2013 Highlights: A Toilet Makes The List

Yet another blog post about the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 and all the things that have happened and have been accomplished and…blah blah blah.

I know. You’re sick of lists. So am I. So don’t feel compelled to read on. This one is largely for my benefit.

What did I accomplish? Quite a lot, actually, looking back on it. Here are the highlights:

Weight – I lost 20 lbs. I feel pretty good about this. Not hugely spectacularly over the moon, but pretty good. The reason I’m not shouting from the rooftops about losing weight is because this is a net number. I had lost 30 lbs going into the holidays, and then gained back 10 lbs during the sugar-infused holiday season. So the net weight loss is 20 lbs. Still, 20 lbs loss has me a lot healthier then where I started, so I’m happy.

Pants Size – I dropped a pants size. This one I am ecstatic about. I went into this year having gained a pant size. I hadn’t been a 38 waist ever in my life. Ever. And for about a year and half, that’s exactly where I was. My primary resolution for 2013 was to drop that pant size. I’ve done just that. Back down to a 36. Boo’ya.

Running – The opening of 2013 found me about as sedentary as a sea slug. Then, in March, after straining my back while I was putting a sweater away in a closet (oh, I kid you not), I said, “Screw this. Time to get moving.” Which I did. I’m now a runner. Not a fast one, but a consistent one. And when I go out the door for my normal run, it’s a five miler without second thought.

Drinking – I quit. Cause, you know, it was time.

Writing – I’ve put up the first two parts of my novel How It Ends, deciding to serialize it. The parts are here and here, and the reason I’m serializing it is here. The novel itself took my six years to write and edit. That’s primarily due to my own procrastination. And then the decision to self-publish it took another year and a half. I hemmed and hawwed, not sure if I should or should not, wondering if I was passing up a better offer just waiting to be made. It’s a phenomenon I like to call “Self-Publication Constipation.” (I’m thinking about trademarking that.) But I finally did it, with parts three and four coming in the new year, as well as an omnibus edition consolidating all four parts into a single volume.

Home Renovations – Over the holiday break, my father and I installed a new toilet in our downstairs bathroom. Finally, the old one that barely flushed is gone, replaced with a new one that works beautifully.

There are probably a few more, little things here and there, but these are the big ones.

As far as major events, there’s really only one that comes to mind. 2013 saw the passing of my grandmother. The heat of August found me driving down to Long Island with my windows rolled down to compensate for the broken A/C and dusting off a black double-breasted suit I don’t think I’d worn since a wedding ten years earlier. It’s been a few years since I went to a funeral or viewing, and 27 years since it was a member of my family. It was a strange time, full of sadness and family and laughter and wet eyes and food and waiting, endless waiting, along with the pacing of floors.

2014 starts tonight at midnight. I have a whole slew of stuff I’d like to get accomplished, but I’ll keep those to myself. They’re my resolutions, after all, and no one else’s, so I don’t need to bother anyone with them.

Here’s hoping that everything we want to get accomplished this year gets accomplished, and that our families remain healthy and happy.

Happy New Year.

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