The Year of the Dog

Happy New Year, everyone!

It is something of a tradition for those who Blog to post a year-end retrospective and prospective. This is mine; my fortunes seem to follow the Eastern New Year more closely than the Western, and the things in my life which are most important seem to align with the animal signs.

First, the past.

The Year of the Wood Rooster was very good to me. Here are some of the highlights, in roughly chronological order:

I quit a job which was fast making me very unhappy. I took a six-week break from working, then began freelancing with the people who eventually became my new co-workers.

The change in surroundings left me with much more physical, mental and emotional energy, which I turned toward reconnecting with the people around me. In particular I threw more energy into Master Lee’s class. The previous year or so of systemic depression made it exceedingly difficult to focus on the class to the extent it deserves, so I had a lot of ground there to regain.

For the first time in twenty years, I programmed some computer games: An arcade game, and a strategy game. Not the most complex things in the world, but the experience re-ignited in me the joy of programming which I had lost. Good thing, too, considering this is what I do for a living.

Somewhere in there I met a wonderful, beautiful woman. Though we were not together for very long the experience left me with a renewed self-confidence which I had once lost, somewhere along the way.

At the end of summer, in the middle of August, my brother and I took a week-long vacation to New Orleans to visit my father and step-mother. It turned out that my timing could hardly have been better. Hurricane Katrina happened the week after I returned home. Thanks in large part to work my brother and I did, helping the parents to organize their belongings, they had no trouble at all evacuating when the storm hit.

And probably the biggest change in my life, I bought a house.

My sign is the Earth Rooster. This is the year of the Fire Dog. It looks like it should be a pretty good year for me. Notice that the prediction for the Earth Rooster says “I will be much more sociable and communicative than usual”. At the western New Year I made a resolution to be less of a hermit. Looks like I chose wisely.

Now, what are my plans for the upcoming year?

Nothing too specific. This semester will be my last at Kendall College. Though I enjoy teaching, it is too much of a time commitment, and leaves me stretched too thin to devote the appropriate attention to the other things in my life which are so important. Also, it pretty much nixes my social life for eight months out of the year.

Once upon a time I wrote poetry and short stories every day, and filled hundreds of pages in journals every year. It is time to start doing that kind of thing again. Perhaps I will visit the UICA writers’ studio which I had a hand in starting, many years ago.

I would like to practice tai chi and kung fu more often and more regularly.

I would like to throw more energy into maintaining and improving Master Lee’s school.

I would like to create some more computer games.

I would like to meet another wonderful, beautiful woman. Or two. Hundred.

I would like to turn my house into the kind of comfortable, beautiful place that I and my friends can use to relax and re-connect with each other and the world at large.

But most of all, I want to be as happy as I was last year, and help my friends and family to have as wonderful a year as I hope to have.

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