December 30th, 2009 | Published in general
It’s time for one of those year-end wrapup posts where we get all maudlin and drunk and fall asleep in a snowbank. Let’s go.
Ten years ago my dog was born, i was moving into the house i’m in, kidless but attached and just starting the job i’m still at today. I started 2009 by ending my marriage (officially, finally), shaving my beard and buying new shoes. These things are entirely coincidental and should not be excessively read into. These are not the droids you seek.
The highlight of the year for me was summer vacation trip to Oregon. It’s the first big summer vacation trip i’ve done in a long time, and my first big solo adventure with the kids. It was a total blast. They’re really fun to travel with, we had a great time on the train, and a lot of fun with family. The girls got to ride horses and run on the beach and i got a couple of fun mountain biking rides in, plus a little time tearing up the sand dunes.
My bike commuting was steady this year through the late fall when it tapered off quite a bit. Partly this is due to a longer walk home from the bus stop with the girls (so i’d drive more often) and partly out of laziness. I did more long rides and centuries this year than ever, but my overall bike mileage is down from last year at just over 2k. I got some good trail riding in on both the mountain bike and ‘cross bike, which was great, but no mountain bike racing, and only one cyclocross race. I just didn’t get any training time in to be in race condition, and frankly my heart wasn’t in it this season, i just wanted to do long road & gravel rides.
It took a few months to figure out, but what i really needed to do this year was simplify and scale back. For too long (over the last few years), i wasn’t getting any down time to stay on top of daily life and my own interests. There were too many external commitments and too few internal ones (for me, the introvert). So, less time with my cycling club (not that i’m leaving it), but more time riding with friends. In fact, more time overall with friends. Y’all are excellent. I missed you when i was away.
One way i’ve kept up with friends is through Twitter. Using Twitter has undeniably take some steam away from this blog, but it has also connected me with people in real life, which is a pretty good achievement for an online tool. I’ve also really enjoyed my new iPod Touch, which is probably the most thoroughly useful computer gadget i’ve ever bought. I’m at the same company, still working, which is a good thing, and i’m still building websites, but my enthusiasm for website work has been highly variable lately. There’s a lot of very cool stuff going on in tech and i’ve been skating on my DIY skills for a long time without new challenges. I’ve been much more interested in building physical things, such as the saddlebags. I still have a mortgage to pay and a household to feed, so no dramatic changes, but definitely new career direction things to think about.
(Nice. Way to question your life in your 40s, very original.)
(Shut up! People are watching!)
(Please. This is just a way to sneak in a mention of books you’ve read this year, like Infinite Jest)
( … )
(See! There you go, stealing his dialog technique!)
(Do you have to start every response with a single-word retort? This is Wallace, not Ellroy.)
(Quite. Compartmentalism. Back to the narrative.)
And but so i read more this year too; Infinite Jest, Broom of the System (both Wallace), One Hundred Years of Solitude, some John Irving – i guess it was a fantastic realism kind of year. TONS of reading with the kids; re-read some Harry Potter, a bunch of Roald Dahl, The Magician’s Elephant and countless smaller books. Fiona learned to read this year, which is a thrill for me; i love new readers figuring out the world of text. There’s a semicolon in every sentence of this paragraph, except this one.
Some plans for 2010. A clean and reorganized basement, starting now. I’m going to lose enough weight that belts matter again. I’m very excited about the spring trip to Alaska with my dad and brothers. I’m going to make more bike bags, and try a few other things. (I’m not, you know, taking orders for bags, but let me know if you’re interested…) I’m going to finish the stone walkway going to the garage this year and maybe change up the landscaping a bit. It’s a good time to change the landscaping a bit, i think.
Cheers to all, and a Happy New Year.