2012 In Review

2012 - The Year Of Pauly (Again)2012 was…odd.

Looking back on it now as the year comes to a close it’s hard to classify 2012 as a “good” or “bad” year.  Much like most historical years there were good and bad elements to this one, but one didn’t necessarily play dominantly over another.

I made some decisions this year, did a lot of new things and found a few regrets.  Some of what I did was what you’d expect me to do; others were completely out of character for what you might think of “Paul Gillespie” as.  I went from blue to green; rekindled an old passion; found a new one.  I learned, I lazed and I leapt.

So let’s recap what 2012 was and we’ll save prognosticating 2013 for another post.

Starting with the good side, in no particular order:

  • I made some new friends – that’s always good.  I’ve met a lot of fun people out at volleyball over the years and this year was no exception.  The only difference is several of the folks I met this year I hang out with regularly in the off-season, as well, and have met new friends through them.  Good, fun, awesome people.
  • Speaking of volleyball, I had a great year out at Volleyball Beach.  I played in every charity tournament out at Volleyball Beach, winning a couple of them and taking second more times than I can count.  I joined new teams on Tuesdays and Sundays and put together a quads team for late Sundays and they all fit the #1 criteria: GOOD TIMES.  All told, between league play, open play and tournaments I probably spent, on average, 20 hours a week out at The Beach.
  • I kept up with The Paul Gillespie Experience.  I rekindled my enjoyment of writing and, hopefully, entertaining.
  • I resigned my job.  Those who know me know I’d been looking for the next rotation since 2008 with no success so I forced the issue and put in my resignation.  I still enjoy most of the job but ten years in this particular role is a long time (it’s a very wear-you-down job).  I’ll miss my team (I truly do have the most awesome team) and a lot of the people I work with, but I’m excited about what new challenges lie ahead for me.

And some of the bad:

  • I lost another cousin, in December again.  Last year I lost my friend/former boss and my cousin Jerry; this year I lost my cousin Joey on Christmas Day.  Decembers are starting to suck.  He was my age, and I realize (in retrospect – isn’t that always how it is?) that I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years.
  • I didn’t take a lot of pictures.  I was really lax with my camera this year and really didn’t get a lot of shots.  Not a single one for Thanksgiving or Christmas, even.  Not one.  I did get a few at Halloween, though.  And a few others throughout the course of the year.  But for a major goal of mine I really bombed on this one.
  • I still didn’t take a real vacation (although I did get a weekend cruise in).  Again.  It’s been years since I’ve taken more than a couple of days off work and just disconnected.  That was part of the reason for that last “good thing” on the list above.  I need to get much better at taking time away from, well, everything.
  • I didn’t hang with my family much.  I did with the kids, but my plans from last year to visit my cousins more failed miserably.  I did run into my little brother more than I had in years past, though (randomly at Starbucks, no less) which was good – we did more than a few Call of Duty runs.
  • I didn’t grow Nine Point Six Solutions as much as I wanted to.  You know my passion is development/coding (or maybe you don’t; but you do now) and it’s what I like to do on the side.  I didn’t do enough of it on the side to grow my business like I wanted to.  I have a little more time (or said better: “I now have fewer excuses as to why I didn’t do it”) at the beginning of the year, but for 2012 I didn’t make it nearly as much of a priority as I should have.
  • Chuck ended.  I’m still upset about that – to the point I haven’t watched the final episode (although last month I did watch the second-to-last one).  Actually I haven’t watched the final episode because that’s part of a promise I made to myself (so was the second-to-last) that I haven’t completed yet.  But the fact remains: Chuck is over.  The fifth (final) season wasn’t nearly as good as the first three were, but it was still entertaining…and I’m still inspired when I watch some of the episodes (even though I know what happens).

And now back to the good part:

  • I’m on a boat!  I won a trip on the Bud Light Port Paradise cruise ship.  Mid-November I sailed from Miami to Nassau to Coco Cay and then back home.  I got to listen to good live music, be bacon, meet a lot of people and generally eat and drink entirely too much for a weekend.  It was awesome.
  • I learned how to program in Ruby.  I decided I was going to learn another programming language in December because, well, that’s something I enjoy.  So I opted for Rails, but realized that Ruby was kind of cornerstone to it so I changed tracks and learned Ruby.  I’m certainly not an expert by any stretch but I’m working on it.  Next up is Rails, C# and a refresher on SQL (since it’s been 10+ years since I got certified on it).
  • I dropped below 190.  187 pounds is my new low watermark these days.  It’s not so much that I needed to; it was more of a challenge for myself.  Challenge: accepted, challenge: achieved.  Now I’m working on upper-body strength and trying to keep my lower body in shape enough that I don’t spend the first two weeks of volleyball season in massive pain.
  • Learned how to ride a motorcycle.  My birthday present to myself was a motorcycle and learning how to ride it.  Both done…and I absolutely love it.  I’ve always wanted to ride one but never found the time/priority.  I decided this year was the year and voila – I now have my motorcycle endorsement along with a Honda Shadow 750.
  • I cut my hair.  And by “cut” I mean” removed”.  I actually like this better than even my 1/4″ hair.  I just run the clippers with no guard a couple of times a week (5 minutes, max) and I’m good to go.  Hair is overrated.
  • Returned to Arrowhead.  A friend of mine has season tickets to the Chiefs and I was invited to use one…and I was hooked again.  The game wasn’t exactly stellar (we lost 37-20 to the Chargers) but my friends are awesome, the tailgating was great, and it reminded me how much I love watching the games live.  Even when it’s 30 degrees for a high and your entire body goes numb (like, say, last Sunday).

That’s my 2012 recap.  Good or bad – it was what it was, and it was 2012.

What did your 2012 look like?  If you were to recap it what would your “top 10” be?

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What do you think?