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2020 Progress Report

The LICD blog’s been less frequent lately. I was pulled away to focus on other creative projects, and then I was distracted by…


(I know 2020 upping its disaster game every month is a meme in and of itself, but it’s shocking how out of date that 2 month old meme is. Can you imagine someone in January 2021 summing up 2020 and not including the Black Lives Matter and police brutality protests? I mean, assuming you can imagine January 2021…)

Speaking of January, I started this year with high hopes, and a trilogy of blogs outlining my 2020 plans. We’re almost halfway through the year, so I thought I’d look back on those three blogs and see how I’m doing with the goals I set for myself.

I had three goals, each broken down into three objectives. Here is the progress I’ve made on each, given a kind-of arbitrary letter grade with teacherly comments for good measure:

  • Get More Organized
    1. Spend less time in the Internet
      Starting with what I predict was my topsy-turviest plan. I wanted to spend less time messing around on the Internet, especially Facebook. January and February, this started well. I turned off notifications for Facebook Messenger, and made an effort to ignore my instinct to pick up my phone and instead pick up a book. March, quarantine started and so online interaction became the main way I could interact with more than the three people I live with. By the end of May, when the protests started, I think I hit a lifetime high of Facebook use. I love truth and facts, and it was hard to find facts about the protests. Actually, that’s not true. The facts were out there. Contradictory reports were just as out there. So I spent the first two weeks of June sifting through truth, conjecture, and outright lies. The nice weather of the last week helped me reconnect with my immediate physical reality, although I’m still spending a lot of time cross referencing statements I come across, both in favour of and in contradiction to my interpretations of what’s happening. It’s mentally tiring, but I come out the other side more confident.
      GRADE: D You need to focus
    2. Read the comics and books on my bedside table
      Another one that started strong, but this one was a gradual decline. There’s only one comic on my pile that I haven’t reviewed here on the blog (expect that review next week), so you all were watching my progress in real time. This was one part because the comics on top of the pile were the ones I was more excited to read, part because more Pathfinder RPG books have come out than usual that I’ll be reviewing on my podcast, and part because my kids being home for a lot of quarantine means less me time, and a more tired brain when the me time comes around.
      GRADE: C You don’t get marks for potential
    3. Clean my office
      Unlike the above, I didn’t do much with my office for the longest time, but recently have been productive cleaning it and setting it up. My Sigma 6 figures are on display (including a Croc Master custom that was one foot away from being done for forever and I finally got around to finishing), and I made a lot of progress on my Cobra Terrordrome diorama. I’ve also booked a week of vacation time to do housework in early July, with my basement being my top priority.
      GRADE: C Barely. I expect this to go up soon.
  • Make life better for my wife
    I am merging these three objectives (do more of the things my wife does for me myself, do more for my wife, and make her get over her need to be the one who does everything since it clearly stresses her out in the long run) together because they were merged by circumstance.
    When quarantine happened and the two of us were suddenly working from home while also watching our kids, our routine was thrown out and a new one was created. One that had us splitting the day so one of us was working while the other did house work and remained available for the kids.
    That changed a few weeks ago. Tina was called in to do lab work related to Covid-19 testing. She worked 13 out of 14 days, putting in 10-14 hours (and technically she took a half hour work meeting on the one day she took off). I had to take basically everything off my wife’s plate. Thanks to spring deciding to transition into summer by way of a three day heat wave right after a few wet days, our lawn looked like Poison Ivy had made love to it. Yard work was more than I was able to handle, so we ended up with 2-foot tall grass most of that week. Luckily, my parents randomly dropped by (complying with local quarantine rules) to see if I needed any help and my dad offered to mow the lawn for me.
    Tina’s back to working from home, and I’m back to balancing the house work and parenting with her.
    GRADE: A Did your parents do this for you?
  • Turning 40 like a boss
    1. Plan ahead
      I didn’t want to turn 60 and regret that I wasted my 40s. And I haven’t! I have a pair of Costello brand jeans that my brother bought me 10 years ago that haven’t fit me in 8 years. I’ve managed to lose enough weight that I fit into them again! It’s a snug fit, and I don’t plan on wearing jeans much until the fall, so I have a few months to keep the weight off and even drop a few more pounds so they are a comfortable fit.
      Also weird, I have fitted socks that I never cared for, but suddenly they fit! I didn’t realize how much of my bulk I carried in my feet.
      GRADE: B Excellent improvement, keep it up!
    2. Stay young
      Specifically, try out what’s popular right now instead of only engaging with the things I already like.
      I’ve done a pretty good job with this. I watched Gravity Falls in its entirety and I’ve dabbled in Avatar, both of which are popular with my friends in their 20s. I also watched Schittz Creek, and have started watching The Magicians and Dead To Me. Not that the audience of these shows are out of my age range, but they are outside of my usual go tos.
      GRADE: A Wow! Proud of you!
    3. Focus on the positives of being 40
      If you’ve ever listened to an interview with board game designer Danielle Reynolds, you’ve heard her mention me. I’ve dabbled in a lot of creative projects in my life, and even if I am not planning on designing board games for market any time soon, I am able to help her by imparting my experience. Similarly, I am able to make the lateral moves that Blind Ferret needs me to because I have studied and dabbled in such a broad stroke of creative fields. What for a while felt like a lot of failed attempts has turned out to be a versatile skill set that is now paying off.
      GRADE: A I don’t know how you did it, but you pulled it off.

2020 is not the year any of us thought it would be. Mostly for the worst. Despite that, I’ve managed to work on a lot of the personal goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, and see where I need to put additional effort for the second half.