Normally, New Year’s Eve finds me in my usual contemplative state, sitting alone in my office, and writing up a huge missive about the year in general wherein I catalog my failures, success, highs, and lows. It’s become something of a tradition for me. Ever since that fateful New Year’s Eve in 2000 where I sat alone in my apartment and finally admitted to myself that I was gay, New Year’s has been less a time for partying and more a time for self-reflection.
This year, I’ll still do a little bit of my usual self-reflection diatribe, but for the most part, the contemplative aspect of the tradition seems to be rather lacking. To be honest, I simply haven’t had the time to wallow in my own crapulence. I’ve been way too busy.
As 2011 was winding to a close, my business partner, Andrew, and I had a long discussion about the future of our audiobook distribution company. To be blunt, we were on the verge of throwing in the towel. It had been an insane amount of work with, essentially, nothing to show for it. We were hitting roadblock after roadblock. We decided that we were going to give it just a little more time, and if things didn’t turn around by the first few months of the new year, that would be it.
Well, apparently, that’s all the universe needed to hear, because as soon as the new year hit, we were off and running. Our catalog had only 9 titles by the end of 2011, six of which were public domain titles. As of tonight, our catalog has 86 titles. That is an INSANE number of titles to add to the catalog in just one year’s time. We have gone from desperately trying to find customers to nearly being unable to keep up with demand. I suspect that 2013 will be a very, very big year for our little enterprise. Our hope is to grow it substantially this year.
I finished writing a book in 2012. Well, to be fair, I almost finished writing a book. The writing part is finished, the editing part is, well, let’s just say that it is not progressing as quickly as I would have hoped. One of my goals for 2013 is that I want to finally complete the editing and release the title for sale as both an eBook and an audiobook.
2012 was a fairly seismic year in my work life as well. Between March and June, I lost two bosses. The nature of my job changed drastically. I was given a team of 7 people to manage…the first time I have ever managed other people. The amount and nature of the work I do on a daily basis has changed. We launched our 100th partner website this year. Work has kept me rather busy.
2012 was the year I finally got a handle on my budget. I found a piece of software that I adore, called You Need a Budget. YNAB works in a way that simply makes sense with the way I think (or in some cases, don’t think) about money. I was able to start an emergency fund this year (though it is still meager.) I started contributing to my retirement account again. I paid off one of my credit cards. And, best of all, I will be paying off my car in just three short months! Finally, things are starting to turn around. Assuming, of course, that I can put the brakes on my annual blow-the-budget-on-toys-holiday-shopping tradition. It’s December 31st, so, starting with the new year, I will start being good again.
I’m still Fatty McFatFat. I joined a new gym, started working out, and kept it up for a few months. Then I got several strange infections in my foot, which prevented the workouts (or walking), took a trip to New York, and realized that I hate getting up in the morning when it’s still dark out to go exercise. Fortunately, I didn’t end the year at my highest weight ever, which has been a fairly regular tradition for the last several years. But I’m not far off.
2012 brought me into the world of online dating, and introduced me to both the good and the bad. I met someone with whom I felt a very strong connection, and was devastated (in my immature way) when it didn’t work out as I had hoped. I got to experience the joy of rejection in a way that I hadn’t since working as an actor. In general, I’m just going to chalk match.com up to one of those “learning experiences.”
This year, I did something I hadn’t done for the previous four years: I went on a vacation. An actual, honest-to-goodness vacation. Not a staycation. Not going to visit my parents in Utah. A real vacation. And I went to New York City. Now, I know I trend toward the hyperbolic, but I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that my week-long trip to New York was, in many ways, quite a life-changing event. I saw 9 Broadway or off-Broadway shows while I was there…this time as a fan rather than as an aspiring actor. I met up with old friends. I tried my first cocktail. I fell into the pulse and rhythm of the city quite comfortably. And I spent a metric butt-ton of money. It was a blast, and I enjoyed it immensely.
I wrote a couple of songs. Recorded a couple of covers of other songs. I narrated two and a half audiobooks, and produced two more. I made enough baked goods to feed the nation of Tanzania. I made homemade dill pickles for the first time (almost entirely with ingredients from my garden.) I made a caramel apple upside down cake that just about brought me to my knees, it was so good. I played some video games (Assassin’s Creed III, Mass Effect III, Batman: Arkham Asylum). I painted my apartment. I gardened. I bought a cord of firewood for my fireplace. I had to put Luke the Dog on joint supplements because he’s starting to exhibit signs of joint problems, reminding me that he’s starting to get old for a Golden Retriever. I listened to at least 25 audiobooks, and read a few books as well.
And, finally, one of my favorite experiences of the year happened just a week and a half ago, when I got to spend Christmas with my entire family for the first time since 2002. All three of the siblings (and their respective families) were able to come together for the holiday. I got to see my brother’s girls who I hadn’t seen in six years, including the youngest, who I had never even met in person. I got to see my sister’s two children, including the youngest, of whom I had only seen for a few minutes the night he was born…which happened to be the night before my flight left to return to Seattle.
I know that 2012 has been a very rough year for many of my friends, and my heart goes out to them for the trials and struggles that they have had to endure this year. For me, however, 2012 was a pretty even-keeled year. Nothing major happened that turned my world upside down. There were no landmark events, either good or bad, which altered the course. And for that, I’m grateful.
I have a sneaking suspicion that 2013 is not going to be such an easy-going year. I will be moving, for certain. I may be making a career transition. I’m going to be working really hard toward finding and establishing a healthy romantic relationship with a partner. My comfortable little world is about to be shaken up and, for the most part, I’m okay with that. I’m ready for a change. Hopefully, I’ll like the direction it takes me.