31 December 2016

End of Year Reflections 2016

When I wrote a similar post last year, I said I'd check back in to see where things were; here we are on December 31st, and I don't want to make a liar of myself.

Unlike the past several years, I had plenty of work to occupy me this year. My day job demanded my full focus and attention for pretty much every minute of every workday, a marked departure from most of my prior work. I find the work quite stressful, and initially I considered not committing to the assignment, but a combination of inertia and guilt kept me in place. I made a verbal commitment to remain in the position through the end of June, and since nothing better had presented itself by that point, I kept going. By the end of July, the volume of work had increased to the point that I started working overtime hours, and regularly logged an average of 45 hours per week for the rest of the year.

I also took on additional part-time work for one of my former bosses. Initially that involved migrating several years of content from one platform to another, somewhat rote but not entirely uninteresting. I finished that project near the end of July, and within a few weeks I was being asked to copy-edit and proofread material, a task I find much more engaging. For most of the year I put in five of six hours a week on these projects, which was good for my bank balance and my resume.

Elsewhere, we said goodbye to our dog in early February, and got another dog near the end of June. I quickly fell back into the routine of walks and feedings, all of which is much easier with a younger, healthy dog. This dog's personality and quirks are still revealing themselves to us, which is a big part of the appeal of having a dog.

Otherwise, things around here were pretty normal. Like a lot of people, we are kind of ready to be done with 2016, though along with that goes apprehension about what's to come. At the same time, we are grateful that this year has brought some measure of stability back to our lives. The other day I had the thought that 2016 should be sent off by symbolically burning something, perhaps the calendar that hangs on the inside of our back door, but as renters we don't quite feel comfortable lighting something on fire, even outdoors.

So tonight we'll sit down with friends for a home-cooked dinner, and toast to our collective good fortune. Here's hoping that everyone has a fun and safe night and weekend, and that 2017 brings good things to all of us.

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