Look Back/Look Ahead
I’m turning 31 today. As I’ve said before, having a January birthday is helpful in delineating points in your life – a new calendar year is followed quickly by a new year for me, personally. So it’s a good point to look back/look ahead on what I accomplished, learned, and hope to do better. So here we go:
- after trying it here and there over the course of a few years, my wife and I decided to have a regular go at climbing. We got our belay tickets and have managed to go nearly every week since. I could barely do 5.6’s this time last year and now I can do 5.9’s and 5.10’s. I hope to continue to improve in 2016
- I went in a canoe race with my dad. I’ve canoed on lakes a lot, but rivers not so much. We capsized and came nearly last, but it was a good experience
- I went on my first international trip in eight years. The first year I met my now-wife, we traveled to Cuba together, and the next year we moved to China. Then we focused on finishing school, establishing careers, that sort of thing. Recently, we talked about how we wanted to spend our time and money and realized that travel was something we both valued and had been putting off. It was nerve-wracking, actually, spending thousands of dollars on a two-week trip, but we budgeted for it and have no regrets- and are already planning trips for 2016 and 2017
- We took a trip to Drumheller with my niece. Having a kid in your life is crazy because you see them grow up and learn to talk and stuff. This is not news to anyone with kids, but hey. I’m glad I’m able to make time to be a part of her childhood
- I really need to get rid of some stuff. I was super-proud of myself for getting rid of a bunch of old clothes that were in storage and finally going through them and either trashing or donating them. It felt good, the part of the house they were cluttering up looks better, and I want to do more of it
- Work-life balance is still an issue. I went through a stretch of time where I was really off on this one. Even when I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work. I’d come home late, which meant things like shopping and cooking would be put off, and things would spiral. I’ve had some good runs of not doing this, and I hope to get even better at it moving forward
- Related to this: I was able to make more time for friends this year, but still not as much time as I would have liked. It stems from me still not being great at spending my time in a way that reflects the things I value. I did do a better job, but lots of room for improvement.
- Which isn’t to say work isn’t something I value. I spent the first part of my year working as the producer (ie manager) of the show before going back to the associate producer (ie journalist/storyteller role). I think I did an adequate job as a producer, but the fact that I was new (it was a nine-month temporary role) was definitely an issue. Among the things I had to learn to do- and would need to improve upon if I took on a similar role again- are delegation, being OK with other people’s version of your vision, and doing a better job of providing feedback. One thing I think I learned how to do well was to draw up a set of values and use that as a guide for the decision-making process. I’m trying to apply this in other parts of my life now, as well
- I was nominated for my first award for a radio story I produced, and may be nominated for another one soon. The thing that’s interesting about this is not so much the award, but the process of looking at your work and asking yourself if you think it is award-worthy. I do think that’s something I’ll try to do more of– produce a few works that are striving to be award-worthy. Even if they don’t get nominated for anything, the extra care and thought that goes into producing them are reward enough
- Some of my work served as an inspiration point for an art project. It was incredible seeing it re-formatted that way and I really want to thank the Hometown Project for doing it
- I also started thinking about writing more seriously again. When I was young, I wanted to be an author, and obviously writing is something I continue to do here on my blog. But this past year, a couple of my blog posts got attention from publishers, and it made me think about possibly having a go at a writing project that’s more than a blog post. I’m not really sure what that project might be, but I am actively thinking about it
- Being a part of the First Waltz was an incredible experience. My role was super-small: some brainstorming at the beginning, and some talking at the end. But the feeling of being part of what was such an amazing night for showcasing Prince George and Prince George music was incredible, and I’d love to be part of something like that again
Looking back at those last four points has made me realize what I’m really getting value out of are things that can’t be accomplished in a day- they are things that require days/weeks/months of work. And they probably can’t be done alone. So that will be something to think about moving forward: what do I want to say, how do I want to say it, and who do I want to say it with? Hopefully I can figure that out.