Reflections on 2010

2 Dec

As 2010 pours into 2011, it’s always nice to take a second or two to reflect on the past year. I don’t usually go for end of the year lists or anything like that, but I do love me some New Year’s resolutions. So, in that spirit, here’s what went well and not so well in 2010.

What I think went well:

Baby – Obviously this was a big deal in 2010. We tried two cycles of IVF, which didn’t work. And then in March, baby mama got pregnant. I know, a miracle baby, right? Riiiiight. But we’re going to make in under the wire to have a within-year baby. All of you multi-year pregnancy babies are such obviously inferior models. It’s like the ‘career’ grand slam versus the grand slam’. This baby is all 2k10.

Friendships, connections, kinwork – Aside from the detente that has gripped my family since mid-2k10 (no small thing), I feel like I went the distance as far as maintaining connections with friends and family. I wrote at least 24 letters this year, some of them a page or two, some of them even more. On stationery, typed on an old time-y manual typewriter, notes, cards, and letters. I hope that at least some, if not many, friends got something more in the mail than bills and spam. If you want me to put you on my snail-mail list, you should drop me a line – I do try to be a good correspondent. I even got a couple of letters back this year, which is unprecedented! On the family front, post-detente I’ve had a much better relationship with my siblings, with more email, phone, even Skype in the last year than in the previous five, I’d say.

Career – Well, I’d actually put this in the neutral or negative category, but it seems to me that this past year has cemented some of my feelings about my current career that I’ve been on the fence about for some time now. I’ll continue to be vague while this baby and year and next resolve themselves, but I have decided for myself that, regardless of the short-term costs, I will be happy in what I am doing. Happier in what I am doing (because, let’s face it, it’s an incredibly privileged position from which I am operating now). Mondo Beyondo!

Finances – Not that these are going super-swimmingly, or substantively different from the past. But we had long said that we wanted to get our finances in order, and help to do the same for some family members, and that shit is happening. We may not have a future, or a house, or careers, but we will very shortly have a plan. And you know what they say: a man, a plan, a canal…

What I think went poorly:

My girlish figure – After working hard to run and jump rope and eat right for 2009, I have ended up heavier than ever. I guess you could generously call this sympathy eating for baby mama’s pregnancy, but I am not where I want to be in terms of goal weight. Obviously, once the baby is born I’ll have a lot more time to run and exercise and such. Hey! Don’t guffaw into your sleeve. Once I get my fitbit, I’ll be on my way. So, you know, stomach flues and eating disorder or bust in 2011!

Family relations – Siblings, yes. Parents and general family well-being, less so. I’m not going to shit out all my family problems at you, so you can gawk at them like paparazzi. No, no. But I looked into my crystal ball in 2007 and thought there might be some rough patches coming down the pike. And, well, yep. It’s sad, quite likely fixable, but also possibly un-fixable. Sigh.

Work – Career aside, I have not gotten a lot of work done this past year. I wish it were otherwise, and I’ve projects I’ve worked on intermittently. But in the academic world of long deadlines followed by brief moments of decisive oversight, I’m not at the end of one of those segments. The good news is, I felt this way about my dissertation as well, and it’s not uncommon to feel a little lost while you’re in the middle of the water, pointed hopefully towards shore but not quite in sight of it. That’s the good poetic shit, yeah? I’m a little frustrated by this, and I do think this is going to go a bit out the window once baby arrives.

House – Fuck me, but it’s been hard to buy a house in New York. I know, I know, Queenz! They’re throwing houses at people in Queenz! But we have been oh so close, very close, somewhat close, and not so close to buying a house, and we have been unable to convince other people to take our gigantic wad of money in exchange for property ownership. Either we need a bigger wad of money, or we need a different city. I’d say there’s a 85-90% chance we’ll be here for 5 years, and then a 50% chance that we’ll be in NYC metro beyond that. Maybe less. If we could just get all of our friends to move with us to a community in Seattle or Portland or something, that would be hella awesome.

On my list for 2011:

Some stuff I still want to do? Oh yes. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes we both, Oh yes we both, Oh yes, we both reached for the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun, Oh yes, we both reached for the gun, for the gun. (sorry, sometimes I get, you know, musical).

Website – I’ve got a lot of domain names, and I’m itching to re-design some of the websites I’m working on. I want to learn html5 (seriously, dude. seriously, try this out in Chrome or Safari, w/a good computer). I would like to make web pretty.

Etsy – A goal for 2011 is to sell something on Etsy. I’m not even 100% sure I care what it is (yes I do, probably foodstuff). But I got ideas, man, and ideas take time to percolate, dude, but sometimes they just need to get out, woman, and find their expression in the real world instead of inside my head, pal. Because it’s already crowded in there (I know, I know, double rainbow).

Data projects – I have some ideas about showcasing how I use data, and I’d like to make something helpful for myself or for others. Probably intersecting usability, social similarity/dissimilarity, recommendations, culture. I’m not bucking for a Netflix competition prize or anything, but I’d like to turn my knowledge about social science and markets and culture into something likely more than academically productive.

And of course fatherhood. I’m gonna be trying hard. Succeeding and failing too, but not for a lack of trying.

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One Response to “Reflections on 2010”

  1. Ivy December 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Wow. That’s quite a summary. All joking aside, I’m humbled by your honesty and courage in putting it up here.

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