2009 was a long, hard year. To be completely honest, I'm glad it is over. Still, there remain a couple of tasks to do, one of which is to post my review of the year. So, here it is:
My Year in... Work
2009 was a bad year in work. There were several reasons for this. The economy hurt us the same as it hurt everyone else (although, fortunately, we were able to avoid any job losses, so we were better off than many others). We also suffered from a rather terrible inability to get our projects finished, out the door, signed off and concluded - they seemed to go on and on and on, lingering long past the time we should have moved on.
But also on a personal note, I did not do my best work in 2009. At the start of the year, I set a Super Secret Goal for work, which promptly had to be abandoned. Unfortunately, at much the same time, coupled with the endless stresses of the year, I seemed to find it increasingly hard to get up in the mornings, to stay motivated and on task, and to generally do my best work.
So, 2009 was a really bad year for work. I'm certainly intending that 2010 will be better in this regard - although work was almost the only thing that went badly in 2009, it is such a major part of life that a bad time at work can really mar the overall performance of the year.
So, must do better.
My Year in... Gaming
The only other part of the year that I found disappointing was in gaming, although here the report is sharply divided.
For the first ten months of the year, the gaming scene was bad. The plan to focus on getting the group together in the early months of the year failed due to cancellation after cancellation. Then there was a hiatus for the band competition season, and then we were back, but with lots more cancellations. What gaming we got done was really good, and I very much enjoyed running Star Wars Saga Edition, but there just wasn't enough.
However, things turned around dramatically in November. Having concluded that the existing situation was unacceptable, I went and set up a second group in Falkirk, and have been engaged in a D&D (3.5e Eberron) campaign since, meeting on alternate Tuesdays. This has been going really well; in fact, I find myself having the odd problem that we're getting towards having too many players, rather than too few.
At the same time, the existing group (that I thought was dead) has had something of a revival, and we've suddenly managed to get together for several sessions of the Warhammer campaign I prepared on this blog. It has been going very well indeed, and looks to be another strong campaign.
In 2010, then, I'm hoping that this trend continues. I would like to run the Warhammer campaign to conclusion, and then run the "second season" to my Star Wars campaign, all while running the Eberron campaign in parallel. Things are looking better on this front than they have for a long time.
My Year in... Band
It has been a year of very hard work for band, but a very successful one also. We managed to qualify at three of the four Majors we entered, and won two prizes in Minor competitions. Additionally, we ran very successful trips to France and Ireland (although we didn't qualify at the latter, something of a fly in the ointment). We also hosted a very successful concert in October, raised about four times as much money for the band as in the previous year, and rebuilt a much stronger financial foundation for the band.
All in all, a lot of hard work, but it paid off handsomely.
In 2010, we are hoping to do well enough in competition to actually advance out of our grade and up to grade 4A. A change to the competition rules means that we won't have to pre-qualify at most of the competitions (probably only the World Championships and at Cowal, because of the number of bands present), while the promotion of several bands has really opened the field for us. Add to that the dedication of the current band members, and the addition of several new members, and we're in great shape.
Definitely looking forward to success in 2010!
My Year in... Love
Awesome. That is all.
My Year in... Resolutions
I completed ten of my eleven goals for the year, and had to abandon the last due to circumstances beyond my control. As such, 2009 was a really strong year.
In 2010, I hope to have a similar success, although I am intending to try to avoid the "tyranny of goals" this year by not setting goals that absorb my every waking moment.
My Year in... Travel
Trips to France and Ireland with the band, plus a trip to England for a wedding, made 2009 a successful year, despite my not wanting to spend money on expensive foreign holidays.
My Year in... Faith
Holding steady. No great advance to speak of, but neither was there any great crisis of faith to report.
One possible weakness is that I have stopped attending church on Sunday mornings (but still go in the evenings). This is mostly because of some serious roadworks, which make the drive across deeply unpleasant; I really don't want to do that drive four times on the Sunday, and neither do I want to spend every Sunday afternoon at the parents' (I love them and all, but I can never get anything done there, even if I take my PC, and I can't afford to waste Sunday afternoons).
My Year in... Health
Mostly, I'm in very good health. Certainly, I'm in much better health than most people, so I probably shouldn't complain. However...
I had to take two days off work due to illness this year. The first was a really bad cold, which had me bed-ridden. Annoying, but something that couldn't be helped, and something that passed quickly.
The second, though, was due to a neck problem that has now been ongoing for ten weeks, which is a real problem. I have been to the doctor and given pain killers and anti-inflamatories, and also some exercises to do, and have been referred to see a physio. So, that's all in hand. Still, it's a real pain, and it just hasn't gone away, and it's a big problem.
With a lot of luck, that will get resolved soon - it's having quite a bad effect on my life generally, and is largely preventing me from exercising, which is having the nasty side-effect of letting my weight gradually creep back up due to difficulties in exercising.
(I will have to do something about that in 2010 - I didn't go through all the pain of losing that weight just to put it all back on again!)
My Year... Overall
Mostly, 2009 was a good year. Actually, in several keys was, it was a spectacular year, of the sort I wouldn't have dared to dream of 12 months ago.
But work... work was a real killer this year. If there is one thing I would change if I could, it would be that. In 2010, I will need to focus on that. (Although, hopefully, it will also improve naturally - my estimates were always that things would be bad until June 2010, so if that is right...)
Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to 2010. I haven't been this optimistic about a new year in a long long time.