Breathe out 2013, Breathe in 2014

2013 has been such an amazing year, I almost don’t know where to begin…

Miranda SleepingThe biggest event of the year was the birth of our little girl, Miranda. She’s a happy, healthy, giant of a baby – her height has been consistently at-or-above the 100th percentile! I guess some of those tall genes from both our families skipped a generation (or two). I love being a dad, even when it means late night/early morning wakeup calls. That smile makes it all worth while.

The other big highlight for the year was getting back to work. I’m back in the trenches of software testing, at a great company called Desire2Learn. It’s been fantastic so far, and they’re only getting better as time goes on. The project I’m working on is really interesting, and the people on my team are exceptional. I really couldn’t ask for a better job!

One small sadness that came just after Christmas – I lost my wedding ring. On Boxing Day, we flew back from Ontario after a great two-week trip, and somewhere at Pearson’s Terminal 3, my ring slipped off my finger. I’ve put out the call on social media, and spoken with Lost & Found at the airport, but I have little hope of ever seeing it again at this point. Part of me knows that it’s just a material object, and I certainly don’t need it to prove my love for Virginia. I’m also not one for wearing a lot of jewelry either – I rarely even wear a watch. That being said, after wearing that ring for nearly seven years, it’s kind of become a part of my physical identity, so I feel rather strange walking around without it.

And now, to last year’s goals:

Test for 3rd Kyu in Aikido: I took about 6 months off, so by the time I got back on the mats, I had a lot to catch up on.

Help promote my dojo: For the first half of the year, I wasn’t doing much to promote the dojo. However, over the summer and in to the fall, I’ve been working hard to let people know about the awesomeness of Aikido. Most of this effort has been focused on Twitter, but also helping with getting the posters up for our intro classes.

Build a couple raised beds at the house, Try growing potatoes again, and Start more of my own plants: I managed to get the beds built in the fall, and garlic planted in one of them. Didn’t end up getting potatoes planted, and my seed starts failed.

Blogging/vlogging more regularly: Didn’t really meet this one. I did do a bit more blogging over on than here, but still not what I would consider “regularly”. No vlogging happened at all.

Brewing my first batch of beer: Definitely hit this goal! I’ve made 4 batches so far, and am planning quite a few more for next year.

While I didn’t meet all my goals for the year, I feel really good about what was accomplished. I’d also like to think that it’s laid the foundation for an even better year in 2014! With that in mind, here are my goals for 2014:

Test for 3rd Kyu in Aikido: While my technique is still a bit rusty, I feel somehow more comfortable with the techniques. Part of this might be due to reading Journey to the Heart of Aikido, which gave my spirit a bit of a reminder of why I practice. Anyway, we’ll see if my sensei feels that testing time has come again for me.

Grow more food: The raised beds at the house are ready to rock, and I won a bunch of seeds from Cubit’s, so there’s no excuse this year. Since I’ve got a room in the house that sits at around 20 degrees Celsius (for brewing), I’m going to double up and set up a seed-starting rig.

Blogging/vlogging more regularly: I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to set a schedule for myself, if I’m going to meet this goal. Haven’t decided what that schedule will look like yet, but that’ll be a post soon enough.

Day 0-A little lowBrewing my first all-grain batch of beer: At some point this year, I want to make at least a 1-gallon batch of beer using grains (ie. not just from a kit). On the plus side, I think I have all the equipment I’ll need, so it’s just a case of finding the time.

And now, over to you! Do you set goals or resolutions at New Years? Why or Why Not?

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