I started making a list of what I achieved in 2019 in preparation for this post, and at first, I was a little bit disappointed in myself. But then as the list continued, I realized the year was actually pretty good, for everything except my writing, but I’ll get to that.
This post is probably a bit more for me than anyone else, but I’ve been so poor with uploading new pieces that I thought I may as well make it public.
Lifestyle, Health, & Career
I ended 2018 on a roller coaster. My career at a major telecommunications company came to an end in mid-November, due to redundancy, but two weeks later, I received news I was successful in obtaining a role at another company. I worked one week at said company before 2019 rolled in, so I would say that that qualifies as a new job in 2019, really. It took me more than 20 years to successfully move from retail and customer service to where I am today, a corporate systems compliance advisor. It’s been a very long road, and this year has shown me that this was what I was meant to do.
The role itself is challenging, but in a good way. I have always called myself a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none, and that is exactly my current role. I do everything from analytics to training to system data integrity to auditing. I couldn’t be happier.
Admittedly, it has meant that 2019 also saw me so hyperfocused on my work. I am now lead auditor qualified in both quality management systems and information security management systems.
Thanks to the redundancy and winning a position so quickly, my payout for over five years at the telecom helped hubby and I move house. Back in 2011, our house flooded during the big Queensland floods, and the value of our property dropped nearly 100k. I was eager to get out of the house, hoping that we could get a bigger place with no fear of floods again, and we finally were able to this year. We nearly doubled the size of our house, but our yard is significantly smaller. Still, it was a big upgrade.
The move and the house haven’t been all sunshine and daisies. We had to paint the majority of the house before moving in, had to change the lighting and the locks, needed to install a safety fence around the outdoor spa, and needed to change the insulation in the roof because it was unsafe. Houses always cost money, so despite the surprise of most of these things, it is usually necessary in the first year of a purchase anyway.
Health-wise, I started 2019 in a great fashion. I did the Whole30 Challenge, which was a massive success. I lost around 5kg, and I felt great while doing it. But it didn’t last. After that, I continued to yo-yo through eating well and then eating poorly, working out, then not working out at all. It was my worst year yet with health, really, and I’m now the heaviest I have ever been in my life. In the interest of transparency, two years ago, I was around 60kg (132lb); last year I ended the year around 68kg (150lb); and this year, I’m ending it at 82kg (181lb). I’m disgusted, but I’m trying hard to just focus on being healthy and damned the weight thing. I know it’s all about just healthy habits, no diets or fads. Just water, good food, good exercise, and good sleep.
Entertainment & Gaming
Due to what I assumed was work swallowing up my creativity (more on that later), I spent a great deal of my time this year consuming media and for a while, playing video games.
I haven’t spent a great deal of time over the last years playing any games, and I had to resign myself to say that I was a casual gamer at best. That hasn’t completely changed, but I can say I finished five games this year (Ni no Kuni II, Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy XV, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Super Mario Odyssey), played through an expansion on another (Monster Hunter World: Iceborne), and am currently playing another game (Control), which I assume I’ll finish early 2020.
My family and I played the Pandemic Legacy game for a chunk of the year, and in the last half of the year, we started our own D&D campaign (of which, I’ve always wanted to play but never could because I was scared of being judged for having never played it).
I signed up for Audible this year, as I spend a lot of time riding on the train to work, and I get motion sickness if I read.
According to Good Reads, I finished ten books this year, which means I hit my goal for the year! I know it’s not much in some eyes, but it’s actually much more than the previous years combined.
- Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
- The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher
- Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
I watched a lot of TV and a fair number of movies this year too, too many to actually list out today, but I’ll list a few faves. My TV favorites were The Mandalorian, Russian Doll, The Good Place, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Chernobyl, The Boys, The Witcher, and Watchmen. I haven’t been able to see a lot of the movies I want to, thanks to release schedules in Australia and because my hubby doesn’t watch what I consider “film”. So my top ten list won’t be until end of January, probably. At the moment, though, I can say that I loved these popcorn movies of the year: End Game, Toy Story 4, Zombieland: Double Tap, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Happy Death Day 2U. Other movies I saw this year that were released previously but flew under my radar and are completely underrated and should be seen by everyone, included The Invitation, Upgrade, Train to Busan, and Good Time. They probably aren’t for everyone, but I thought they were great!
According to my WordPress stats, I published 38 posts this year, which I thought was low until I noticed that in 2018, I only published 17 posts. So hooray, it wasn’t a total loss!
This year I fell victim to the imposter monster. At first, I thought my creativity was zapped because of my new job, but I started building Gundam models, reading/listening to books, and making handmade crafts and quickly realized that it wasn’t the case. It was that I was scared that I wasn’t really a writer and that I didn’t deserve to be one either. I made no major submissions this year. I started a movie review challenge and lost it not even a quarter of the way through.
In August, I tackled the monster, though, and I started writing again. I spent September planning another large revision of my book for NaNoWriMo, and by November, I was ready to begin anew. I finished my 50k words in a record (for me) ten days! I was close to the end when the monster reappeared. I vanquished him, but I realized something. It was time to put that book away.
I have spent the remainder of 2019, occasionally writing, occasionally editing, planning, reading, etc, but for the most part, December has been my great holiday craft month. I made DnD dice trays for my stepson and his girlfriend (I have a whole post planned for that). I painted some models. I made a pompom notice board for my niece, and a photo wall hanging for my other niece.
All-in-all, 2019 has been a decent year. I’ve made some major strides in the right direction, and I hope to build upon them next year. I will always have competing interests. Crafting, crocheting, reading, watching movies/tv, gaming, writing, exercise, etc. That won’t change, and I have no desire to stop any of them. But maybe next year I will finally find the balance I need across all. And maybe by the end of 2020, I will feel a little like myself body and mind.