2019 was a really challenging year, but it’s also been one of the best in memory.

I really am a lucky individual to be at this place in my life. I’ve got opportunity to grow and learn out the wazoo right now, and I’m doing my best to make the most of it by firewalking into each situation… not unafraid, I definitely still feel the fear, but perhaps undaunted by it. While I can’t say I’ve become COMFORTABLE with failure, I’ve ceased to be paralyzed by it. I probably have a few thousand words rolling around in my head about this stuff, so I’m going to seperate all that into the next post and keep this one more of a wrap up/looking forward goals post instead.

Training and racing I documented very very well, so I’ll sum up quickly:

  • Finally a half marathon PR!
  • Did really well at some indoor tris
  • Notched a 3rd and a 1st (qualifying for Nationals, but decided to skip it this year)
  • Raced a 70.3. Enjoyed the process but the outcome (though mostly out of my hands due to a mechanical) was slightly disappointing

2020 is truly the year of the Ironman. I’ve got a half marathon in January, a 6 hour bike race in February, and after that, nothing until April 25th. I’m booked until May, and then after, I’ve promised myself the rest of the year to do WHATEVER. Last time it was long distance cycling. This year, we’ll see. Maybe it will be underwater basket weaving?

I was selected to rep Nuun and then also become part of the #questsquad in 2019. I’ve reapplied for Nuun, and I believe I’m already in for Quest. BSS no longer has a tri team, so I thought long and hard about going for a kit ambassadorship, but the one I wear doesn’t do that, and I’m not deviating from my Roka kit for the Ironman. No free gear will stray me from it. Technically I’ll be under the umbrella of Austin Tri Club as my people, I hope to get to know them better by attending some functions and/or workouts in my copius free time. 🙂

#projectraceweight was a bit of a disappointment this year, but I found myself with other priorities instead of dedicated towards the meticulous attention and tracking losing 20 lbs takes. I’d really like to knock this one off the list in 2020, as my last (post vacation super bloated weight) was actually 5 lbs higher than I said I weighed in my January 2019 post, so I’ll have the challenge of both fueling myself for Ironman and watching my shit in the coming months. It will simply take tracking my calories, watching my metrics, and eating the right things because I haven’t been doing much of any of that this year. If I’m successful, I have a feeling it will take the shape of the 5-ish I’m up right now from my absolute lowest will hopefully come off during IM season, and the rest I can work on in the second half of the year.

My hobbies have taken a completely different form this year. I stopped thinking about them as something I needed to improve upon to learn a new craft to support myself someday, and simply felt the drive to indulge and improve. It’s unblocked me in some ways and in some cases, I’ve dropped the motivation to partake.

While the words haven’t been here in this particular location, I’ve written more fiction this year than I have, perhaps ever in my life. I’m writing with more care and attention to detail. I like the words I’m making. I did almost nothing with the first draft of the non-fiction book I’ve written, and I think I’ve fully realized why. It’s very personal. If it doesn’t do well, I’ll feel rejected not just as a writer and marketer, but at my core of a human being as well. This isn’t my first book that’s a learning experience. I care too much about it for it to be my training exercise. So instead, I’m going to write some fiction and learn the ropes that way. I actually aim to cut off my Fork Files at a good ~100 page stopping point this year, edit it to smooth out the writing style and level of big-word asshattery, and publish it in some form or fashion.

We took two major vacations – the 9 day cruise and two weeks in Bonaire, both of which featured some amazing diving (the former included a ton of great family quality time as well). In 2020 we plan to do a 7 day family cruise in May, a 6 day Dungeons and Dragons cruise (yes really) for our anniversary in October, and probably a Key Largo trip in December instead of somewhere more expensive, though on the wish list are Australia, Maldives, Hawaii, and Fiji.

We camped in February, July, and for races. I hope in 2020 to do something similar (though July will be more like 5 days vs 10) but also take a fall trip or two somewhere new and pretty.

I’ve gotten better at prioritizing gaming, especially in the last few months. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed delving into the mind of my Bard, I’ve found that I can really explore facets of my personality perhaps I’m less comfortable about as me IRL. I’ll cover this in my next post, but suffice to say D&D has me hooked, to the point where I’m actually looking at running some stuff next year. Probably just for my husband at first, but I’ve been really interested to try my hand at it. Also warranting more than a one-liner here, I’m on my second season at our work Blood Bowl league and I’m really really into the game. I’ve put almost 200 hours into it and I thoroughly enjoy the puzzle of figuring out how I’m going to combat each team with the tools I have at my disposal.

In 2020, I want to continue to prioritize gaming, both as research and knowledge for work, and also because it’s part of me that’s fallen off that I don’t like. It’s my livelihood, and I have a lot of decision-making responsibiilities right now. I want to make sure I’m making informed ones. I want to play a larger variety of games, even if they’re “not my thing” or I’m “not good at them”. If I’ve found the fun in the most brutal, frustrating, and confounding game of Bloodbowl, I can probably figure it out elsewhere.

Photography has stuck with me, and editing has become my relaxing hobby when I’m either watching TV that I don’t want to 100% pay attention to, and also during our Monday night online D&D sessions during downtime. I recovered my accounts from all the stock photo sites, and man, my photography has improved in the last two years! In 2020, I want to do two things:

  • Submit more to stock sites. I’ve made like 7 bucks with my 23 photos from last May’s vacations, maybe if I did this regularly… 🙂
  • Set up a gallery on this site to organize and showcase my best photos. It’d be nice to send people who are interested a clean link with just photos instead of saying, uh, find and friend me on facebook if you want…

I’ve found that this year the time to search them out has been the limiter on contest entering instead of confidence, so I’m going to back off on BIG goals there. If it happens in 2020, that’s awesome. If not, no worries.

I fell RIGHT off music when things got busy last year. I learned 3 songs on the piano, about the same amount on the melodica, and then, nada. However, I think I figured out that the proximity was the problem for the piano (not something I can pick up anywhere), and the sound of the Melodica was novel, but not pleasing. Another thing I’ll discuss at more length shortly, but I’ve always wanted to learn guitar and said my secret wish was to be a rockstar. For some reason, it’s been my sacred cow, but as this has been the year to eat them for lunch, I asked for a guitar for Christmas and I’ve completed my first “lesson” last night. 🙂 Today I’m going to learn chords! I am giving myself 2020 to suck at guitar. I will put out no goals about learning songs or Youtubing myself or whatever, but I will say that I’d like to put in about 3 hours of practice a week to build both callouses and competence.

I painted when I felt like and I fell off videos and fell right the hell off learning marketing. That’s okay. Priorities shifted and I only have so many free hours in the day where my brain functions above the zone out at the TV level.

Finally, adulting. We did all the big things (financial planner, replace garage doors, tear down the bush and replace the fence), but skipped all the little organization projects. I have to face the facts that my life is a series of prioritities, and I’m ALWAYS going to squeeze in writing, photography, triathlon, reading, adventuring, or some much needed downtime over making my house look nice unless absolutely necessary.

In 2020, I’m going to put down two adulting goals:

  • Pay off the house
  • Look into foundation repair (it’s expensive and ugly but we have some BIG cracks that need to be fixed)

I’d like to clean out my closets and I’d like to organize the media racks and I’d love to get rid of the empty terrarium, but I can’t promise that next year I’ll prioritize doing any of this over things that actually make me happy and fulfilled. So, I’ll let go the constant guilt that my house is not HGTV ready because who cares, right?

I typically pick my three words of the year and share them here, but I’m going to save that for the next post. Stay tuned.