Last time I posted one of these was back in July. The whole summer was kind of a whirlwind. I don’t remember anything about it except that everything revolved around getting my daughter set up to start college and also trying to make the most of family time somehow in a weird transitional time when nothing was really normal.
And now summer’s gone. Leaves are falling, there’s frost overnight, my daughter has been away at college for almost a month now…and oh yeah, I’m officially pushing 50. Time bleeds us out, no matter what measures we take.
If it sounds like I’m failing to look on the bright side, well, that’s true. I hate fall as a season. It’s truly a beautiful time of year, but it brings the threat of winter with it. And I loathe winter. It’s a seasonal depression thing. By January, I don’t even feel human anymore. Just a numb zombie, slogging through one dark day after another.
What I really need to do is move to Arizona. Or maybe Southern Utah; winters can still be quite bitter in the high desert, but at least the sun still shines. (300+ days of sun per year…can’t beat that.) Winter in the Inland Northwest sucks balls. Cold, snow, near-constant rain, super short northern-latitude days, and endless clouds covering all of it.
But one step at a time. First I gotta get my shit squared away here where I actually live. So let’s check in on the past couple months of trying to punch 2019 in the face and see if I’ve managed to make it my bitch.
Make a useful profit from the Hufflepuffery Etsy shop.
DONE. When I started, my goal was to average $100 per month over the first year. The first week of October was the one-year anniversary, and as it happens, I did almost exactly that. To within 50 cents. Although $1200 isn’t much by itself, it was nonetheless a highly useful profit, as it helped the difference between getting the daughter to college stocked with what she needed and having to do without.
2019 is kicking my ass on several other fronts, but I won this one.
Which is not to say everything was perfect. There were some setbacks, but only temporary ones. It’s gone differently than I expected, too; I figured I’d carve a whole bunch of wands and fill in around the edges with some digital products, but it’s actually been the reverse. I realized back in June that growth was mostly going to happen in digital, so I focused more on that. Printable downloads have been going gangbusters. And it also helps that I’m having a ball doing the design thing, which I wasn’t sure about at first.
Get the FAR Western roleplaying system ready to be seen and used by people other than myself.
Sigh. No progress here. AGAIN.
However, I did play roleplaying games quite a bit this summer, so that helps mitigate the failure. I had a blast running a Marvel Superheroes campaign, and the last game we played before the daughter went away to college was a kickass one-shot based on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which my son planned and ran by hacking the Marvel game rules.
Go shooting a lot more often.
Nope. Didn’t get out once all summer. Maybe I’ll manage to hit the range before winter closes in. We’ll see…
Also, I need to stockpile some ammo between now and next summer, because unless Donald Trump keeps a hefty lead in the polls the whole way (not going to happen; it’s going to be a close election again and polls will favor the Democrat regardless), the anti-gun Democrats are going to spark yet another run on guns and ammo once the presidential election season hits full swing.
The only thing worse than not being able to go to the range at all is not being able to go to the range because you have no way to restock your ammunition. (Which is what happened to me in 2013-14. You’d think the Democrats might look at the fact that Obama’s anti-gun second term turned him into the world’s greatest gun salesman, and that gun sales always rise alongside their ban-and-confiscate rhetoric, and maybe conclude that most of America either loves guns or at least doesn’t see them as a problem, but no…)
Write a short story every week.
Nope. Bupkis again. But NaNoWriMo is coming up, so there’s my chance to focus on this goal and hit it at least once this year. I need to figure out what my plan of attack is going to be.
Get my finances in order so that I can buy a house.
As I said back in June, it’s not going to happen this year. Good news is, I’m in a better position to make it happen now than I was last year. A LOT better.
By the time you read this, I will have started a new job — one that pays 26% better than the old one. It’s not exactly rags to riches, but between that and the Etsy shop, I’ll finally have enough breathing room to pay the bills and start building up the savings account. Whew.
I feel like I got really lucky with this one. I’ll be doing something I’m already very good at and mostly enjoy in a new, challenging area — tech manufacturing instead of higher ed. I get to work with a couple of former coworkers who love their jobs with this company, which makes me optimistic that I’ll enjoy working there, too. The insurance benefits are awesome for private industry, roughly equal to my state benefits, and the retirement package blows the state system out of the water.
I’m naturally a bit pessimistic, so I’m trying to convince myself that there won’t be something horrible lurking beneath the surface. 🙂 We’ll see.