We’re now a few days into 2016 and I’ve already managed to shift my brain into writing the correct year on my cheques. I’m going to take that as a sign of good things to come for this year.
If I had one wish to make for 2016, though, it would be that it is a hell of a lot more stable and stress-free than 2015. That’s not to say 2015 was a crappy year or anything, but it was the second in a row of transitions and challenges. But it wasn’t all difficult, worrisome and stressful. Here are some good and bad highlights from the year:
- With some regret, I said “good-bye” to a long-term client last January. When you’re freelancing, client relationships never last forever, and there’s always a feeling that your business is churning. Or about to. On the plus side, I took on a new client that kept me really busy throughout the year. If you haven’t checked out the work I’ve been doing for the last 11 months, please check out FierceEnterpriseCommunications and FierceDevOps.
- I shut down my pet grooming business after only a year of operation. As work with Fierce ramped up and helped me to pay bills and pay off the debt I accumulated starting Blues Pet Grooming, Blues was in a serious downturn. A lot of dog owners only get their dogs groomed once or twice a year; and those times are in the spring and summer, for the most part. Blues was relegated to a part-time business, with hopes of ramping it up a bit as the summer approached. And that’s when I messed up my left wrist, thanks to too much strain put on it (go ahead; make your jokes) through dog grooming. I shut down Blues temporarily in June, but by October, it was clear I wouldn’t be reopening. In time, perhaps, but unless my repetitive strain injury heals to the point I won’t be in pain with the slightest tweak of my wrist, that short-lived career is over.
- I travelled. Quite a lot, really. Toronto and Denver in May. An Alaskan cruise (followed by a few days in Seattle) in July. Toronto again in August to surprise my father for his 65th birthday. And then Vegas to see Jimmy Buffett in October.
- My harmonica playing improved greatly, thanks to regular lessons with Carlos del Junco. I wouldn’t call myself a serious player, but after several months of lessons in 2015, I have a small (but growing) repertoire of licks and tunes in my head.
- I had some personal projects I wanted to work on, such as getting Beer In Canada going again, but I ended up using most of my downtime to either play harmonica, play video games or stare at the TV.
- Thankfully, I got back into photography, even though I’m way behind on my post-processing. I still have dozens of photos from Alaska, Denver, Seattle, Toronto and Vegas to run through Photoshop and post to Facebook and Flickr. I’ll get them done eventually.
- I did not grow a moustache for Movember, but instead opted to participated in the new MOVE element of the campaign. The gist is to get some exercise, even if it’s just a walk, every day. I believe I missed two days. But more importantly, I failed to change bad habits around fitness and consumption of food and drink. There’s good news, though. I got a Fitbit for Christmas and have been using that and the gamification features of the app to change habits, lose weight and exercise regularly. Maybe I’ll actually make significant progress on the Walk to Mordor challenge I began months ago.
I’m sure there’s something important I missed, but c’est la vie. I’ll get a post written about 2016 up shortly.