Q4 Progress Report For 2018 Goals

This year was a truly mixed bag of results for me. I began the year with gusto for two weeks and then I got a flu that wouldn’t go away for as long as the next two weeks, which meant I abandoned most of my focus on my goals for that period. I had to start my routines all over and made slow progress in doing so. I ramped up to full accomplishment of my daily routines for the next month, then interrupted that work by taking a driving vacation to Osoyoos BC. I managed some workouts and some walking but this wasn’t a daily thing and the work I did had to contend with the eating I do when on vacation.

In the second quarter, I dropped my two hour exercise routine as I worked outside in the yard, gardened, installed a new hot tub, and took a very enjoyable RV trip through Saskatachewan, North Dakota, South Dakota, some of Wyoming and Montana. In May, I did achieve my weight reduction goal, reaching 198.5 lbs but that progress was short lived as I celebrated by returning to my pattern of eating in the evenings and not exercising enough discipline about portion sizes during my regular meals. However, I had committed to a year of compassion and I chose not to let this bother me.

In the second half of the year, I had intermittent periods where I could enjoy regular days of morning work-outs and longer walks; did more with my photography, including joining Images Alberta Camera Club and entering club competitions; and working on my writing. I mostly met my goal of writing two haibun per month and I made good progress on my fictional novel, although it is only three quarters done in its first draft.

Overall. I failed to satisfy the 2018 goals as I integrated more things into my lifestyle in the second half of the year, and my decision to not get worked up about that meant I was less stressed about this.

However, I feel like I’ve aged fairly dramatically this year. An injury to my lower back in November 2017 has me waking each morning hunched over and unable to stand straight until I have managed to move around quite a bit. Sometimes I loosen up with my exercising, but other days it takes time as I move about the house. I’ve been experiencing real problems with my sinuses and my CPAP machine. I wake feeling quite damaged by the night – eyes burning, my mouth glued together by the mucous that drained from my sinuses under the increased air pressure, and unable to stand erect because of the ache in my lower back. My CPAP mask leaks air directly into my eyes, and even morning tear drops don’t help soothe the burning.

On top of these physical symptoms, I sense some mental diminishment. This too might relate to interrupted sleep due to an unfettered sleep apnea given that my machine is not doing its job, but I think I am experiencing the diminishment of aging more rapidly than I would like.

Writing and Publication

  • I completed “Insight Counseling: A Practical Approach”.
  • I completed three quarters of a first draft of the fictional novel titled “19 VIP Transition House”. I still have great reservations about my ability to write this book the way it should be written but I have pushed ahead, albeit slowly.
  • I never even re-looked at my first illustrated book for children entitled “OUEEW BROCCOLI!”, because I was faced with doing the illustrations myself and I just don’t feel like I have the necessary skill.
  • I wrote about two dozen haibun and posted them to my website.


I realized that I was feeling depressed toward the end of summer and a friend encouraged me to get out of my lonely lifestyle and re-engage with the world. This included a recommendation that I join a local camera club and I did so. This has revived my interest in photography and photo-editing. I’ve done more photoshoots using my better quality lenses.

  • I completed various photo-shoots during the year, some while on vacations and some during deliberate in-house macro experiments, and photo club outings.
  • I edited and posted my images within a month of their being taken.
  • I acquired a new and faster Mac with more memory and storage.
  • I installed and experimented with new photo-editing software including the NIK suite, Topaz Impressions and two different processing panels for Luminosity Masking
  • I attended a one day workshop conducted by Larry Holland to learn about Luminosity Masking and how to use the feature in Photoshop and the Lumenzia PPM.


  • During the year, I managed at least some contact with Dennis, Bard and Tanis (over dinner at their place), Chris and Kay, Lois, Ray, John and Jane, Bob and Bobbie, Stephen and Marylynn Brenda, Cythera, Caitlin, Ron,and Garfield.
  • I spent considerable with Quynn both in the city and at the lake. I also had time with Gweneth and Evie as they joined us for swimming on Thursdays and visited the lake at the same time Quynn did.
  • I continued weekly engagements with Kathy, and had a bit of time with Ray when he was in town.
  • We had Gary and Julie, Dale and Linda, and Mike and Barb out to the lake for visits.
  • We had the Dotto extended family and my family of Aryn, Quynn, David, Kelly and Cooper out to our place for the Canada Day weekend, during which the kids attended the Sundance parade and we celebrated Quynn's eight birthday.
  • We had a thanksgiving dinner at our place with Dianne’s nieces and their families, plus my daughter and granddaughter sharing the meal with us.
  • Aryn, Quynn, David, Kelly and Cooper came to our place to celebrate Christmas. It was a great time.


  • Daryl, Dianne and I drove through the south of Alberta and BC to Osoyoos BC, stopping as usual at the Copper Eagle Bakery in Greenwood before reaching Osoyoos. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Watermark Inn and hanging out at the attached Boston BC to place cards and watch Oiler’s hockey. We did a small winery tour as most of them are not open that early in the year, but we bought wines at those we visited.
  • We travelled by RV with Gary and Julie in the late spring to see the Saskatchewan town of Rouleaux, Mount Rushmore, the National Monument at the Little Big Horn, Yellowstone, and Virginia City/Nevada City.
  • We attended the East Coast Kitchen event at the David Thompson Resort this summer and I attended the venue for the music. It was not as annoying as I found it my first time there.
  • We participated once again in the family RV weekend at Kananaskis but I struggled with the set up there.
  • We visited the Honky near Radway twice – once in the summer with Gary, Julie, Paul, Deanna and once again for a boondocking weekend over the Labour Day weekend with Gary, Julie, Dale and Linda.

Physical Well-Being

During the year, when I was being a good boy, I focused on calories in/calories out. I experienced some success when I was able to do this, actually falling below my target weight during the year. However, fear, a lack of comfort at the lower weight, a love of eating, and disruptions to my exercise routines meant I wound up higher at the end of the year than I started – an exit weight of 215.4 lbs.


I’ve been through many of the saved images from my 13 years of photography and re-worked those that had promise with my higher editing skills. I didn’t discard images but I collected many of the better ones.

I think I’ve discovered I don’t attend to my goals as much as I have before. Consequently, I’m going to remove the goals section from my website, not set anything on paper for 2019, and approach the year with some specific intentions plus a more open mind.

fresh snow
settles on the trees
peace and quiet speak to me