I meant to write up something like this weeks ago, but I kind of shut myself mostly out of the internet (other than occasional poking around on social media and playing some games). The break was welcome. I read some books, had a few nice evenings out with family and friends, saw Star Wars a couple of times, and just dropped out.
I needed it.
Anyway, 2015 was a whirlwind of confusion. new job in a new job series in a new division of an organization I only joined a year prior. New responsibilities, including……kind of being somebody’s boss. New personalities to deal with; some of whom became very different (and difficult to deal with) as the year went on. Let’s be honest, most of my life this year has been dedicated to figuring out what the hell I was was doing and who I was supposed to be doing it with/to/about.
That part wasn’t fun. Not at all. It probably won’t be fun going forward into 2016. Still, I managed to keep a handle on most of it, not fuck up too much, and keep the job (heck, I even got nominated for an agency award, fat lot of whatever that means).
What the job stuff did do, however, was get me thinking. I went through some serious rough patches this year (some of which bubbled up here…a lot of it bubbled up here). I’ve had very few moments where I’ve been able to look at this job in a long-term context; whatever happens, I don’t see myself overseeing this particular corner of the world forever. After two years in the agency, and a year in this department, I’ve kind of decided that I’m not a great match for the organizational culture; most folks are nice enough, but I haven’t forged any real relationships worth dragging outside the gate, and I think a lot of it is personality and temperment. That’s okay, I think I have a plan
Around mid-2017, I’ll have 20 years federal service logged. That’s nothing to sneeze about. I’ve quietly, personally, and non-obligatorally committed to myself that I’ll stand pat until I hit my twenty, then I’ll re-evaluate. Given my age, that’s somewhere just past the mid-point of my career; Plenty of time to shift gears if necessary. There’s other stuff I might like to try – I’ve been under the defense umbrella for 20 year, much of that with the country on a de-facto war footing (which has been wonderful for my social-justice/liberal mindset). I’d like to see what life’s like under another flavor of cabinet official, you know? I’m a little averse to jumping the federal ship, given my investment, but I’m not going to say never. That, however, is a discussion for another time, once I pass the current milestones.
Outside of work, things have been a bit better. Outside projects and relationships have helped keep me sane and motivated. I played a bunch of great shows with The Blibbering Humdingers all up and down the east cost this year, wrocking lots of people at lots of neat places. We made a record we’re pretty proud of, and plan on flogging up and down the sci-fi convention circuit for the forseeable future (gigs are lined up), and I think we’ll have more music to share soon-ish.
I can’t thank the little musical family I’ve made (Scott and Kirsten, plus Eddie, Christie, Leah, Mikey, Jonah, Gray and all the rest) enough; these little weekend adventures we have throughout the year really saved my sanity. I also got a little more confortable with my own stuff – I don’t have much, but I’m starting to play it a bit, and have obtained the gear to lay it down once I really figure out how. Who knows what the coming year will hold on that front.
otherwise, my social circles, the geeks, the gamers, the UUs, the everybody else…have also been amazing. My dance card is eternally full, and it’s generally pretty excellent. We have adventures in worlds real and imagined, musical and prosaical. It seems I have a friend in every port I find myself these days, which is a real comfort. Special shout outs to the KT, Kevin, Scott, Winter and Dan…you guys are awesome.
Oh, I guess I should also pour one out for my aborted publishing career at Antimatter Press, the little venture my friends and co-conspirators Elizabeth, Duncan, Jonah, and Danny. We had great ambitions, published a handful of great things, then flamed out because we were all to busy with life, love, career, etc. It was a worthy adventure, and I’m still sort of playing in that pond, doing some light editing for one of our leftover authors. We’ll see where it goes.
Family life has been, life with teenagers, you know? Most of it’s been pretty okay, with a few extra hurdles I won’t really bother with, but i think we’ll get through it…I hope. Thanks, as always, to my dear wife, for being the rock and whatever else I tie myself to. It’s been a rough one this year, but we got through it.
Anyway – couple of other odds and ends…I checked off a couple of items on the bucket list:
I made an album (see above) and got my playing on two other releases, the HPA anniversary disc (the Humdingers contributed a track) and I played guitar on a live version of one of my favorite songs, Beer Powered Time Machine by Mikey Mason (wish I could’ve found a good version of the slow “drunkards and philosophers” version) that we knocked together at Dragon*Con this year and Mikey released in a limited fashion this fall.
Had a book dedicated to me (and my family) – Classic, by Lynn Townsend, the pen name of a dear friend (mentioned elsewhere above – I’ll let you figure it out); it’s nice to get noticed.
I think I played more shows than I attended this year – that’s neat. Did manage to see “Weird” Al again (only four or five rows back), which was kind of amazing.
I survived. there’s that.
Also – looking back, I didn’t write much this year in this space. Kinda had other things going on, you know? Nothing huge or profound to be proud of, but here are a couple of entries from this year that I liked:
Oh, and I read 73 books this year. woo.