Hello 2023!

Yes, it's that time again - my annual blog post since I can't be bothered to update more frequently. But honestly, my life isn't all that interesting enough to warrant it.

Well, this past year was kind of all over the place - better than 2020 (that wasn't too hard) and an improvement on 2021, but still had its challenges. Even just personally it was up and down... in about a 24 hour period, my uncle died, I found out I got a promotion and very nice raise, and Russia invaded Ukraine. And a week later I turned 50. That last point wasn't necessarily good or bad - just a milestone that probably should have felt more significant than it ended up being given everything else going on.

Let's check in with my 2022 goals! I did Dry January. Well, errr, technically I had a couple of mimosas on the last day of the month, but I'm still counting it as a success. I haven't actually made it into the doctor for my annual check up yet, so I don't know how my numbers are going to compare to late 2021, but I think I managed to be a little more healthy this year. I moved in the middle of the year and it's not quite as easy to stop for takeout now, so I think that's helping! After the move, I haven't been able to get back into an exercise routine, but at least I'm climbing more stairs now.

And because of the move, I was able to declutter a little, at least the physical items... I could still stand to do some more digital organizing (but I'm managing some progress on that - it's just going to take more than one year). On my entertainment goals, I did hit my Goodreads goal, but I still have quite the backlog on podcasts. I actually unsubbed from some of the new ones I had picked up, but then others took their place. And I still have quite the comic book backlog, but I started making a little progress on that too.

And even though I didn't put it down as an official goal, I always play the License Plate Game and I won this year! I was trying to get a Delaware as the last one I needed for ages and then I came out of Central Market one day and lo and behold, there was a minivan from Delaware next to me!

Goals for 2023

I think it's time to get back to some more quantitative goals, although some of those will have to wait until after I go to the doctor in a couple of weeks. But regardless of how my cholesterol, etc. come out, I know I'd like to lose some weight - at least 10 pounds - so my clothes get back to fitting more comfortably. I'm actually going in to 2023 a few pounds down from where I started 2022, so that's a good start. And I anticipate that I'll be doing a lot more work in the yard and finally get some gardening going, so I think I'll get more exercise through that. Although once the peak of the summer heat hits, that will probably go on pause, so I should try to work in some at-home exercise too! And I'll do Dry January again since that's pretty much a given for me now.

On the yard/landscaping/gardening front - I'm going to set myself the goal of getting the back corner of the yard completely cleared out (I made a lot of progress during the break, so I've got a head start!) and deal with the weird section where a bunch of fences come together alongside the main road near our house. (We're on a strange-shaped lot because of the bend in our road and the back section is basically shaped like a slice of pizza.) My next yard goal is to clear out and break down the old garden structure my uncle had built in the middle of the backyard and finish breaking down the old deck and put in a semi-raised bed for herbs and flowers. I'd like to get a proper veggie garden going this year, but I have a feeling I'm going to have to end up doing some container tomatoes or something in the meantime since a lot of the other yard stuff needs to be a priority since it has been neglected for a few years.

My stitching plans for 2023 are over on my crafty blog - Lara's Loose Threads - so I'll move on to my reading and other entertainment goals for the new year. I have SO many comic books, audiobooks, and digital books that I'd really like to make a bigger dent in, but unfortunately I also have a backlog of podcasts, TV shows, YouTube vids, and movies I'd like to get through. And even though I can listen to some of the podcasts at work, I still have to, you know, sleep and stuff. Since there just aren't enough hours in the day to read, watch, and listen to everything I'd like to get through in the new year, let's pick some things to concentrate on!

First, I think getting through the back catalog of some of the newer YouTube channels I've picked up this year is pretty easily achievable (assuming I don't subscribe to any more with a substantial library - not necessarily a safe assumption) so that's one goal. Next, to try to catch up on some movies that I've fallen woefully behind on, I'm going to do another round of a "new to me movie" a week again. That's been a lot of fun in past years so I thought I'd do it again in 2023! And for TV shows, I've managed to end up with another batch of shows that have ended, but I haven't watched the final season of yet, so my goal is to get through those. This happened to me a few years ago and I ended up watching the final seasons of quite a few shows in a short period of time and it was pretty emotionally brutal (but mostly in a good way) so at least I'm going into it more prepared this time.

For my Goodreads Book Challenge for 2023, I'm going to scale it back to 20 this year since I've noticed that it's getting harder for me to get full-length books into my schedule in recent years. And that's probably because I've been chosing to prioritize other things over reading time, so until I can get that evened out I'll keep that goal realistic. I'm also going to continue to go through my backlog of comic books and I'm going to be a bit more brutal about deleting things that I got in the big Marvel giveaway ~10 years ago that I'm probably never going to read. It probably doesn't help that I keep re-reading some old favorites while I'm trying to catch up on other story lines. :)

And finally, the podcast "problem". I love podcasts and I'm probably subscribed to way too many of them. The real issue is that I'm a completionist and there are a number of podcasts that I came to after there were already hundreds of episodes, so I have a big back catalog for them that are going to be a multi-year project to get through. What I need to do is concentrate on some to try to listen to one or two extra episodes a week on, but that's not always easy to do when I'm subscribed to a bunch of semi-daily and weekly shows. I think my best strategy will be to tackle the shows that I have a relatively small number (under 50) back episodes for and see how many of those can get moved into my "current" folders on PocketCasts, which is my 'podcast player of choice' as all the shows like to say. I really love it, especially since I listen to podcasts on about 7 or 8 different devices and I need reliable syncing. And I listen to a lot of shows at 1.1X speed so that's helping. Maybe I'll be able to bump some of them to 1.2X (I still don't understand the people that can do 2X or 3X!)?

The nice thing about a lot of these goals is that I can do several of them at once, like gardening and listening to podcasts or stitching and watching TV shows, YouTube, etc. Efficiency!

Here's to a great 2023! I'm really hoping that it ends with a lot more peace in the world than it started with.