It's been a busy and full year. A number of times in the last month or two I've looked back over the last 12, and marveled that it has all happened just in 2011. Really? There are a whole bunch of pluses in the first column, too (well, at least: there are a bunch of rather big pluses, and most of the minuses are minor).
So a couple of highlights:
|+||January: Rode a bike (mostly) across South America. One of the best - if not the best - holidays of my life. (Rivalled only, really, by the time I biked across Canada. I sense a theme here!) I so can't wait to do this sorta thing again! (See October, below.)|
|+||April: Put on the best damn Climb for Wilderness ever. (I mean, yeah; this is something I do for work every year, but...) It was the 20th annual climb, and we pulled out all the stops. And it worked. This year's climb was so, so awesome. Doing a recap at the after-party that evening, I sort-of broke down in tears because I was so happy about how things went. And then later in November, at our AGM when staff members were presenting to the membership about their work in the previous year, I had to cut mine short, because I was on the verge of doing the same again. I'm still super-happy about that best-ever climb.|
|+||May (plus September & October): I... kinda ran a marathon. And then I did another one. And another. And I discovered I really like this activity (not a huge surprise, really). For 2012, I've signed up for two so far (the Calgary one, duh, and the Vancouver Marathon earlier in May) and am in the meantime running a couple halfs. 2011 was a "is this something I can do?" year; the plan for 2012 is to work seriously on getting my times down (hence the half marathons, where I can more easily focus on speed). Still looking for a sub-4hr time. Of course, a part and parcel of this is all the training; I've done at least another 20 full-marathon-length training runs (plus God knows how many shorter ones); the longest I've run at a time is actually 47km. It's all pretty great.|
|+/-||June/July: Holiday in Spain. The timing for this, I think, was mostly unfortunate (the flip-side being: I don't know when the timing wouldn't have been?) and I was too stressed out to enjoy what I imagine would/should otherwise have been a very + time. The more time that goes by, the more fondly my memories are growing. This remains a decidedly mixed experience, but still. A momentous part of this very full year: it was, as they say, a thing.|
|+||July/August: As VP, I helped organize and run the Fringe Festival. Another extremely successful event about which I am over the moon. I am so thrilled and honoured (that sounds gah! so corporatese, but it's truth!) to have been an integral part of putting something like that on. This (sixth) year, we all feel, has really marked a point that the festival has established itself as a permanent fixture on the Calgary cultural calendar, and has begun to establish a comfortable home in Inglewood, building great community relationships. During the lottery draws for the 2012 Fringe season, acts picked Calgary as the 5th highest priority (in terms of places to perform) out of all festivals nation-wide. This is really good news: after years of trying, we've finally managed to distinguish ourselves and emerge from Edmonton's shadow. Extraordinarily rewarding all-around.|
|+||September (plus October/November): I feel like I can finally describe myself as a GIS specialist. In September I attended a 3-day Google Mapping Technologies for Nonprofits workshop (hosted by Google) in Vancouver. That was great: I learned a lot, but at least as importantly, had a lot of fun! This was only a single event, but it was rather symptomatic of where my skills, etc. are these days. Over the following couple of months, I was able to put these skills to use producing a set of maps to be used as evidence in a court case that AWA (along with a dozen or so other environmental organizations across Canada) will be waging. This is actually the second time now I've produced maps for legal use, but last time, it was just AWA; I wasn't doing it on behalf of a number of other organizations as well. In November, my job description was changed to include this aspect of my duties, which I at least think is really cool. It's been a long and strangely circuitous route, but in a sense, I'm finally doing, as a career, what I've wanted to do for many, many years (since about 1989-ish; longer ago than I've been interested in computers at all). I'm increasingly thinking I will eventually go back to school to do an MGIS, as I've mentioned a few times in the past, but there is as of yet no specific schedule for same. In any event, that will probably wait a few years because in the meantime...|
|+||October: I've moved plans for biking across Russia from the back burner to the front. At least in the sense that it has stopped being "something I want to do someday, before I die," and now there is an actual, firm plan with schedules and deadlines and whatnot. The game, she is afoot! Partly inspired by my amazing holiday in South America, and partly by other things. Anyway: the starting date will be May of 2016. That leaves 50 months as of February; I want to have $50,000 in the bank before I start this, so that's roughly $1,000 per month to sock away, which I think is totally doable. I set up a separate savings account for this in October and have started filling it up — there's about $2,500 in it now ($3,000 as of tomorrow), so I'm a bit ahead of the game, but nothing wrong with that of course! Expect I will likely make another post about this soon enough.|
|?||December: finally exorcising the demons of 2002? Let's... call this one "pending" for now. I had hoped to have at least a feeling for a resolution by this point, but low-bandwidth phone/SMS conversations have proved frustratingly inconclusive.|
|-||Pretty much the biggest drawback to this extremely full year has been the complete lack of time to do any of the other things that I normally enjoy. A case in point would be my film intake; down from a usual 60-plus movies a year, I have this year gone out to see all of five. (One amazing, one really good, one okay, and two forgettable and regrettable.) The point being that this is symptomatic of many daily or weekly activities that have just fallen right off the map this year. (I've cancelled more squash nights and other engagements than I can count, about which I feel really bad - Fringe meetings especially eat up a lot of evenings.) But in the so-called grand scheme, I think I can mostly live with this.|
So yeah. All that in 2011. I can't wait for this next year to begin.