Looking Back at 2012

Year music Looking Back at 2012Every year, I take a look back at the last 12 months and reflect a bit on the year.

What went well:

This year was pretty awesome for me personally. I got engaged (!!!) in July during this epic trip to Split Rock Light House State Park. We had a picnic, went on a long hike, visited the Wolf Sanctuary in Ely, and traipsed around Hibbing (Bob Dylan’s hometown). It was the best weekend ever.

Looking back over the entire year has made me realize how much has gone well. Last Thanksgiving, we actually moved to Minneapolis and I’ve been taking full advantage of living in a real city. I planted a garden with my awesome fiance, finally went to a murder mystery dinner, and spent an entire night at Northern Spark. I hosted a Shimer-in-a-box book group. I got to see some amazing music: Bob Dylan, the Black Keys, the Jayke Orvis band. I even snuck a spa trip in there. I visited Marcelo Garcia’s academy (and saw some good friends) in New York City. I raised $1600 for Children of the Night, thanks to many of you. I started training at Alliance BJJ and doing a bit of Olympic weightlifting with Roger Sadecki at the end of the year.

It was a great year professionally. In addition to writing for some stellar magazines and websites, and working with some of the brightest minds in the industry, I got to interview a lot of really amazing people as well: Steven Rinella, US memory champ Nelson Dellis, NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson, authors A.J. Jacobs and Joshua Foer, and many more. I got to do a fair bit of traveling for work, too, including attending the ASJA conference in New York, a food and ecotourism trip to Huatulco, a cheese/wine/beer trip to Madison, and some Bellator fights in Hammond. Locally, I did a MovNat training and attended an ONACamp. Two of my articles which were in purgatory finally went to print, and I got some money owed to me in small claims court. I also joined a coworking space one day a week, which I’m really excited about. I taught a freelancing class at the Loft Literary Center, which went incredibly well. I was a guest on a bunch of podcasts (including Two Couch Potatoes and the Paleo Truth) and was in the Women’s Mixed Martial Arts awards committee, and a judging committee for MMPA’s magazine awards. And I got to work with some amazing people, including word whiz Maarte Gortje and virtual assistant extraordinaires Elizabeth Schlicher and Katy Simmons. I also have some amazing plans going forward into 2013, and some new beats I’m covering as a writer (namely business and technology).

What didn’t go well:

The feast and famine cycle of life as a freelance writer has made this year incredibly difficult, leaving me completely overwhelmed and burned out at times. Living with uncertainty gets easier over time, but I’m hoping to deliberately choose to take time off in the coming year so I don’t feel like I’m working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Although I’ve gotten 172 hours of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in this year, I’ve had a lot of difficulty showing up week after week. Figuring out a way to fit training in, no matter how much work I’m doing, is something I need to spend some time grappling with (no pun intended). And it’s not just training that gets put on the backburner when I’m working too many hours, but also things like getting enough hours of sleep, maintaining a good diet, etc.

Despite finally being in a real city and having lots of people to get coffee with, I still don’t feel the same sense of camraderie I did while living in Tucson and am still missing old friends and the community I once knew (not to mention the weather). I’m not really sure this will ever really change, but spending time meeting new people, hanging out with friends, and even just traveling and seeing old friends from far away certainly won’t hurt.

My wishes for 2013:

Lots and lots and lots of writing. A beautiful garden. Celebrating abundance. Decluttering my home office. Taking time off of work at some point. Spending time outdoors after the 6 months of winter are over. Consistency, especially with my diet and training regimen. Learning code (if only to be able to communicate with real coders.) Finishing my ebook. Launching a startup. And, of course, I’m really excited about some travelling. I’ll be attending Catalyst Athletic’s Olympic weightlifting course in California in the fall, and am hoping to make my way out to the Association of Healthcare Journalists conference out in Boston this spring. And, if luck should have it, perhaps the World Domination Summit in Portland as well.

How was your year?

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