2013: The Year Of New Beginnings

Matt and Virginia at Ghibli Museum, Tokyo, JapanAs some of you may know, 2012 has been a rollercoaster year for Virginia and I:


Of course, the biggest news for us was Virginia getting pregnant! Our little girl is expected at the end of February 2013, and we couldn’t be more excited! As well, I’m hoping to be gainfully employed again early in the new year, so it seems like “New Beginnings” is a good theme for my annual New Years post.

To start with, let’s take a look at last year’s goals:

Test for 4th Kyu in Aikido: Done! I owe a great deal to the teachers and students at MUN Aikido for helping me prepare for this test. My performance was better than on my 5th Kyu, but I definitely still have a LOT of work to do in Aikido.

Practice Aikido in Japan: Also done! I practiced with the Doshu, Wakasensei, and Osawa Sensei – exactly as planned! One mistake I did make was misunderstanding the rules about taking photos – I thought people weren’t supposed to take photos in the dojo at all, but I gather that the policy is more about taking photos of classes than about the dojo itself. Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to go back!

Build a couple raised beds at the house, Try growing potatoes again, and Start more of my own plants: Getting laid off kind of put a damper on these, since I’m trying to keep our expenses down. The worst part is, this summer would’ve been a great time to be gardening, between being at home and having warm and sunny weather most of the time (which is very unusual for Newfoundland).

Blogging more regularly: I didn’t do as well as I had expected on this one – I’ve got lots of posts in draft (including a long one on the trip to Japan), but just kept hitting writers block.

Lots of good goals, and while I didn’t hit the mark on some, a lot still got done this year, so I’m pretty happy.

Looking forward to 2013, obviously there’s one big goal:

Welcome Baby Middleton In To The World

Virginia and I have been steadily ramping up for her arrival, and we’re nearly ready – at least on the practical stuff! Of course, I’ve been told (and believe) that no one is ever really ready to become a parent. Still, we’re going to muddle through and do the best we can for her :)

I do have some other goals for the year as well:

Test for 3rd Kyu in Aikido: This one might be a bit challenging, since I’m going to have less free time with which to practice. That being said, I sincerely hope that I can continue to improve my Aikido, and go for my 3rd Kyu in 2013.

Help promote my dojo: I do a lot of the photography for MUN Aikido, and recently I’ve taken on the task of promoting the dojo via social media. For example, I’m the guy behind @MUNAikido, and have been posting some videos on our YouTube channel. This coming year, letting more people know about Aikido (in general) and our dojo (specifically) is going to be important.

Build a couple raised beds at the house, Try growing potatoes again, and Start more of my own plants: I’m carrying these over to this year for a couple of reasons. First off, gardening is one of my passions, and having an outlet for it that isn’t a half-hour drive away just makes sense. Secondly, I’d like to be able to produce at least some of the food that we eat (and that includes the baby). I suspect this will be a little easier this year, since I was able to scrounge up some older lumber, and may have enough material from the composter this spring to reduce the amount of soil I need to buy.

Blogging/vlogging more regularly: As some of you may remember, I did one video back in 2011 for what was going to be a series for Root Cellars Rock, called Pioneering in Paradise. The other day, I decided to start over with the series, and change the format – instead of being videos on a single topic, I’m thinking of doing a month-by-month of what people on the North-east Avalon can be doing with relation to gardening. My vision is to have at least one blog post for each monthly video. Some of them might even include details of my next goal…

Brewing my first batch of beer: I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, especially since I own (or can borrow) most of the equipment I need. A couple of British homebrew books from the 70s really got me fired up for this idea, so hopefully there will be some Zymurgy going on here in 2013.

Now, what are YOUR plans for 2013? Got anything exciting in mind? Maybe some travel, or a big change? Post in the comments below (or, if you do a whole blog post, give us the link)!

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