Keeping the same format…
First off I will say I’ve been incredibly fucking lucky this year: I was already remote working so kept my job and have remained working all the time; I live in the “middle of nowhere” so have enjoyed outdoor exercise all year round with no danger of coming into contact with other people; I’ve stayed healthy almost all year (the flu I had right at the start of the year excepted; Which in hindsight I’m now about 90% sure was COVID-19 - there are very valid reasons for me thinking this). I’ve still found it all as stressful as fuck though and certainly have not been my best self all year round. So god help those who have been worse off.
- Managed two marathons without proper training. Also my fastest one yet with a knackered knee. One day with full health I should be able to get under four hours.
- Managed to run over 2000km in a year.
- Didn’t manage 300km in one month - my life is just not conducive to having time to do 10km every day.
- Made just over 30000m of climbing/elevation whilst running.
Got a lot more into yoga. It compliments running really well.
At first I was only doing it for the stretching and flexibility; Since I use running for mental wellbeing (I’m up to it being 70/30 for mental/physical benefit) I didn’t think I was getting (or needed) any de-stressing advantage from yoga, but looking back I think it’s had more of an impact than I thought.
I’m not that good yet at the breathing side of it, but I am very focused and concentrating (aware of my body) whilst doing it so it quite literally takes my mind off of other things, even if only for ten minutes (I’m mostly doing short sessions, but trying to do at least four hours a month total now).
Whereas running works for de-stressing, not so much because it clears my mind, more in that it allows me to exhaust myself to the point where I can’t think anymore as I’m too tired.
Nothing of interest really this year. Not even at work. This is the first time I’ve felt I’ve not really progressed, despite being incredibly busy.
Still not managed anything in Rust. Definitely not had time for anything outside of work. This is pretty sad :-(.
Shot one roll of film and didn’t get it developed. Gah. Somewhat my fault really. Need to re-assess my priorities; Although I guess my priority is running.
Did manage to read some books though:
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
- Beast in View by Margaret Millar
- The Listening Walls by Margaret Millar
And when I was off work, had run out of my books and was bored I read:
- Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given. I’m not the target market at all because despite the title is aimed more at young women and girls than me. So it was “alright”.
- I am not Your Baby Mother by Candice Braithwaite. Very, very readible. I’d like to read some fiction by Candice should she ever write some.
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. Even if everyone just read the first chapter the world would be a better place.
- Got through level three of Italian on Duolingo.
- Got through level two of Scots Gaelic on Duolingo (which has since vastly extended… sigh).
- Dabbled in bits of French, German and Polish, but have decided to stick with Italian and Scots Gaelic for now; Maltese if it ever makes it to Duolingo.
- Saying that, been watching Hjem til Jul and now I want to learn Norwegian.
My favourite album was to no one’s surprise:
- Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher
Although Cleo Sol: Rose in the Dark must have been second.
EP wise probably a tie between:
- Nadia Rose: First Class
- Lucia & The Best Boys: The State of Things
I don’t think I can pick a single.
And there have been soooo many other good albums…
- Laura Marling: Song for our Daughter
- Beach Bunny: Honeymoon
- High Contrast: Notes from the underground
- Gwenifer Raymond: Strange Lights over Garth Mountain
- Megan Thee Stallion: Good News (Shots Fired is so good)
- Nova: Re-Up
- Sault: Untitled (Rise)
- Sault: Untitled (Black Is)
- Ailbhe Reddy: Personal History (Looking Happy… oh my)
- Holly Humberstone: Falling Asleep at the Wheel (Ok, it’s an EP, but that song is fab)
- Asian Dub Foundation: Access Denied
- International Teachers of Pop: Pop Gossip
- Hayley Williams: Petals for Armor
- Little Simz: Drop 6 (Also an EP)
- Grimes: Miss Anthropocene
- Soccer Mummy: Color Theory
- Metrik: Ex Machina
and more. Music has saved us all this year. I feel bad that I’ve only really “supported” the industry via Spotify. That isn’t good enough.
Protecting the planet
(ha… pissing in the wind)
- (Re?) discovered safety razors and bought one from Edwin jagger. The ladies have switched to Estrid. Disposable razors should have been made illegal years ago - there was never any need for so much plastic to be introduced into the world, it’s just been a money making scheme.
- Managed to finish carbon offsetting my (not my wife’s, nor kids’) lifetime’s worth of flights through myclimate.org. Thanks to my parents for only ever taking us on one flight as kids and for this year for not adding any more. I only had something like 18 total. Nearly all after 2002 and over half in last four years. Oof. I’d not fly again, but with family overseas that’s not possible (lockdowns excepted).
- Still on heating oil (obviously), though by fluke we managed to get the immersion heater replaced so we can get hot water on electric now if needed. Also added some decent quality portable electric heaters into the mix so we can use the central heating less.
- Home Insurance is now with Naturesave; Co-op may well be ethical with how they spend money, but they are sadly not so good with how they treat customers (my policy just kept going up and up for no reason).
- Avoided Amazon a lot this year. Rented three videos (like a lot of folk) and bought my wife (ended up as daughter’s) some running shoes. I hadn’t realsied there was a good alternative to Amazon for videos, but I’ll use Sky Store in the future.
- Bought some Hylo running shoes. I reckon these are good enough to be my default road shoe from now on; Still with Nike for Trail shoes.
This year I tried 2% of my pay for me and 1% for me to spend on others.
It hasn’t felt like I’ve had a lot of money this year, but looking back it’s actually been ok - it just didn’t all get spent “on me”.
Of that 2% I spent:
- 28% on running.
- 16% on “programming” (mostly server rental and backups).
- 5% on photography.
- 36% on charity and donations supporting small/local businesses, etc.
- 15% on other stuff.
The 1% mostly did go ok: Birthday presents/cards, Mothers’ day, Fathers’ day, trainers. Some home maintenance and upkeep stuff in there that arguably shouldn’t fall under that 1%.
I mainly wanted to show to myself that with a relatively small amount I could save up for things like a new (or second hand) phone, laptop (I do like my NetBSD desktop, but my family moan if I sit in my office so I only really get to use it when I’m working and then, of course, I’m working) or a bicycle and I’ve failed miserably at all that. BUT if I had a dedicated and additional charity section that might happen. So next year I might try something like:
- 2% Me
- 1% Charity
- 1% Others
This seems fair enough. My overall allowance goes up, but not the amount I spend on myself.
Maybe I should go for the 0.7% default for charity though since 36% of 2% is pretty much bang on that?
I am giving in with plans after this year. Let’s just see what happens next year.