What the fuck happened to 2012?

2012.12.31 20:20

As I write this in the final hours of 2012, I am taking moment to review and reflect on what has been a strange year, even for me. For anyone following this blog, it seems obvious that I deviated from the habit of posting regularly. In fact, I believe this is was the year with the fewest posts since I started writing about design in the early days of 2006 — only 25 or so posts managed to see the light of day, and most of those in the first three weeks of January 2012. Had to chuckle a bit to remember that there was a time, such as during the summer of 2007, when I was aspiring to post 25 posts per month.

It would seem obvious to say “I got busy”, but more accurately, I got busy several times with several new endeavors. It was the continually-starting-over nature of this past year that took me away, and turned me sideways a bit. I’m a little disappointed with myself that I never managed to write about the 2012 Olympics, considering I’d been sniping at that stupid logo for the previous 5 years, and considering I wrote a three-part review of the 2008 Beijing games. Opportunity missed.

The year started with me redesigning my site and posting videos as I go, but with an influx of client work, I had to put that aside. I’m ashamed to admit that I never revived the effort, and since July I really haven’t thought of it. Just didn’t fit in with everything else.

But the defining strangeness of the year was my starting a new job … three times. In February, I accepted a full-time job, but our department was dismantled a mere three months after it was assembled. My job was eliminated, and me along with it. A few weeks later, after a much-needed trip to Montreal, I got reconnected with someone I worked with in 2007, and returned as a freelancer to an agency I worked with all those years ago. It was shit. We worked until 5:00 am twice in two weeks. Not cool. With a few more late nights and a general air of awkwardness and disorder, I said adieu and went back to doing my own thing. Even though I was only a freelancer (as was nearly everyone there), it had the same effect of being a momentum-stopper and felt like a second false start in as many months.

This was about the time that my Mac basically died, and instead of getting a new one, I built a Hackintosh. That was something I’m proud of, even though it took me another three months to actually get that system into the rotation as my main computer.

About ten weeks ago I started my latest full-time role. I’m still there and taking it one day at a time. Still finding the balance between time and energy and focus, and seeing where — if anywhere — my blogging can fit it. This latest role came with the added hysteria of moving to Manhattan, after so many years of hoping to do so. The move itself was complicated by a little thing called Hurricane Sandy.

The Hurricane was a complete mess. My apartment was without power for 13 days, during which I we also had no heat. Gas for the stove and for the hot water returned after 6 days, but the whole affair was superbly inconvenient. Had to pack up my apartment by candelight. Had to take the ferry into the City to get the keys for my new place. Had to sleep at my friends’ place to avoid the cold snap. And needless to say, I didn’t do much blogging during that time. I did, however, finally manage to lose the weight I gained during that aforementioned first job (about 10 lbs.)

The new year is usually a time to take stock and make goals, but this year in particular desires a “shake it off” approach from me. Even though the toughest years of the recession were back in 2009-10, it seemed that 2012 created the perfect combination of stressors to really knock me off my stride. I’m looking forward to 2013. I’m looking forward.

So what, specifically, am I hoping to do? Looking to establish a better routine in my new Manhattan apartment. Although it’s cold, that means figuring out the right times to go out socially, to exercise, to hit up cultural spots like museums, and to have people over. I’m looking to get more into side projects, especially in making posters and other artwork-ish products like wallpapers and calendars that I can give away or list for sale. I’ve created one so far. I’m looking to be more purposeful in my social media use, but spend less time. Learn to pop in and pop out, especially with Pinterest (where I devote most of my time spreading show-and-tell style posts that once were the focus of this blog), and Twitter (where the witty remarks and useful links of others can eat up a whole day). I’m planning to bring to a close Your Business Card Sucks, which has withered a bit from lack of attention, and start a few other mostly-useless side projects.

Watch this space, folks. Thanks for an interesting 2012. See you next year.

Also, don’t forget to back up your files! Maybe tomorrow during the day off.


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