2009 Midsummer Assessment

It's June and 2009 is almost half over. I usually post my resolutions at the beginning of the year, but this year I didn't. Work was taking a lot of my energy and attention, and everything else was feeling like a lot of pressure, so blogging took a back seat. It was also probably a little bit of the Twitter bug -- it seems a pretty common sentiment among bloggers that microblogging has become something of a replacement for longer posts. I became enamored with Twitter a couple of years ago, and it definitely seemed to take a toll on my post frequency.

However, now that things have calmed down on the workfront I feel compelled back to paragraphs longer than 140 characters. I thought I'd take a moment to evaluate the goals that I made for the year.


Resolution 1: Lose Weight


How boring, right? But I decided that this was the year that I wanted to get to a fitness maintenance point. I was always a chubby kid, and I have spent my entire life, as far back as I can remember, trying to lose weight. At my heaviest, I was over 200 pounds with a body fat percentage of over 40. After seeing a couple of family members deteriorate and pass away, both victims of high-fat, high-sugar diets combined with sedentary lifestyles, I decided that I needed to do something or that would be me. I couldn't stand the thought of losing my quality of life because of things that I could change, so I decided to get healthy. I started eating better and exercising a lot, and it worked. I lost over 60 pounds and around 12% of my body fat.

It's been up and down since, but overall, I'm now healthy. However, I've never gotten to the end goal. I've always had that little bit extra that I'd like to lose. At the beginning of this year, many of my clothes were tight or not fitting at all. So I kicked up the workout and toned down the eating, and I'm now back into 90% of my closet. The goal is to get rid of that last little bit by the end of the year. I think I can do it!

Resolution 2: Draw

Probably more than anything, I want to be an artist. Therefore, I seem to have a whole lot of hang-ups about being an artist. Whatever. I grew up drawing, and I think I was pretty good for my age. Then in my early twenties I went digital, discovered I had a knack for graphic design, and that was it -- I fell in love with technology. In an attempt to revisit the fundamentals, I decided to start taking drawing classes at Lill Street Art Center. So far, I've taken Beginning Drawing and Intro to Figure Drawing and enjoyed both, the figure drawing in particular. I'm taking a break for the summer, but plan to take the Portrait Drawing class in September. If you're so inclined, you can see the results of these classes on Flickr. Nothing great, but I felt like I improved over the course of the two classes. My goals for this year aren't terribly lofty -- if I can make drawing a habit (which I have yet to do), I'll be happy.

Resolution 3: Get Adobe Certified

I don't know if it's the geek streak, but I seem to have a need for documentation. I don't think of myself as someone who retains informational minutiae well, but I like the idea of delving into the obscurities. Therefore, the idea of plumbing the depths of the Adobe Suite and knowing enough to achieve confirmation of expertise is immensely appealing. This goal, however, is not going so well. It started out swimmingly -- we have a Lynda.com subscription at work, and at the beginning of the year, I started going through the Illustrator tutorials. I loved it -- there were features that I had no idea were there that I could use every day. But coming home from a long day of work and tuning in to a tutorial is difficult, no matter how interested you are. I have yet to work this out, but I'll keep trying to figure it out. I am nothing if not persistent.

So that is where I am in this particular year of my self development journey. It's not great, but I guess it's not terrible either, and I think I'm in a much better place than I have been during the same time in years past. So, I dub this glass half full, and here's to the 2nd half of 2009!