2018 year in review

Haven’t done one of these in a while but with everything that happened in 2018, I thought it was a good idea.

I’ve been kind of quiet on social media this year, mostly because it’s become less and less “social”, and more of a “look at me! Look how awesome I am! My life sucks except for this one time!”

That being said, I want to share with you what my year has been, even though we still have some of it left. I like to list things by category to keep the topic drifting down.

Body

I started this year in pain, having developed a hernia in 2017, and it wasn’t going to simply go away. I had my first ever surgery in May, and I’m happy to say all is well. They had to remove a nerve cluster, so a section of my lower abdomen is numb, but it hasn’t really impacted my life at all. I’ve been able to maintain my current weight, but I still want to lose about 15-20 lbs. If I can get the energy to exercise, I should be OK.

I stopped using my standing desk at work, we moved in to a new building and I was no longer in an office. I have been banished to a cube farm and having a standing desk was not practical. The only place I could get my desk riser to fit was in the corner, and when it was up it would rock since the legs fell over the gap in the desk sections. I may try to use it at home once I get my new desk in order.

I started wearing glasses, which is fine, I had worn glasses when I was a teenager, but somehow managed to will my body into not needing them. You can only keep time at bay for so long, so now I wear them when I’m on the computer. The upside is it’s difficult to see how little eyebrows I have.

Mind

The beginning of the year was tough for me, mostly because I had been in pain for nearly a year, but once I had recovered from surgery I could focus on my mental health. I’ve been dealing with depression for quite some time, and over the past couple of years I’ve slowly lost interest in everything that made me happy. I still have problems enjoying things, or even caring in general.

This year I started studying stoicism, and I won’t go in to detail since that can be a post on it’s own. Just know that since putting the teachings into practice, my ability to handle stress has done a 180. I still get the occasional outbursts, and they are extremely severe, but they are also very infrequent. I used to be so angry all the time because things weren’t working out the way I wanted them to. Once I convinced myself that the only thing I can control is what I put in, and that the outcome is out of my control, things started to get better.

I began writing in March, and for a while I was doing a page a day. Most of it was negative and focused more on the darker side of life. I’m still struggling to write about positive things, but if you know me you know I tend to focus on the negative, so I end up writing what I’m familiar with.

Coding

This year I learned how to use git properly, and that one program has completely changed my workflow. My coding skills have also gotten better and I’ve been slowly learning Python. Next year I want to dedicate more time to coding since my job is becoming more web app development and less hardware. I don’t mind the change, the challenge of figuring out new functions and designing sites makes it almost enjoyable.

MAKEing

I made an Arduino based self-watering system for houseplants, I haven’t finished it yet because I lacked the space to properly work on it. I have the circuitry put together, it just needs some tweaking on the programming side but it’s nice to be able to work with the Arduino boards. I finally built myself a new workbench in the basement. Organizing is the next step but I have all winter for that.

Amateur Radio

Sadly there’s nothing to report on that front. I haven’t touched the radios all year and with my HF antenna down I’m stuck at VHF frequencies. I honestly wish I knew why I cannot bring myself to press the button on the microphone. This is one of the things I’ve completely lost interest in and it’s one of the things I want to get back in to the most.

Woodworking

Despite my best efforts I’ve been getting better at making higher quality products. Sadly Sketchup is no longer available as a download so I had to learn the web version, which set me back a bit. The shop is slowly evolving into a good work area, and I’m nearly finished with round one improvements.

Gaming

I’m still struggling with games. I want to enjoy them but I’m often left frustrated and disappointed. I tried many different genres this year but I just haven’t been able to feel the excitement that I once did. I would love to start Twitch streaming in 2019 but I’m only going to do it if I can enjoy playing the games. This stems from me not being interested in anything, and also the thoughts in the back of my head that I’m wasting precious time on something of no value.

TLDR;

2018 had its’ ups and downs for me, but overall it was vastly better than 2017. I’m in a better place physically and mentally. I’m hoping things will continue to improve in the coming year.

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