Keith Gaughan

An attempt at public introspection

Life

Ending 2019

· 5min

Following on from last year’s post, it’s time to re-examine where I am in my life once more.

The good

My weight has stayed surprisingly stable over the last year. I’m still overweight, and I’ve yet to hit my goal of getting below 70kg, but the very fact I’ve managed to mostly keep steady over the past year is good. Back in October, I had a look around to see if there were any gyms worth trying either close to me or close to my work (after some poor experiences with the one closest to the offices), and I found a good option. I found one, but it’s not as close as I might like. My main requirement was that it have a pool, and that’s something I’d go a bit out of my way for. I didn’t join it back then, due to it not making sense just then between work-related travel keeping me out of the country and December being a complete wash-out for other reasons, but now that it’s January, it make sense to make a start at things.

I think I’m overall less anxious than I was this time last year, and in general, though I still wildly overthink things. I am, however, getting better at not giving a fuck.

My handwriting is now much better. I forced myself to write in cursive, and that helped my handwriting in general. It’s still far from excellent, but at least it’s no longer ugly.

I managed to get practically all of my server automation done and decommissioned a bunch of stuff that’d been hanging around for years wasting money. What’s left isn’t very important, and is mostly a set of nicities like setting up WireGuard, LDAP, and a secondary MX. I should also set up proper monitoring, but none of this is actually essential to me.

The not so good

I’ve achieved less forward motion than I’d like. Last January, I’d hoped this year would be my year of intent, where I’d set out what I wanted to do, do it, and evaluate what had one well and what hadn’t, while working towards proper goals. I didn’t end up doing that.

I didn’t start swimming again, but at least I have a plan for that and improving my general fitness.

I haven’t read as many books as I’d hoped. I think I need to take a hard look at what I have and decide what I need (references, &c.), what I’d want to keep regardless, and what’s just taking up space. That includes on my e-readers. I can’t keep buying books. They can’t just be something that accumulates unread. I think I should take an inventory and see what I can keep, sell, or pass on to others.

I’ve mostly failed to find new outlets over the year. I’d installed MeetUp to find things like that, but I’ve largely failed to follow through on any of it. I did finally pick up D&D, however, which has been good, even if I haven’t been able to do it as often as I’d like. I’ve been considering dropping the one other thing I’ve picked up at it got more uncomfortable over time, and I don’t think I really fit in.

I still haven’t done my spring clean of all my still-boxed items. I need to do this.

YouTube has become somewhere for me to sink far too much of my time.

What I’m planning on doing

I’ve mentioned a few things already, but there are a few more.

As I’ve said, I have too many unread books. I am hoping to read the books that I have, not purchasing any more unless I literally can’t avoid buying it. I can’t buy a piece of fiction without first finishing at least two others. For non-fiction, things are different, as some of those my serve an actual pressing need, but other than that, I’m not buying anything new.

I took some tentative steps back into dating. Nothing even remotely successful yet, but that’ll take time and lots of inevitable disappointment.

Connected to this is that I need to be less wishy-washy. There are reasons why I ended up like this, and it came out of good intentions on my part to control some of my less admirable aspects, but the whole exercise was naive and misguided, only really serving to isolate me. I don’t speak my mind as much as I should, nor am I assertive enough. I need to find a way to fix this aspect of who I am. I think it makes me boring and has held me back so much from where I ought to be. Mind, there’s no reason why doing so should be paired up with a lack of kindness, but I also need to be less of a push-over. I still haven’t learned how to ask for things.

I need to finish projects, and I need to make fewer excuses for not finishing them.

I need to put more effort into being organised and not letting life creep up on me. I’ve gotten better with using calendars, but can still improve a lot. I need to get better with journalling. I did try journalling for quite a while at the beginning of the year, but after the journal I’d been using went missing for a while, I fell out of the habit. It turned into too much of a diary; I ended up using it to write down what’d happened, which helped with getting my thoughts in order and as a catharsis that was it. I’ve been tempted to throw it out since I found it again.

Careerwise, I need to do better. There are annoying gaps in my knowledge, and I feel I need to be more useful than I currently am. I have plans on how to work on some of that.

I need to post here more often and use Twitter less.

There’s so much more I could talk about, but I need to stop somewhere. I doubt 2020 will be much better, and I know in some ways it’s definitely going to be worse, but I can at least hope.