01 January 2014

Last Year Was Great, But...

I enjoy reading everyone’s year-in-review posts a lot.  I think its equal parts voyeurism and wanting to see friends happy and successful.  Whatever your reason for reading these things… here’s mine:

Last night, I was feeling pretty …meh… about 2013.  When I mentioned this to Ali, she thought I was crazy, and I’m glad I’ve sat down to write this because it made me feel better.  Still, most of the things that make me happy about 2013 also make me a little bit sad, so there’s plenty to feel meh about.

I began 2013 still feeling really happy about finishing the marathon in 2012.  But I completely failed to run much in the past year.  I hardly exercised in general for that matter.  This is pretty disappointing.  After running over 300 miles in 2012, I’ll bet I ran for a maximum 20 miles in all of 2013.  I have my (poor) excuses, but they didn’t keep me from gaining 20 pounds in 2013.

Obviously, one of the things that made me happiest in 2013 was finishing the Hugos.  Despite that it’s not much of an accomplishment, it felt like one to me and even though it took me longer than I had set out to take, I was still pretty proud of myself for having seen this challenge through to the very near end.  But then I’ve really stalled on completing the reviews.  I’m going to try to get on the way to finishing though, and I’m into the last ten reviews so it should happen soon.

And although I finished the Hugo’s this year, I did not read much at all (outside of school).  To be fair, I am a full-time grad student and employed full-time so I feel like I have something approaching a legitimate excuse here.  Nevertheless I feel pretty bummed about my reading stats from the past year.  For the first time ever, I actually listened to more audio books than I read in print.

I like to keep track of some stupid reading stats, but it’s mostly just to help me remember and reflect on the books I’ve read.  I keep spreadsheets for everything, so you can see my embarrassing stats below:  14 print books.  Being 3 graphic novels and 1 young adult.  10.15 days listening to audiobooks.

There are some things I feel unequivocally happy about from this past year: I’m working toward a master of arts from the University of Florida.  I FINISHED READING ALL THE HUGOS!  We took a spectacular vacation this summer to my home state of Minnesota where my 4yo daughter met my grandparents for the first time.  My wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary (we started dating in high school over ten years ago).

We had a great year but I guess after consideration I’d only say I feel slightly more positive than negative about my goals from this time last year.  I feel like I could have worked harder to achieve my goals last year, but also optimistic that I'll do better this year.  Some of my resolutions relevant here being:
  • Finish reviewing the Hugo’s
  • Vote for the 2014 Hugo’s!
  • Manage my time spent on school better (this was only reason I didn’t get more done this year…not enough free time…)
  • Transition this blog into something else and keep up with other bloggers better
  • Balance my reading between print, audio, and graphic novels better (more print and graphic novels please)
  • Read more books published in the last year
  • Run another race or two (dare I commit myself to a half-marathon???)

Well, this is getting long so I think I’ll save more (favorites of 2013 and maybe some pictures) for later…  Good luck to you all in the new year!


  1. I know I enjoy doing end of the year posts because I think it is beneficial to reflect on the year, for a number of reasons. Not the least of which to put things in perspective.

    I think reading the Hugos is a big accomplishment. If you compare it against, say, your improved health of the year before, maybe not, but if that is how we measured everything then precious little could be called an "accomplishment". You set a goal for yourself and met it, that alone is something worthy of pride. Beyond that you actually did what many of us SFF fans talk about and daydream about but never actually do. You did a focused study of the history of SFF biggest award...that is cool!

    I didn't run as much this year as last but have managed to mostly keep my weight within 5-7 pounds of my idea. I just ordered a new pair of running shoes and look forward to kicking up my running a notch in 2014.

    I wish you a very Happy New Year and hope you accomplish all your goals.

  2. Thanks, that's nice Carl. Hopefully we'll both be able to run more this year!

  3. Great to see you back, and to hear that you plan to keep the blog past the Hugos! I've always enjoyed reading your reviews. Grad school can be really rough, I know, and really good at making one feel down about oneself. Good luck in 2014 with school, running, blogging and everything else!

    1. I'm not exactly sure how I'll make it work beyond the Hugos...but I've got some time to figure that out. Anyway, thanks Allie!


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