The year-end post, circa 2018

As I believe more and more with each passing year, time begins to feel like it moves faster the older we get.  I go to work in the morning, do my thing there, come home, have dinner, tidy things up and do one or two tasks I had in mind, and then it’s suddenly 10 pm, and now I’m at the point of the day where I can’t really commit to anything too time-consuming, lest I put myself into a position of going to bed too late, and then being tired at work the next day, and therefore I usually just end up going to bed at a sensible time.

Rinse, repeat, and suddenly it’s the end of December, and we’re on the cusp of closing out 2018 and entering 2019.

I’ve often said in the past that it seems silly the notion of encapsulating things into calendar years, and having hope that things will miraculously be better the following year for no reason at all other than the fact that the last number in the date has ticked up one.  I say that, but I still find myself at the end of every year putting together these kinds of posts reflecting on a calendar year, and deciding whether it was good, whether it was bad, or more often than not, somewhere in the middle.

As far as two thousand and eighteen is concerned, I’m fairly confident that I can say with conviction that it was a pretty good year.  Not somewhere in the middle, but definitely up in the upper quartile of being good.  To those who kind of follow my life, the reasons for such are pretty obvious, but it kind of goes without saying that I’ve made some pretty big strides in my life in general, with none of them being larger than proposing to mythical gf, and making her mythical fiancée and soon-to-be future wifey.

I always figured there would be marriage in my life at some point, and it’s been an enjoyable albeit steady and deliberate ride, as that’s pretty much how I do most important things in my life, but I knew I was making the right choice moving forward, because as has been often times the case with the things in our relationship, things just felt right, and it was just time to make it more right, and move forward in our relationship to the next logical step.

Before I go any further reminiscing, getting engaged is what sets 2018 high atop years past, and by that logic, 2019 already has the groundwork laid down for it to be hopefully better. 

Aside from getting engaged, 2018 was also a year in which I saw some actual, real progression in my career.  For the first time in my long, nearly two-decade old career as a graphic designer, I actually applied for and received an actual promotion.  All throughout my career, when I wasn’t freelancing and bouncing about, the places that I’ve worked for as a full-time employee, have always been in these pretty dead-end positions where advancement hadn’t always been an option, and if I had wanted to make more money, or advance upward in my career, the only thing really to do was go somewhere else.

However, I like where I work and I like the idea of staying here for a while and making a career out of it, so when the opportunity presented itself for some advancement, I took it, went through the interview and screening process to move forward, and was fortunate enough to have been selected for an actual promotion.  And not only did I get promoted, I’m now officially in a management capacity, and therefore it’s almost like starting a new career, since I’m doing less actual graphic design work, but am now responsible for other people, direct reports, and going to a fuck ton of meetings.

If anything at all, it’s definitely cut into my ability to write in my lunch downtime, because as is often the case, I simply don’t have any, on most days, and if it weren’t for the fact that the time between the holidays is usually pretty dead, there’s no guarantee that I’d have had the time to be writing all this otherwise.

But it’s still exciting nonetheless, and something that I’m very proud to have accomplished in 2018.  For once, I feel like my hard work and contributions to a company have actually not just been recognized, but used as justification to elevate me within the company, and put me on an actual path towards progression and a brighter future.

Needless to say, without either of these two events occurring, 2018 would otherwise have been a pretty much just another year in the books, but slightly more on the positive side.  A lot of things happened that mean things to me, which is usually to say recapping things that happened in sports, wrestling and various social events that provoke thought in my little world.

Alabama won the college football national championship at the expense of Georgia in an exciting and heartbreaker of a loss to Georgia to start the year, and are pretty much on the cusp of another one as 2018 comes to a close.  The Philadelphia Eagles somehow emerged from the pile of crap known as the NFC and upended the mighty New England Tom Bradys for the Super Bowl which makes me nauseous just thinking about a world where the fucking Eagles are Super Bowl champions.  The celebration in Philly continued with Villanova winning the college basketball national championship, while the NBA saw the third year in a row in which the Cavaliers and Warriors met in the Finals, with the Warriors winning their second championship in a row at the expense of LeBron James, who packed his shit and left Cleveland for the Lakers not long afterward.

Baseball saw a historically good Boston Red Sox team storm through the regular season, all the way to the World Series, but here in Atlanta, the Braves arrived a year early, and have given Cobb County hope that they’ll once again be contenders again in 2019.  The legendary career of Ichiro supposedly came to an end, although there’s speculation that he might make some cameos in the future, as he has yet to formally sign any retirement papers, but it’s safe to say he’s kind of done for realsies.

There was a World Cup in 2018, where France ultimately won, ousting a Croatian national team that kind of came out of nowhere to announce their position in the world futbol scene.  But fewer things were more memorable to me than South Korea embarrassing themselves in the first round Group of Death™, jobbing to Mexico and Sweden in pathetic fashion, before upending the defending World Cup champion German national squad in a critical, face-saving, mother of all upsets, effectively eliminating them from the entire tournament and leaving the door wide open for a new champion in the process.

Two major cities’ championship droughts were ended, if you counted hockey and soccer, when the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup and Atlanta United winning the MLS Cup.  Sure, neither city won a big three sport championship, but at the same time both cities are so starved for any measure of success that I don’t think sports fans in either city are particularly complaining anymore about championship droughts.  Granted, Atlanta United still can’t use their own stadium over Monster Jam, but baby steps.

In the world of news, the United States saw a completely fucked up nation divided up more than ever, with those who like the president, and those who don’t.  A middle ground doesn’t really exist, and I’m not hard pressed to believe that it’s probably going to be a minute before it isn’t like this anymore.  There were at least ten major shooting incidents where numerous lives were senselessly ended, but of course, no end in sight when it comes to gun control. 

Amazon led the nation on a ridiculous goose chase of a contest to see who could woo them to build HQ2 in their respective cities, but in the end was just some gross ruse where they ultimately ended up picking two obvious layup cities instead of one, plopping them into Arlington, Virginia and Long Island City in New York.

But at least outside of America, things looked to be slightly better than they were in the United States, unless you’re from Syria.  But no more news seemed more important in my world, than the news that came out of Korea all year, with several events where South Korea and North Korea made some pretty impressive steps towards actual peace.  What started as an olive branch at the Pyeongchang winter Olympics eventually turned into both countries’ respective presidents taking steps on the others’ soil for the first times in ages, and longer than I’ve been alive.  Sure there’s skepticism and a general lack of trust for the North Koreans, but baby steps have to be taken before people can walk.

For our annual international vacation, future wifey and I went to Munich, Budapest and Vienna, where beer was cheaper than water, and learned of the wonders of chimney cakes, saw a ton of Thai massage parlors and had wiener schnitzel from its places of origin.  It was yet another fun trip visiting some places we’d never been to before, and I will always be jealous of Europe’s train system, but critical of the fact that 75% of the country smokes and will probably all die of lung cancer at the rate in which they do.

Other quick bullets because I’m losing my steam to continue on long form:

  • Teenagers were eating laundry detergent for attention on the internet 😞
  • The Nigerian bobsled team 😊
  • It’s cool to dunk on social media (again) despite everyone still using it 😞
  • Made a grown up decision and replaced my home’s entire HVAC 😊
  • Kind of pretty much giving up on Dragon*Con for a while 😞
  • NXT wrestling 😊
  • WWE wrestling 😞
  • The rise of Becky Lynch and resurrection of The New Daniel Bryan 😊
  • Brett Kavanaugh 😞
  • Bill Cosby going to prison 😊
  • The Georgia governor’s race 😞
  • Stan Lee’s passing 😞😞😞😞😞😞

But don’t let the last two bullet points sway my opinion of the year.  Overall, it was pretty good.  I blew a flat tire yesterday on a pothole that formed out of nowhere, and I’m still not that dejected over it.  The good of 2018 far outweighed the bad of it, and I’m actually very satisfied with the year as a whole, and I’m knocking on wood, and hoping that 2019 will be as good, or better.  After all, I am getting married to mythical fiancée, and my life in general has always been better with her in it.

Fare thee well, 2018, and as always, here’s hoping for a brighter tomorrow; even if it won’t stop fucking raining in Georgia over the last few months. 😞

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