Everyone’s doing it, so I probably should too.

2015 was a momentous year in many ways. I made quite a few big, irrevocable decisions. This year, I left teaching for university, which seems like a bigger deal now that I’ve done it than when I was considering it — I suppose I underestimated how undertaking the study of a new discipline means more than just committing money and effort and time, but also surrendering part of my brain and thought-process to scrutiny and change. Taking on a new degree really isn’t just a matter of adding accomplishments to my CV and qualifying for a new career: it’s volunteering to take on a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing.

It also meant having to leave something I was quite comfortable doing. Mastery of a skill is always rewarding, and I think I got quite good at teaching. My students tended to like me, they tended to do well on tests, and I got paid quite a bit. The only problem was that I could foresee myself not growing.

Well, I’ve certainly been doing a lot of that this year. Went back to school, met new friends, and had to deal with being just about the oldest guy in any room I walked into. It wasn’t a bad feeling per se — just weird. Although in hindsight, probably not so much, given that that was always the case when I was teaching anyway.

To my very great gratitude, my classmates seem to be quite chill about having a bunch of oldsters along for the ride.

This year I also decided to take greater charge of my health. I started working out regularly, and while it may not have yet made a noticeable different to my waistline or how my shirts fit, my liver fat has dropped, and brought down with it my blood pressure and cholesterol level. This year I only had two gout attacks, both of them relatively minor, which is a real record and hopefully one I continue to push.

I also had to deal with the new challenge of a long-distance relationship with my fiancée. Writing this now in her dorm room in New York City, I’m glad to say that the distance and time apart hasn’t changed anything about our chemistry or commitment.

This year has been a year of new beginnings and granted prayers. May 2016 be a year of making good on promises and potential.


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