Looking back on the year that was and what the year ahead might bring for me.

Where to Begin?

As the title says, it was a good year for me in some aspects and..not so much in others. I thought I did a lot technically; it was an interesting project to get this blog set up and figure out all the various aspects of managing it, but it’s been mostly automatic for most of this year. Installing Debian on my Pi computers was also a lot of fun at first but that’s also very smooth and easy to manage now (aside from some IPV6 issues that I had to work around).

I’m planning on building a new server to replace the existing one (that’s more than a decade old at this point); it still runs well but is crunched for memory due to a couple of DIMM slot failures and thus it might not be viable for all that much longer. This server would run Debian stable and then I’d run RHEL only at work, but I don’t mind as I’d rather not be rugpulled again.

Other than that, though..there are a couple of tech projects that I’d like to do but my spouse has been rather ambivalent about them, so they’re likely not happening.

We did get to travel a lot this year (including a long trip to Greece and France, two places I’d never been before. Heck, I’d never been to continental Europe before) along with my trips to FurSquared and Indy FurCon. Midwest Furfest is close enough for me to commute to it, so I don’t consider that a trip. We also took a pair of roadtrips with the family that were quite enjoyable and interesting (and that came at just the right times for me to relieve a lot of work-related stress).

I’m planning on attending at least three furcons in 2024, the same mentioned in the previous paragraph, though I would like to go to Anthrocon for the first time since 2000. From Chicago, though, Pittsburgh is on the borderline of whether I should fly or drive there and I still need to figure out the best way to get there and back. I think it would be a wonderful time for me (from everything I’ve heard about it), so I should make the effort to try to make it happen.

Chess and where I’m going with it

For the past two months or so, I’ve been obsessed with chess to a degree that’s surprising me as I’ve had an on and off relationship with the game since I learned it as a kid. I feel like I’m playing the best chess I’ve ever played (though a tournament this week will be a test of my extensive studying and preparation). I’m not sure where I’m going with this..I have the goal of eventually reaching a US Chess Federation rating of 2000 (which will be very difficult and take years) but I think it’s possible. That would also be a nice mark to get on chess.com and lichess, etc. but to do that, I need to get over my various anxieties and just enjoy the games, enjoy the challenge, and not put a ton of pressure on myself; no one else expects anything of me, so why worry about losing? I’m not going to run the table until 2000, that’s for sure. I could play to the very best of my abilities and still lose; that’s life.

Creative pursuits

This is something I am perpetually frustrated by; I have so many ideas but it’s so hard to pick one and focus on it. Whether fiction or music, it seems far too overwhelming to start and complete a project. I don’t know why there are so many mental obstacles that I’ve put up against myself; I do not know what I’m afraid of. I have the means to create it and (sometimes) the time to do so, but my mind keeps locking up and refusing to do it. It is a most unfortunate rut I find myself in and I’m not sure what I can do to break free of it; it has lasted years and despite all the great strides I’ve made in self-discovery in the last four years, it stubbornly remains.

Other thoughts about the year to come

There is so much uncertainty about this year on an international level, of course, but also within my life and my household. All of it is the source of much anxiety and worry for myself and my fellow LGBTQ+ individuals..all I can do on my end is take individual action to keep myself and my family as safe as possible along with whatever collective action I can aid with. And I intend on staying foxy and living my life the best I can this and every year to come ^^