Standard Blogger Rule #6: At the beginning of the calendar year, bloggers are required to record their New Year’s Resolutions, to be held accountable by their readership.
Standard Blogger Rule #7: At the end of the calendar year, bloggers are required to summarize their accomplishments for the said year, including a reflection on the Resolutions made at the outset of the year.
Standard Blogger Rule #7a: Posts from Rules #6 and #7 may be combined into a single post.
As a relatively new blogger, I don’t want to upset the Blogging Gods and defy their orders. So, I end 2016 and start 2017 by looking back on the last year and looking forward into the future.
- Started a blog
- I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for years, but didn’t take the time or energy to do so until my family business was sold. I did have a LiveJournal over 10 years ago, but I was really inconsistent with that and let it die. This blog helped me get through my 3 months of unemployment, giving me an outlet to share my thoughts, instead of just wallowing alone in my house (I do love my 3 cats, but they seldom engage in conversation with me). I mostly write for myself, as well as let my IRL friends know what I’m doing. It’s a lot more efficient to connect with ex-co-workers, faraway family members and old clients in this way.
- Played in 2016 World Series of Poker
- I’ve been playing poker since my childhood, so going to Las Vegas this summer was a dream. While I didn’t find fame or fortune there, I was pleasantly surprised by the company I kept. I don’t imaging making this a yearly thing (gambling is an expensive hobby), but I’m glad I checked this off my bucket list.
- Cataloged entire book collection on Goodreads
- Another task I’ve been neglecting for years, I finally bit the bullet and finished scanning all my books and put them in my Goodreads collection. It took the good part of 2 days to complete, which was made a lot simpler with the Goodreads app and the camera of my smartphone. (When I started this account in 2008, we had to manually enter the information by hand on the website. The same 2 days I spent this year would have taken at least 2 weeks in the good ol’ days!)
- Read 18 books
- I set my Goodreads reading challenge at the beginning of the year at 12 books (fully expecting to be employed the entire year). I shot through that goal to reach 18, though many of those books were read in my non-working 3 months.
- Regained Yelp Elite status
- From 2011 through 2013, I was part of the Yelp Elite Squad, writing business reviews at a rapid rate and attending events and meeting other foodies in the process. Working at the Store for several years, my drive for writing (or going out, or being social or having a good time) was drained spending 6 days a week surrounded by those same 4 walls. This summer, I made it a goal to write enough reviews to regain my Yelp Elite Status. Thankfully, my desire to eat didn’t diminish over the years, so getting back on the writing horse wasn’t too difficult. I did get my badge, but then found myself working again, so didn’t hit too many Elite events. Hopefully 2017 will bring in more restaurants and good times.
- Ran 1st 5k race
- My wife has been running 5k races through the San Francisco Giants for a few years now. In races past, I was a good husband and carried her backpack and waited at the finish line. But his year, she finally convinced me to run a race with her. I even finished (and didn’t die!).
- Joined a gym
- At my annual physical with my doctor, he told me that I needed to lose weight and exercise regularly. Over the summer, my wife & I walked in our neighborhood regularly. But once the temperature dropped (and I started working again), the walks became few and far between. So, I joined a gym near my office, so I’ve been going after work. It also helps that Mondays is Free Pizza Night!
- Changed careers (again)
- With my parents retiring and my loathing of the family business, I was very glad to see the Store sold. While I do miss our old customers, I was free to seek out new and more enjoyable employment. After a 3 month break, I found a new (but old) job Hopefully, this will stick for awhile.
- Drove a prototype Tesla 3
- My job has taken me to many different venues in the Bay Area (including AT&T Park, Levi Stadium, San Francisco City Hall, and almost all of the nicest hotels) as well as introduce me to people from some of the most influential companies, including Apple, Visa, Genetech, Cisco and Ebay. My most memoriable event was with Tesla earlier in the fall. They rented out Avaya Stadium (home of the San Jose Sharks) for their company party and had over 13,000 employees and guests attend. After the end of the event, while we were cleaning up our equipment, I got the opportunity to drive a prototype of the upcoming Tesla 3 (only one of two in existence). It was only for about 5 minutes, but it was thrilling (and a little nerve-wracking, since my current auto insurance doesn’t cover one-of-a-kind, multi-million dollar test vehicles)!
- Turned 40 years old
- I guess this is less of an accomplishment and more of an inevitability. But I did manage to avoid car crashes, violent crime, natural disasters, and choking on my own food. The achievement is more that I’m relatively healthy (of mind, spirit and body), free of ailments and disease, financially stable and in a loving marriage. I’m very thankful for all of these!
So, that’s enough of 2016. Let’s look forward to 2017
Resolutions for 2017
- Write at least 2 times a week: 1 blog post, 1 Yelp review
- My writing was inconsistent in 2016: lots of blogs and reviews when I wasn’t working, not as much when I was. This year, I want post more regularly, at least one of each a week. Most likely, my schedule will be to Yelp during the week and blog on the weekends.
- Go to the Gym 2x a week
- My father gave me a Fitbit for Christmas, so I’ve been starting to track my sleep and physical activity. To that end, I want to go to the gym at least 2 times a week. Since my gym is close to my work, I plan to go in the afternoon/evenings, rather in the mornings.
- Read 18 books (one every 3 weeks)
- This would match my goal from 2016, but I also plan to keep working all year round. One book every 3 weeks should be managable. I’m already 1/3 through my first book of the year!
- Run 3 different 5k races
- I did a single 5k race in 2016, so upping it to 3 shouldn’t be too difficult. On a separate and totally unrelated note, the San Francisco Giants will sponsor 4 races in 2017! One of the races is in Arizona, but the 3 Northern California races are already on my calendar.
- Take an Improv Class
- My wife thinks I have a flair for the dramatic. I think it’s just being part of being Filipino (at least, my father’s side)! There are several small improv theaters in the Bay Area, and I want to try out a beginner’s class.
- Try yoga
- Several of my friends and my wife have done yoga over the years. Seems like there’s a studio on every block in the Bay Area. My gym doesn’t offer yoga, so I’d have to find a separate place. I’m sure I can get recommendations from several sources.
- Try to find a church (again)
- My search in 2016 wasn’t fruitful, but I only tried one church. While I did enjoy reconnecting with old friends, I decided against that church for two main reasons: 1) it was very far for me, so it would be difficult to immerse myself in the community, and 2) that congregation is going through massive changes, so I’m not sure it is the best fit now, since they don’t have a solid direction now. Since I’m the one without a spiritual direction now, it’s probably better that the community I find is more grounded than I. I’ll try again in the coming months.
- Celebrate 10 years of marriage
- While 10 years is a long time, it isn’t really that long either (both my parents and my in-laws are going on 43+ years). But being in a strong, loving, and growing marriage is a choice that we make everyday. My wife & I choose to sacrifice for each other, care of one another, and to keep evolving and adapting together. With the rate of divorce growing past 50% for first marriages in the US, I don’t take my relationship with my wife for granted. While being married means saying no to a lot of things (Happy Hours, late-night karaoke, Warriors and A’s games), saying yes is a lot more meaningful for me. Traditionally, gifts for 10 year anniversaries are made of tin or aluminum, but for us modern folks, 10 years means Harry Potter (or at least, a vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in May).
Now that I’ve fulfilled Rules 6 & 7, I can get back to partying hardy in my house. My cats have already gotten their fill: