One word to describe my 2014? Fabulous! Really, I don't think that I've had a better year. Why? Well let's take a look at my plans for 2014 and see how they turned out.
- Kitchen - It's done. Yes, there are a few little things that I still need to do...some floor trim and some lights. But I could live the rest of my life without finishing that, so it's done. I hosted Thanksgiving here and it was great. I've been cooking for myself again and that's great too. But here's the thing. Aside from some help from family and friends on one day to hang drywall and hiring Shirley for the countertops, I did the whole thing myself. I promise that after this post I will not bring this up again, but I have to say that I impressed the heck out of myself. Yes it took a long time and it's not perfect, but I don't care. I made a plan, worked hard and eventually got it done. Go me!
- Travel - And where did I go in 2014? Well, let's see, I started off by going to Montreal and Quebec City with my Mom and sister. Then, I went to Boston and Cape Code with my sister. Spent a weekend in DC to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. Took a great trip to NYC for the Five Boro bike ride. I also took my standard quick weekend to Pittsburgh to see a Pirates game and go on a bike ride there. And ended things with a trip to Indianapolis and Dayton for my birthday. For me, that's pretty fantastic.
- Being active - Here I was better at the beginning of the year than at the end. I spent the month of April participating in 30 Days of Biking which was good and got me out on my bike a lot. I took my bike on my trips to Boston, Cape Cod, NYC, DC and Indianapolis. I also ran a few 5Ks, which was great. My right knee got a little sore after my last 5K in October, so the last two months had a much lower level of activity to try to let it get better. But overall, the year was pretty good.
- Read - I did pretty well with this as well. Granted I prefer to read more nonfiction than fiction, but I think that's ok. I started using my ipad as a book reader again and that helped.
- Programming - I took the time to learn how to use Bootstrap which helps me to make all my new websites responsive. This has been very helpful.
- School - I didn't sign up for a real class in a school, but I did take a great glassblowing class for my birthday. I don't think that I'll blow glass again, but it was really interesting and quite a bit of fun. I also signed up for a letterpress printing class that ended up getting cancelled twice. This annoyed me enough that I basically taught myself how to do it, made a press and made Xmas gifts for everyone. It actually ended up being probably 100% more fun that if I took the actual class.
Looking at everything above shows that the year was pretty great for me. However, everything was not great. One thing I had wanted to do was to make a point of seeing friends. I didn't do so well here. Also, with my kitchen out of action for a while this year, I ate out a lot. I didn't pay very much attention to what I was eating and ended up gaining a bit of weight. And related to this, I spent a lot of money this year. I'm attributing a lot of that to the added spending to finish the kitchen. Though had I hired people to do it, I would have had to spend an additional $10k, at least. I also paid my car off. Paying it off in 13 months was probably a bit quick. But I hate being in debt. As of now, the only place I owe money is on my mortgage. I did refinance this year, so the payment is a little lower and the term is shorter. So I saved money in some ways, but I was hoping that I with doing all the work on my kitchen that I would have had saved a bit more money.
Anyway, my final verdict is that 2014 was a very good year! Let's hope that 2015 is just as good. Tomorrow, I'll post my plans for that.