Happy New Year! To the handful of you that check in on this blog from time to time, thank you for your patience and tolerance. I'm going to try and update it a lot more in 2013. I say that now with all the usual beginning-of-the-year idealism that I try to maintain for at least the duration of January. Given that my work life has changed so much in the past three months, I think it might actually be a realistic notion. I still love to write, and given that I'm only writing one thing a week "professionally" now (I still have a column for GameSpot, which will be evolving from the previous week-in-review format to something a bit more opinionated) I need somewhere to flex that particular muscle.
So, writing here is a goal for the year. I'm loathe to declare "resolutions" because they're such bullshit, and I rarely stick to them. Now that I'm older and more self-aware than I was in my 30s, I'm under no delusions that my willpower is mostly shit, I'm impatient, and am easily distracted. That said, there are some things I want to make sure I don't fuck up.
For starters: keep the damn weight off. I've spent so much of the past few years bitching and complaining about my weight issues that it must have bored you all to tears. I finally seem to have got the situation mostly under control, so I'm not going to mess it up now. Lots of exercise, healthy eating, and enjoyment of the associated health benefits is the order of the day. Right now I'm 190lbs, and I don't intend to let it get any higher beyond the usual day-to-day fluctuations. [Related to this, a few of you have asked what I did to drop the 30lbs…I'll post something with more detail separately.]
Keep going to the gym: I've been going for 12 weeks straight, and don't want to let up. I'm going to be adjusting my work schedule this year so that I'm only commuting 4 days out of 5 - so I have no excuse not to go Saturday, Sunday plus at least one work day. Preferably more.
Along with this; keep up the cycling. It's a lot easier now that I'm less of a fat ass - so I need to take advantage of that. I can ride up hills without puffing and wheezing like an asthmatic donkey now, so that's good.
Work/life balance has adjusted dramatically for the better since I left GameSpot, despite the occasionally heinous commute times, but it's something I want to really keep an eye on. Making sure I spend time with friends and family is something I really want to get right. I feel like I've missed out on a lot over the past few years, and I'm sure it's affected my general sense of happiness along the way. Getting friends together for occasional dinner parties or whatever needs to be something I'm actively seeking out more, rather than just blobbing out. As I'm getting older, I'm acutely aware of the importance of staying connected to people outside of work. For too long, I've spent my life getting up, getting in car and driving to work, spending 8-12 hours with coworkers, then getting in a car to go home, spending an hour or two doing essentially nothing, and then going to sleep. Repeat x5 and then feel like crap at weekends. No more!
As my boys are getting older, I want to make sure that my time with them is something they'll always cherish and enjoy. My oldest is going to be 10 this year, and my youngest will be eight. My relationship with them is the most important thing in the world to me, and I don't want to waste a moment.
Get back into some kind of podcasting groove again. I've been talking to Ben Howard, who took over from me as VP of programming at GameSpot in September, and kicking around some ideas with him. Back in the UK he had a podcast called Mondo Movie, which had absolutely nothing to do with his day to day gig. While that was all movie-related, I'm keen to start something that tackles games, pop culture, and whatever else springs to mind. It's a bit nebulous right now, but I want to get back in the saddle again, and he and I have a good rapport that I think (hope!) will come off pretty well in some kind of show. I dunno…we'll see, but it's something I want to do.
Similarly, I want to try and do something either audio or video related for the new work project. That'll probably come later in the year, honestly.
Playing the guitar with others on New Year's Eve reminded me how much I enjoy playing, and how it was such a big part of my life 15-20 years ago. It's something I need to find the time to do a lot more. When I was 20, it was such a big part of my dreams for the future, and I really let it slide. Fortunately I can still remember what my fingers are supposed to do when they touch the frets, so I want to hone that skill again.