Year End Progress Report for 2014 Goals

This was clearly a year of two halves. In the first half, I worked relatively diligently toward my 2014 goals and made progress, particularly in my lifestyle changes that were intended to facilitate overall goal achievement. However, I virtually quit as we entered into summer. As a result, I have failed to achieve my goals.

Physical Wellbeing

In the first half of the year, I did pretty well at:

  • 50 minutes of stretching and core exercises, including basic crunches and yoga stretches to strengthen my core;
  • and doing either:
    • 15-20 minutes of the basic tai chi foundation exercises to strengthen my legs, particularly above the knees;
    • 25 minutes of resistance exercises using my elastics to work arms, shoulders, back and core; and,
  • plus 50 minutes of walking or bike riding to improve my breathing and stamina.

In the second half of the year, I averaged walking for 50 minutes only about 2 ½ times per week, and stopped the stretching, resistance, and tai chi foundation exercises entirely. I found that when I did try to return to the stretching exercises doing them each day in the month of October, my lower back was in such pain, that I quit once again in discouragement.

I have had mixed consequences. I have gained weight this year, finishing at 220 lbs. I feel great disappointment in myself for having quit. I also find myself feeling less lower back strain and more satisfied with how I spend my time each day.

Despite several attempts to use myfitnesspal to track my food consumption, I stopped using this software as I quit my exercises. I also lost my FitBit and have not been tracking my daily steps. Dianne bought me a new step counter but I haven’t used it. If it isn’t yet obvious, I have become quite lethargic about my physical fitness and wellbeing.

My greatest disappointment this year has been my total inability to stop eating after 7:00 in the evening.  I watch TV or read, and within about 30 minutes I start trolling the fridge and cupboards looking for things that might satiate my need for something undefined.

Writing

I did finish the writing and graphics work for the book formerly  titled “Selling the S.P.I.C.E3” and now titles Insight Sales. I have not yet submitted to a series of agents and have instead considered self publishing as an eBook and print on demand paperback. I suspect not chasing after an agent comes from my ignorance and fear of rejection which is very self defeating.

I never revisited the early portions of a draft of my fictional novel, so this project sits totally ignored. I did start a book on problem solving effectiveness based on ‘S.P.I.C.E3” but have been inconsistent in that work so it current sits at 50 pages.

I averaged two completed haibun per month. I stopped submitting to the Haibun Writer’s Workgroup for critique and feedback in the month of July. I lost motivation to do so after receiving critical feedback on one particular piece and have subsequently kept my work to myself and my website.

I did not attempt to write any commentary on any haibun.

I wrote no free verse poems in the year.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about my progress in this writing category. I wrote some haibun that I liked and completed the book on selling. That’s good. However, I did not stick to a regime of writing daily and that’s not so good. I also failed to seek publication. Under Ray’s encouragement, I had three haibun published in Haibun Today but that was not something I set out to do on my own.

Relationships

As of the end of July, Dianne and I have lived together full time and doing so comfortably.

I only managed to visit David, Kelly and Cooper about four times during the year.

Quynn to visited our lake house many times during the year. Aryn came out a few weekends. Dianne’s large clan visited only one long weekend this year, but we did have a weekend with her broghers and sisters, and her mother and brother Daryl came out mulktiple times. We traveled in our RV to Kananaskis for a weekend with the clan.

My mother spent many days with us at the lake house averaging at least one weekend per month and several for longer stays.

I spent almost a week in June with Kathy and Ray and we managed to do something together about once per quarter.

I did get to spend about a week with Ray and Nancy at her house in Ontario in the fall.

Photography

I only moderately learned how to effectively use the two new cameras that I acquired at the end of 2013. I only infrequently took photos and most typically only while travelling.

 

I only managed to post about 100 images on my website in the 2014 year. This has been a much less than enthusiastic photographic year.

Website

For the most part, my website was current only as of the end of each quarter, with images shot in the quarter both edited and posted on the site, and all haibun posted. I did accomplish this goal for a few of the initial months of the year but fell off to quarterly updates.

I was not able to create a blog despite downloading WordPress.

Travel

We did complete a ten day trip to Hawaii in February which included a 7 day cruise amongst the islands. The trip was okay but both Dianne and I found we are not enthusiastic about cruising because we didn’t get in much walking and hiking.

The family RV trip to Lundbreck, Alberta did not occur this year so we did not go. We did the Kananaskis trip with much of Dianne’s siblings and their children, and we met Julie and Gary in Kaslo, BC for an RV excursion.

In July, we drove the RV through Banff to Revelstoke, a highway I have generally avoided. We spent a couple of nights in an RV park in ‘Revy’ and visited with Steve and Mary Lynne Gokiert. On one of our days there, we had an enjoyable hike climbing up a nearby mountain path with their grandchildren. We then journeyed to Kaslo, BC where we spent three nights in the Kaslo town RV park.  Gary and Julie Chichak joined us at the tail end of their vacation in the interior of BC and we spent time biking down to New Denver, photographing nearby Fletcher waterfalls, the SS Moyie and the old town of Sandon, BC.

We thoroughly enjoyed a month of travelling to eastern Canada. We took the truck, camped four nights in a tent, stayed in motels four nights,  and stayed in the homes of Nancy and Ray, Dionna and Jeff, and Dave and Lorraine for the remainder of nights. We went to see the fall color changes and only caught some early colors, but had fun canoeing and walking. I sprained my ankle early int eh trip which limited walking and biking. 

At the end of November, we drove through tough winter conditions to Victoria to visit MegAnne’s gravesite on the 30th, which would have been her 68th birthday, and then visited again on the fifth anniversary of her death on December 2nd. This was a challenging time for me as I was experiencing great inner conflict between my grieving over what I have lost and my appreciation for what I have experienced in the past five years.

I don’t understand this phenomena enough to put it effectively into words but it is a mélange of sadness, disappointment, emptiness, some anger at the cycle of life, guilt that I survived and MegAnne did not, relief that I am able to experience the joys of being with my natural granddaughter and grandson and my adopted granddaughter, pleasure that I’m able to spend more time with close friends, appreciation for the family I have joined in my relationship with Dianne, and a general comfort in the life that Dianne and I are creating in what is for each of us, a second marriage. MegAnne’s passing led to many changes in my life that I really value, and yet, I deeply miss her.

Conclusion

This has been a most frustrating year in many respects and yet I have liked the laziness of the last half of the year as I abandoned the work on my goals. I’ve been down emotionally because of my inner disappointment and yet up because I have enjoyed more time with people and particularly with the grandchildren, Quynn, Cooper and Gweneth.

The end of year was more emotional for me as deep sadness surfaced with reflections about MegAnne’s death, coupled with threats to life posed by a friend’s cancer, and worry about my own physical distress. I was in deep agony on Christmas eve because of a gall bladder attack, and I’ve been having enough other intestinal, bowel and colon problems that I know I have to visit my physician for an annual medical exam. This becomes dread as I know this will likely lead to the less than delightful experience of a long overdue colonoscopy.

 

winter solstice
a fox walks by,
rounds the corner

 

 

 

                       

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