Monday, December 31, 2012

So long 2012!

Tomorrow will be the requisite 2013 Resolution blog (which will likely look very similar to the 2012 post, meh), but I thought I'd take a minute today to look back on 2012.

 2012 was a big year for me - a lot of good, but a lot of not-so-good sprinkled in too, often very related.

The Good:
I got myself out of a bad rut that was affecting me both mentally and physically.  Physically, I don't think I was ever unhealthier than in 2011: I had breathing problems, pretty bad allergies, my weight ballooned in a very unhealthy way, I got addicted to coffee and the caffeine in it - just all around a very unhealthy way to live.  Stress at work didn't help, neither did some personal issues that I look back on as one of the low-points in my life, and they all sort of jumbled together and fed each other.  2012 fixed a lot of that though: I turned my health around and lost 25 pounds during the first part of the year (even ran/walked a 5k with my sister) which in turn helped with a lot of the other health issues, I switched to another job that I enjoyed a lot more and (at the time) was less stressful, and eventually worked through the issues in my screwed up head.

I took the next step on my volunteer journey and joined the board of directors for the non-profit group that manages the Richmond Men's Chorus and Richmond Women's Chorus, and took an added leadership role as the leader of the 5th Section, the technical group for the RMC/RWC.

Looking back, I also see how I got a LOT done on the house: I rented the downstairs, the back deck was replaced and the front & side yards were tidied up, so that for the first time in my life, I was actually semi-proud of the property I owned and wasn't embarrassed to say that it was mine.

The Bad:
As fantastic as the weight loss was last year, it stalled around April and never really got back on track.  Since then I've had good months and bad months, and while I've at least kept myself near my adult-life-low I haven't lost any more either.

Not coincidentally, April was also the month that work-related stress picked back up.  The department I manage had a lot change thrown at it in a very short time, and a lot of it fell to me (forced is really the wrong word: while required, it's also something that we wanted to do).  That forced me into some roles and work relationships that, if I'm being honest with myself, I wasn't completely ready for and am still not completely comfortable in.  It also meant a lot of late nights, which as the year progressed, tended to be at Xtra's, the local bar.  Now, don't get me wrong: I LOVE Xtra's.  But night-after-night, usually with a beer (or three or four) and a big meal isn't the best thing; not for your wallet, not for your health, and not for social life (honestly, who wants to be with the guy at a bar who's nose-deep into his computer?)

To sum it all up: great strides in a lot of areas, but not so great that I can't point to a number of things in all the areas that I should've (and could've) done a lot better in.  So that sets the foundation for the 2013 resolutions.

Now - time to go prep for tonight & tomorrow!

Monday, December 10, 2012

What a Weekend!

Oooh boy, was this a long weekend. Super fun and super rewarding, but super busy and not-a-little stressful at the same time.


To start with, this weekend was Great Joy!, the annual holiday concert for the Richmond Men & Women's Choruses. I've been helping them out for years, but always in more of a support role. This year, though, I'm on their board of directors, and took over leadership of the 5th Section (our volunteer backstage group) and Production Committee. Among other things, that meant I had to recruit and schedule volunteers, coordinate all the ads & biographies & listings for the program, supply & organize the reception, and also (eek) give the introduction at the start to the audience. Ugh.

I'm pleased to say, however, that everything went fantastically. The choruses sounded (and looked) great, and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that I organized went completely unnoticed, which is the best praise you can get as a technical guy. My little speech the first night wasn't fantastic (I have a tendency to rush when I'm nervous) but it wasn't horrible either, and given that I had to do it right after frantically running through the bowels of the church trying to find the chorus because their director decided to bring them up through a different stairway (seriously, how the heck does one misplace a whole chorus of women?), I don't think I could've asked for more.

It did mean, though, that I had to spend most of Saturday morning running around Short Pump picking up reception ingredients "just in case", since we didn't even know if we were doing a reception until Saturday night, or if supplies had already been taken care of, and the person I needed to answer those questions wasn't returning my emails. And shopping at Richmond's only Costco in the few weeks before Christmas is NOT fun. Argh.

And somehow, while I was doing all of that running around, I managed to put up the outdoor lights, do laundry, pack for my business trip to Sioux Falls, buy 2 new light fixtures for the back deck, put down some patio stones as a temporary walkway to the deck, clean out the car, get my finances updated through this week, have a drink & wings with buddy Todd, and get through 80 emails at work.  Yowzas!

So anyway, it was a fantastic weekend and I had a blast, but am also somewhat relieved that it's in the books and done.  Now, to see if I can recreate it this week with work-y stuff!

-Nik

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Odd Benefits of Short Legs

I have short legs.  For real: my in-seam is 28 1/4 inches, which is 2 standard dev's below where it should be for my height of 69".  Generally this is quite annoying, since the shortest pants you can normally find have 29 inch legs, and even those aren't all that common.  So usually I have to make do with limited choices and then deal with slightly too-long pants.  (Yes, I could get them altered.  But that takes $$, and I don't want to make that investment until I get my waist down another couple of inches.  And altering jeans isn't really an option anyway.)

Every once and a while, though, it comes in handy at the oddest times.  For example: yesterday morning I went to the gym before work, and managed to forget my dress socks, leading to this fantastic fashion statement you see on your right.  Snazzy.

And yet, with my slightly-too-long jeans, nobody noticed!  You know that feeling you get when you know a secret nobody else does?  I walked around work all day with that feelin.

And yes, this is what passes for excitement in my life right now. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Nice People

To the random lady at Kohl's who said "Here, I can't use this, you should" and then handed me a coupon that saved me $60:  THANK YOU.  You are awesome.