Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back on 2012

Achievements Unlocked for 2012!

  • Exploration: Europe and Midwest!
    • Road tripped to Arizona to visit college friends, whom I still really like!
    • Vacationed to England and Paris! People are different from us, and also similar!
    • Vacationed to Bryce Canyon and Zion's national park! Nature is beautiful.
    • Visited my family for Christmas. Nothing beats Mom taking care of you!
Muir woods in California
  • Baking and Cooking: Only 10% of recipes are too scary to try now!
    • Attempted to bake croissants, bagels, and lots of different kinds of bread (rye bread, yogurt bread, sad fail-bread).
    • Cooked all manner of strange food like corn chowder, clam chowder, wild duck, falafal, ramen (with homemade pork broth), and almond toffee.
almond toffee, before the chocolate goes on
  • Skills leveled up!
    • Learned to French braid my own hair
    • Currently re-learning to play the organ for church
    • Got into videogame journalism: did an internship with Killscreen (journal quote: "I will actually write stuff and it was go on the KS website! I'm so scared and excited!"), and now I contribute monthly to Nightmare Mode. Oh, and I'm on Twitter.
    • Wrote an interactive adventure game with Twine for the Adventure Time game jam!
  • Consistent Efforts!
    • Wrote weekly to my little brother on a mission
    • Took our dog for many walks, even when it was cold out
    • Got sick a lot, and had awful menstrual cramps, despite all the walking and good eating
    • Served a neighbor by babysitting her son three times a week for several months
    • Have been learning Japanese kanji consistently through WaniKani since... September?
    • Learned and then forgot the names of various clouds, and took pictures of them
these are just regular stratocumulus but the sunset is quite pretty
  • Leisure Time!
    • Found a fossil!
    • Played some awesome videogames like Persona 4 Golden, Journey, Resonance, The Blackwell Conspiracy, LittleBigPlanet Vita, Psychonauts, Devil Survivor 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Ghost Trick, and The Sea Will Claim Everything (I might go into more detail later on my videogamez blog).
    • Read a lot of books I wasn't wild about for book clubs
    • Read some excellent manga, like Skip Beat and Card Captor Sakura, and watched some great anime, like Natsume Yuujin-cho and Polar Bear Cafe (check out Crunchyroll if you want some free streaming anime). 
    • Decided not to bake every cookie for Christmas.
Did I fulfill last year's goals? I didn't update my videogame blog very much, but I did do a lot of videogame writing through my internship. I did read more manga and I also managed to finish some videogames I played. I made a videogame (though I couldn't keep up with the online computer science course I tried), and I've found a way to keep learning Japanese. I did make a nice grilled shrimp bento for a hike we had; I'd like to make more fancy picnic lunches in the future.

Am I different now?
I feel like I fit in a little more in my neighborhood now that we have lived here two years. I started a community Facebook page and that has helped me feel a lot more in touch with things that are going on around me (even if moderating the page stresses me out sometimes).

I have been really spoiled this year; my husband makes more money now and I haven't had to worry about money much. That's a really nice problem, but I want to be more responsible with the things I spend money on (for instance, I've bought a few books and a lot of games that I haven't "consumed" yet). I also want to be better about appreciating the things I have (organizing). Having more money has also made me less sympathetic to those who are always trying to save money, and I don't know why, because saving money is a good idea.

Working at my internship changed the way I view journalism and writing on the internet. Many news pieces are simply blurbs of other news pieces (tblurbs were what I wrote most of the time); I have newfound respect for those who take time to do primary research and do good journalism.

Earlier this year I was really discouraged about not being pregnant; every cycle left me discouraged. Charting my temperatures and working with a doctor helped me feel more like my infertility was something I could live with and that it might not go on forever. Eventually, God will remember Rachel

For next year (i.e., now):

I am looking into learning how to write indexes for non-fiction books. It sounds like something I might enjoy learning/doing. I want to do some more home crafts like quilting and maybe learn some embroidery. I'm beginning to think that I enjoy learning how to do things more than actually doing them? But maybe that's just a part of myself I need to learn to manage (like, it's okay to learn new things, but it's also good to improve on skills I've already learned). 

I want to find a way of getting out of reading book club books so I can spend time reading books I want to read. This might be difficult since I'm in charge of book club... I guess I could quit (snobby/impolite?), or simply set a list of books I've already read, or do such a terrible job that someone gets exasperated enough to volunteer to replace me.

I do have a cliche goal, which is to get my house more organized (we have several file systems going on, and lots of wasted space in closets). I'd like to keep up with my videogame editing/writing, organ practicing, kanji learning, and dog walking. 

It would also probably be good to add DDR or yoga to my exercise; I seem to have enough motivation to exercise for maybe two or three weeks and then something happens, like I get sick or have a vacation or start a job, and I get out of the habit very easily. Exercise seems pretty boring to me. We have gym passes but exercising at the gym just seems more boring than exercising at home. One of my goals is to learn how to ski in January... but I'm kind of scared to do it. Let me know if you want to join me! :-)