2015 Resolutions Review

Last December, I posted about my resolutions for 2015. Now, I'll review how I did in meeting these goals, and talk about the goals I have set up going forward into 2016.

I'm currently sitting in a pretty comfortable seat in the sky, flying out to Colorado to attend a wedding. This is my second trip to Colorado this year, with the first being a week long jaunt to the rockies to spend time hacking and hiking. I loved it. I'll be posting a full entry about that sometime, but for now, I'll just stick to recognizing my actions from the past year and how they measure up to what I had planned. Let's begin.

Passive Resolutions

Avoid Unnatural foods

I spent a lot of time this year working on this goal in particular. Since I had met my girlfriend, the amount of home-cooked meals I ate increased by a staggering amount. I would estimate it at two or three hundred percent more home cooked meals, and that's wonderful. Not only is cooking with a partner a fun time, but it means I get to control precisely what goes into the food I'm eating.

I bought about half of my weekly groceries from a local farmer's market just a few blocks away from my apartment, and anything I was unable to find there, I would head over to the local supermarket or wholefoods to fill in the blanks. Ultimately, it lead to a much more concise diet, and although I didn't necessarily eat healtier, I did eat more wholesome than "pizza again."

Stop Rushing

This one I don't think I hit quite on the mark. I mean, I think I am overall slowing down, but I didn't come to a stop. There are always times when you can't just continue to sit around and move slowly, and in those situations, I have a bad habit of getting a bit stressed out. So, going into 2016, I'm planning to double down on relaxing, and while I intend to be punctual, I don't intend to cause myself or others any kind of stress to be so.

Nothing is Absolute

This is where I'm the most proud of my actions throughout this year. Over the past 3 or so years, I've become a lot more moderate in my personal views. I've more or less adopted a strict "live and let live" view, believing that we should all be who we want to be and do what we want to do with the strict caveat that it should not affect others in any way should they not openly accept it. Wanting to work towards this goal makes me a more accepting person, and I'm happier for it.

Weekly - Go Screenless, Be Healthy

My weekly resolution was to cut out screens and do something good for myself. I attacked this a few ways. Primarily, my method for dialing back the tech a bit was to double down on my vinyl collection. Its nice to be able to throw on an album, let it play through, and have no electronics between you and the music. Sure, you can count the turntable or preamp, but to me, the thought of having bumps on a disc recreate my favorite sounds is just calming.

On top of that, towards the end of the year, I began running. Primarily treadmill. A friend and colleague of mine offered to go running with me, as he moved in just down the street. We've gone a couple of times now and it really helps to give me the push to keep going. I've been out of shape for far too long now, and it feels good to be taking at least some better care of my health overall.

Suddenly, it has become extremely difficult to write as an infant has just erupted with tears. Ahem.

At Some Point...

Purge some crap

When I was a kid, was a total pack rat. Every little thing I thought had some kind of use, I would just hold on to. I never really had a good reason for doing so, I just told myself it could be useful later on. It's the same feeling that you get playing a game and wanting to hold on to that super powerful item just in case because you could use it now, but what if you need it later?

I guess I never totally broke that habit, since now I just collect things that I think will improve my life, but ultimately end up on a shelf, never to be touched again. I took a few weekends this year and went through the mounds of stuff I had lying around (I'm making it sound worse than it was, its just old keepsakes and such) and made some big donation bags.

I threw out quite a lot, and I'm not convinced that I am done with this, but it feels good to lighten the load while simultaneously donating to those who need things much more than I do.

Consolidate my Environments

I went a couple of directions for this one. Earlier this year, I managed to port myself entirely to a remote machine. That was very fun to do, much to the chagrin of my employer's head architect, and I enjoyed being able to log in remotely from any computer to get work done. While I still have that machine up, I have pulled back a bit to get some more work done a little closer to metal. This is primarily due to a paradigm shift in our day-to-day work, where I need to be on a VPN and able to access certain drives for work.

At the same time, I have consolidated many different servers into just one for hosting a suite of side projects. I've cancelled some old hosting, and I've standardized my work environment to use Vim everywhere, with as similar of a vimrc and bundle setup as possible. It gives me peace of mind to know that I can grab any of my machines and run.

As it happens, I'm on a new laptop of mine, a Surface Book that I picked up a few weeks back. I'm really enjoying it so far, and it lets me get work done on some game projects while I'm out and about.

Learn a Brand New Skill

This one is tricky. I originally intended to learn how to do sprite artwork for my own games. That is still very much a goal of mine as I work towards being more self sufficient for game development. That...didn't quite happen. I took a few stabs at it, but never really dedicated the time to it. I think overall, the closest thing that qualifies for satisfying this resolution is a reconnection to my woodworking interest. I joined a wood shop earlier this year and learned some new tricks, but I wouldn't say its a brand new skill for me. Oh well, I'll mark this as a 'lets try again.'

Monthly - Open Source Contributions

This was haaaard. Well, harder than I expected. I didn't want to just opt for doing my own open source work, because that seems a little unfair. Pushing to my own repositories is nice, but I mainly wanted to be involved in helping other people's projects, big or small. I managed the big a few times, with a couple of issues and suggestions being merged into big repos like React, but I didn't get so much of the small stuff done. That said, I did push a few open source libraries that have proved useful for myself and a few others. More on that right now.

The Biggun: Finish Anything

I didn't. Well, that's not fair. I didn't finish anything of the size that I originally intended to. For smaller projects, I finished quite a lot, actually. The two main things I'm proud of this year are Patchwire and gdash.

Patchwire is a Node.js multiplayer game server framework. It's technically released, but still has a long way to go. I have plans to continue work on it, especially for use with my own projects, and I cannot wait to get back into the groove. Its been a joy to work on.

Gdash was spawned from my inability to work without some functional utilities. I have grown so accustomed to having lodash anywhere I work, that when I went back to using GameMaker for some game dev projects, I found myself really wishing I had some of the utilites. So, I began recreating my most used utilities from lodash in GML, and it ended up being very useful. I have since open sourced it, and have used it in a handful of other projects now.

That about sums it up for my 2015 resolutions. I'll be posting again soon when I get my 2016 resolutions figured out.