In recognition of the end of another year — 2018 being my 41st on our good planet Earth — this is a short retrospective on the major events that have impacted my life this year.
The year seemed to go by quickly. Off the top of my head, it’s hard to think of anything monumental that occurred. Reflecting upon my list below, it can be described as a year of optimisation. Nothing much new or novel; just me making what was already out there work a little better.
- Retired from basketball: I started playing when I was 9, now at 41 my body told me it was time to stop. Bad knees and ankles combined with a stiffening back all played their part, but it was the diagnosis of developmental hip dysplasia that ended it for me.
- Diagnosed with hip dysplasia: What started as a pulled hip muscle from a crazy effort to climb into the driver’s seat of a car from the passenger side escalated into diagnosed hip dysplasia that apparently I’ve had from birth. The medicos were incredulous that with the severity of my dysplasia, that I’ve never noticed it before now, nor had any major serious injuries. At least I now know why even as a kid I found it uncomfortable to sit cross-legged on the floor.
- Got semi-serious about gym — but not serious enough: With no basketball to fall back on for exercise, and the need to rehabilitate my hips I got serious about gym work for the first time in more than a decade. I still don’t love it, and I’ve lost some momentum in the back-end of this year. I need to establish a better structure for committing to it in 2019.
- Improved methods and systems: I reviewed and improved a large range of my work processes, which has made me more efficient, and it has freed up time to spend on the more creative elements of my work. This benefits me and my clients
- Improved automation: I don’t have a personal assistant, so I leverage the ability to create automations to make my work life easier.
- Director and Treasurer of a not-for-profit: There were some interesting challenges, and I grew in my ability to respond with confidence and self-assurance.
- Made strides in autism management: My 7-year old has diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have learnt much about coping with the challenges this brings.
- Politics: my wife is running to become a Member of Parliament in the 2019 Federal Election. This effort takes up a considerable amount of shared family time.
- Assessment of hobbies: I took the time to take stock of my hobbies. I’m not sure it delivered clear tangible results, but it grew my level of awareness about how I was spending my time.
- Elimination of social media: I deleted my Twitter account. I disengaged from Facebook. I won back a bunch of time, lost background anxiety, and have not missed them at all.
- A return to indieweb ideals: I’ve always been a fan of the traditional web. I have never given up on following individual sites through RSS. This year I engaged with micro.blog, started this blot site, and continued to maintain my homepage and blog regularly.
- Hearthstone: I became slightly addicted to this game despite being lazy about the deck-building element. I’m happy enough to play with random sets. I’m close to being over this game now, which I’m sure will please my wife.
- Audible books: After realising I wasn’t feeding my brain enough nutritional content, I took up an Audible subscription and have successfully worked through a range of fiction and non-fiction books. I never seem to have time to sit and read, but I can find time to listen to somebody read to me.
- Meditation: I continue to undertake mindfulness meditation on a semi-regular basis.
- Explosive Pro Wrestling: Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved wrestling. I watched WWF through the Hulk Hogan era, then WWE through its Attitude era. This year I discovered Perth’s own wrestling show, EPW. I took my boy to their end of year event, where we had ringside seats. I loved every second of it, as did he. It was so much fun to reconnect with a sport that I’ve always loved to watch.
- Indoor skydiving: Skydiving is not something I’ve wanted to do, but I did have an opportunity this year to participate in indoor skydiving. It was fun, but it lacked the heart-stopping exhilaration that I’m sure jumping out from a plane would deliver.
- Yallingup — a rainy pre-winter break in WA’s beautiful south-west.
- Bridgetown — a great chance to stay with my best mate at his farm.
- Bali — champagne taste on a beer budget.
- Jurien Bay — creating sand and sun summer holiday memories for our kids.
- Grew a beard: I’ve grown a beard once before in my life. The one I have now is longer than that the previous one. This is unchartered territory.