Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

It has been a pretty good year for me, all things considered. I mean, a whole year of being retired! Wow has it been nice!

It has had its ups and downs but the latter are mostly troughs self-imposed, in a way. I fight depression daily - not suicidal depression, just what you'd call The Whumps, which keep me inert and in my evil nest, over-eating and feeling useless. They're kind of cyclical and I've learned that when I'm feeling OK, like a grown-up, tending to my home and pets and friends and family, staying active (for me), I need to really double-down and get things done, because when The Whumps arrive, and they do, I have visible accomplishments to look at and think about, and that seems to both enshallow the trough, and shorten its duration.

I can tell I've succeeded to a measureable degree in resisting the allure of the evil nest because in the past 365 days, I have reduced my BMI by 3.1 units, having lost 8% of what my weight was on this day last year. I still have a long way to go but my approach seems to be working so I will continue to work on that. The less I weigh, the more I feel like moving around, so it's all good.

This spring and summer I also got out and just walked around my neighborhood a lot. I really enjoy that, and walking certainly shows you a LOT of interesting, amusing, and beautiful sights you don't notice when you drive past!

I got out and joined several local organizations: The Henry Doorly Zoo, Fontenelle Forest, Joslyn Art Museum, Lauritzen Gardens. All of these give me privileges that include hiking and walking, seeing wonderful things, and being with people, terrific places for practicing my own amateur art work and photography. They've certainly made it more fun for me to write blog posts here! And they've got me out of the house, which is the point. I also joined the neighborhood library's Mystery Book Club, which has been great fun.

In 2013 I will apply to volunteer for The Literacy Council of Omaha, hoping to be trained and then practice helping adults learn to read.

I am looking into what it would take to get into an Intro to Carpentry course at Omaha Metro Tech CC; there are several factors, not the least of which is the cost. But I have a chaotic garage full of tools from three generations of Hickman men:

(My son, looking put-out about it all. He helped me organize *some* of it, bless him. That's going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty!)

And it's high time I found out what all that stuff is, and figure out what I want to sell and what I want to keep. Because I could definitely see the use of knowing how to build simple wood projects and make simple repairs myself.

I've made strides in Getting Rid of Extra Stuff around here. There's a long way to go but the place is much nicer to inhabit already. Seeing the corners and spots where I've cleared away and cleaned out is inspirational. The Secret Project (the one hinted at in the picture with all those tools a few days ago) is kind of at a standstill until I get some additional advice from a friend who knows how to do that stuff, but once it's done, that will eliminate a hindrance to rapid progress in this realm. Also it will help in a different realm. Isn't that mysterious though? Don't be too impressed or you'll be disappointed when I report success, lol.

I've enjoyed honing my baking skills by 1) baking cookies once a month to send to my grand-daughter! She seems to appreciate them (she's just 4 so isn't terribly articulate about it yet) and her folks *definitely* do. and 2) Switching to baking almost all of my own bread. I really love bread-baking and it's a great way to boost the nutrients of what I eat.

Somewhere around April I seem to have emerged from a long dark cave I entered when Bob died. It took more than 5 years, five years during which I thought I was doing OK the whole time, but sometime early this year I stopped looking back and started looking forward. I don't make resolutions, but I can say, I like the view forward better.

And here is one of my favorite things about 2012:

That's a billion-dollar piece of machinery that humans sent up into space and actually landed on the surface of another planet, and that is now sending back incredible amounts of data about that planet, all remotely-controlled. I am so glad I stayed up late the night they landed Curiosity during the famous 8 Minutes of Terror! That was a lifetime high point, just watching it. Wow wow wow wow!

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