It’s that time of the year again. Yet, at the moment, I’m honestly not feeling it. I’m looking at the back-end Admin of the blog in the last year and I’m realizing I need to put this down in the effort to be consistent. But my gut tells me I’m not ready to be done with the year.

Still, I will forge ahead now to determine what all that this could mean. In lieu of inspiration I will fall back to the facts. Let’s start there. Total amount of posts in 2019 up until now was 44. It’s still early, but I might come in around 50 for 2019. Most of them were Audio Journals. And the only reason for that was due to the late summer inspiration of a concept that I can now say didn’t quite pan out. OR, to be more optimistic about it, has yet to settle into its final form. But let me rewind.

I started 2019 with a very strong sense that this was going to be a Photography year for me. I had acquired a whole bunch of new gear fueled by a renewed desire to seek out some personal expression. I even signed up for some photography lessons. But I think there was not quite enough room in my schedule or budget to keep the fire alive. I think now that I did my best to kit myself out but that I need to add a Travel element of some kind to that passion. The opportunity to get away from familiar surroundings long enough to take a new place in and then take some pictures of it.

I think I stumbled on that combination once this year. While off on a retreat, I managed to break away from the scheduled happenings and just go be with my camera. They were short hikes on arguably limited terrain, but it had the elements I had envisioned at the beginning of the year. So this is a thing I can probably do even better, with some work.

Now while I was counting up the blog posts I couldn’t help but notice the ALMOST 6 MONTH GAP in the release dates in the middle of the year. It’s no coincidence that this period coincided with the busier season at work. I know I pulled a few longer work weeks and this tapped into my personal downtime. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. When I work more, I have less time to play. And to be honest, I enjoy those paychecks a bit more.

Despite being busy, I succeeded and taking more time away from work in 2019. One of the things I have to congratulate myself for was getting back to regular visibility with my Spiritual Community. And that effort really spawned out of missing a crucial retreat in February due to some pretty horrendous weather. Like it was SO bad it didn’t even make it into the blog. Fortunately I documented most of it on my Facebook Page.

The take away was to get days I NEEDED to be with my people ONTO the work schedule. This is a practice I will continue into 2020. The sooner I know dates the better. Because otherwise I don’t ever really take days off and I have a backlog of days available to me, so I might as well take them with as much advance notice as possible. So, well done me.

Work continues to be a joy. For the last couple years I’ve fostered a very good combination of work level and health. As my health has improved I’ve felt more confident in working late hours and long weeks. But the Convenience Store game is not one of rote repetition. It’s more of an ebb and flow with periods of intense focus. And it really rests on the dependability of others. Now, I personally define myself as dependable even if my track record varies on which commitments we focus on. But when it comes to my employment, I just don’t mess around.

So, when things are looking as good as they have been lately, I find myself with a bit more spare time. But I do worry that if I try to create a new commitment, to myself or others, that I will have to drop it should work come a-calling. I haven’t quite figured out how to find this balance. Ideally, I’d have a little room to work with, but with a schedule that is locked in only once per week its a dicey proposition. Still sorting this one out. I’ll get back to you.

I mentioned Health there and I’m very proud to report I’m still trending upwards. I had been tracking my weight pretty religiously but that also fell by the wayside in the ‘busy times’ of this year. However, my last visit to see a specialist included a step onto the scale and I learned I had miraculously maintained weight loss I had earned this time last year.

Now, if you recall, last year I had all my teeth removed and got into a full set of dentures. More than a year in and they still work really well. I’m a bit more comfortable with them now, though I still mostly only wear them ‘as needed’ e.g. Eating Meals and in Social Settings. This has turned into a (not surprising) major health boon. As ideal it is to keep and maintain good dental health, when you let those teeth go you gotta get ’em out. They just drag you down on so many levels. I mean, there are days I miss not having them, but only the ones that had been healthy oh so many years ago. The poorly kept and aesthetically displeasing ones, we can let go of those.

There are some things I want to do in 2020, but I’m a little reserved about talking about them. I have become very aware that I can’t keep my mouth shut about things I like and desire for myself. It seems that when I get super excited I talk about it so much that it doesn’t quite pan out the way I had hoped. So for 2020 I’m really going to attempt to speak about positive things as the come about instead of building it up. That sounds less positive than I’d like but really its about not taking any wind out of my own sails.

I’m going to wrap up with a bit of Blog Status. The site remains my Sandbox and Playground. One major development that happened this year was the adoption of Anchor.fm as the Audio Journal recording platform. One of the reasons I had stop making regular posts was the time it takes to construct them. Anchor came along right at a time when I was exploring a way to do “quick and dirty” content creation. Now, it turns out the “Lean Audio” model as I had discovered it is not quite my style. But as I experimented I think I found a version of Audio Journaling and Blog Distribution I can live with. I use the app to record when I fell like I have something to say. And if I decide I want things to sound a little more polished I can still use my Home Studio. Either way, I publish to Anchor and then I re-syndicate the feed right here through WordPress. Its been working really well so far. About the only less -optimal thing is that the recordings live elsewhere.

I don’t know if I stand a chance at losing any of that content, but what I might do is see about backing up the Anchor account in a way that gives me access to that audio.

Occasionally, there are things that I want to do with this blog that I still can’t figure out how to approach. There are a few niche topics that I’d love to introduce. But I hesitate because I feel like any two of said niche topics might not share the same audience. I struggle with the notion I need to have separate places to make such specialized posts, when I probably do not. I’m going to take that notion into the next year and see if there isn’t something more I can do with it.

Well, I think that is all I have for this year. Birthday #48 is right around the corner and I can only hope it goes as well as this last year has.

Thank you as always for hanging out, whether in Text or Audio. If we don’t see each other before the New Year have a wonderful holiday season! May you have everything you want and more than you need to share.