A Look Back at 2019 and Ahead to 2020

[Advance notice/warning: This is a personal post about my annual goals and accomplishments. If you’re not interested, which is understandable and highly likely, feel free to move on to my next post.]

Overall, 2019 was a very good year. At the start of this year, I envisioned that 2019 would be a year of no commitments. That didn’t happen – not even close. I ended up being in four musical ensembles and officiating 40 weddings, even though at the beginning of 2019 I cancelled all of my advertising with the four websites I have advertised on in previous years. In 2019 I wanted to focus on simplification and writing. I entertained this fantasy that I would finish my book, The Quest for Retirement Utopia, in March. LOL! I finished it in December.

Let’s take a look at how I did based on my goals for the year.

Simplification

  • Rip all remaining vinyl LPs (that I care for) and get rid of my vinyl.
  • Sell CDs I no longer want on eBay, then discard at the end of the year.
  • Convert VHS tapes to DVD, then discard by the end of the year.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Reduce clothing by 50%.
  • Delete all old emails.
  • Go through old photos, keep only those that are significant.
  • Delete old electronic documents.
  • Clear out magazine backlog – either by reading them or just discarding them.

Virtually none of this happened. I ripped a few vinyl LPs, but that’s about it.

Writing

  • Publish The Quest for Retirement Utopia by the end of March.
  • Write at least 12 chapters of my memoir.
  • Resume writing fiction.
  • Write some self-improvement articles and see if there is a demand.

Other than finishing Quest at the end of the year, none of this happened.

Lifestyle Choices

  • Get back into hiking, biking, and neighborhood walks.
  • Deal with things when they come in. Don’t let papers and tasks stack up.

Once again, didn’t happen. But overall, life continues to be good. I enjoy my life and I’m very fortunate.

Still, a Very Good Year

Despite not following through with any of my plans, I stayed busy. I needed to take a break from working on Quest in the early part of the year, but I returned to it in May and worked on it regularly through December. And those four ensembles took up time, but I really enjoy performing music as part of my retirement lifestyle.

In June, I began a journey to learn a new instrument – the steel pan. I have enjoyed steel pan music for several decades, and I have often thought that if I ever learned a new instrument, this would be it. So I decided to turn “someday” into “today.” I contacted Wes Hawkins, a percussion instructor at Phoenix College, who I knew led a steel band called Rhythm is Life. He invited me to come to a rehearsal and try playing a pan. Two days later, I bought one. I have improved considerably in the past 7 months, although I certainly have a long way to go. I have performed with the band several times and made some new friends.

In April-May, we enjoyed an Atlantis cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo, with stops in Taipei, Shanghai, Kochi, Osaka/Kyoto, and Shimizu. We stayed an additional 5 days in Tokyo. Overall, it was a wonderful vacation. It rained or was cloudy most of the time, but we still visited many memorable places. 

 

Dave and Jeff in Kyoto

In late October, we traveled to Riviera Maya to try out the first all-gay resort week offered by the new LGBT+ vacation company, Vacaya. The resort was noticeably more luxurious and high-end than the Hard Rock Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta where we have been many times with Atlantis. We had a good time, but due to the higher cost, shorter duration, and a few other issues, we probably won’t return.

Jeff and I continued our tradition of “Together Tuesdays” in which we visit some area attraction once a week. We weren’t consistent throughout the year due to my working on my book, but we did make it out 15-20 times.

I had the opportunity to deliver my Retire Fabulously! workshop twice in 2019 – in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (April) and Forest City, Iowa (November). 

I did make significant progress with loading CDs onto our jukebox computer and creating playlists. 

Now for 2020…

Looking over my list of goals for 2019, I am going to carry them forward into 2020. This just illustrates how, if you want to improve your live, you need to change your habits. So here goes…

Simplification

  • Rip all remaining vinyl LPs (that I care for) and get rid of my vinyl.
  • Sell CDs I no longer want on eBay, then discard at the end of the year.
  • Convert VHS tapes to DVD, then discard by the end of the year.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Reduce clothing by 50%.
  • Delete all old emails.
  • Go through old photos, keep only those that are significant.
  • Delete old electronic documents.
  • Clear out magazine backlog – either by reading them or just discarding them.

Writing

  • Write at least 12 chapters of my memoir.
  • Resume writing fiction.

Lifestyle Choices / Better Habits

  • Waste less time on the computer (Facebook, solitaire, news).
  • Read more.
  • Get back into hiking, biking, and neighborhood walks.
  • Deal with things when they come in. Don’t let papers and tasks stack up.
  • Go to bed earlier, cut down on late-night drinking and snacking.
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(c) 2020 Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.

Image credits:
2019 –> 2020: mohamed Hassan.
Dave holding steel pan: Jeff McKeehan. All rights reserved.
Dave and Jeff in Kyoto: Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.
Goals 2020 on laptop: Gerd Altmann.

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