh, and France.
Next year, I'll probably be cutting back on the travel, as money is likely to be a bit tight for a while (a mortgage and a whole new bunch of insurances to pay, a new car to save for, and furniture to buy). Plus, the exchange rates make this a poor time to travel. Still, I already have a trip to France booked, and if I can just contrive a reason to visit Wales I will hit all four quarters of the UK next year.
My Year in... Faith
In 2006, my faith was rocked right to its core. Rebuilding that has been a long, slow and painful journey, fraught with setbacks. Progress is still being made, but remains slow. And I'm still not back to where I was, or its equivalent.
My Year... Overall
Actually, 2008 has been quite a good year. It's something of a surprise that it's over so soon.
There have been a number of lessons learnt, and a significant number of things done. More than anything, though, it represents a good platform from which to move into 2009. Now, I need to come up with a to-do list...
And finally... the last weigh-in
As of this morning, I was at fourteen stone and eleven pounds, down two stone and one pound from my starting position three months ago. This is a little over halfway towards my target. I fully expect the next two weeks to represent something of a setback, and have decided not to worry about it too much (nor take my scales with me).
However, the big weakness of the diet remains that it is supposed to be matched with a series of work-outs, none of which have happened. That will have to change.