The Year in Review

Running a marathon is a big deal. Whether you’re a world-class runner trying to break the two-hour barrier or a slow middle-aged man who walks it in eight, crossing the finish line brings a unique feeling of, “Yes! It’s over!”

So imagine crossing the finish line and catching your breath only to have a race official approach you and say, “This isn’t the finish line. This is the starting line of the next marathon. Keep running! Go, go, go!”

That’s how I invariably feel about the turn of a new year. Time (or at least our tracking thereof) is nearly always cyclical: the minute hand running around a clock, the changing of the seasons, the earth making its full orbit around the sun (only to reach the end where the moon starts yelling at it, “Keep running! Go, go, go!”)

Harry Chapin put this concept into song very well:

All my life’s a circle.
Sunrise and sundown.
The moon rolls through the nighttime
‘Til the day break comes around.

All my life’s a circle.
But I can’t tell you why.
The season’s spinnin’ ’round again,
The years keep rollin’ by.

And here we are, another year has rolled by. And just at the point where I feel like, “Yes! It’s over!” I’m about to find myself at the start line again. I’m tired. I’d like to take a break before the next marathon starts. But unfortunately, the space-time continuum doesn’t work that way. No, the space-time continuum instead just says, “Sucks to be you.”

So before that race official finds me and tells me to go-go-go once around again, let’s at least take a minute to look back on 2015. I’ll begin where last year’s review ended:

So what will 2015 bring? Well, I have many, many goals as usual. I will continue to write, make a serious attempt to get back into the home recording studio, and maybe create some art here and there. But truth be told, if I just got that garage cleaned up, Iā€™d call it a win.


I actually did get the home recording studio set up again and began recording. I also kept working on my NaNoWriMo manuscript. Wow! Looks like this just might be the year for the arts!


I joined the gym at work. Kept at the music and recording. Stopped working on the book. Went on my first trip to Cupertino.


Put all other creative endeavors on hold while I messed around with the Skyrim Creation Kit. Maybe I’ll explain that later.


Things got busy at work. Put most things on hold while I messed around with my day job, though I did manage to find time to start a new, non-fiction book.


Things got really busy at work. Put everything else on hold. For Mother’s Day, Laura said, “Let’s go look at houses.”


Things still busy at work. House hunting got serious. First trip to Tappahannock in thirty years.


Things still busy at work. House hunting turns into house purchase. Second Cupertino trip.


Things still busy at work. Third Cupertino trip.


Things still busy at work.


Things still busy at work.


Things still busy at work. Sometimes I don’t really like it.


And finally, things are back to normal. Whatever normal is.

So, all in all, it was a year. I didn’t quite do what I’d set out to do, creatively. And the whole move-in-progress is something I certainly didn’t foresee a year ago. But that’s life, isn’t it?

It’s like golf. You put your ball on the tee, you say, “I’m going to hit that cup four hundred yards away in three strokes,” and then you just take your best whack at it. Next thing you know you’re fishing your ball out of someone’s tomato soup at the clubhouse.

So! How about 2016!? Well, it’s the same list I’ve had for years and years and years:

  • Finish at least ONE book, maybe TWO if I’m lucky.
  • Get the recording studio set up. Again.
  • And maybe produce some art.

No guarantees, but I’ll do what I can. Well, one thing is guaranteed. Since we’re moving? The garage will be cleaned. (Probably can’t say the same about the new garage, sadly.)

3 Responses to “The Year in Review”

Biz said
December 18, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Before I even got to the end I thought “the garage will be cleaned out!”

You know I always wish I could give you my gift of time – imagine getting paid to do what you want – although recipe developing at my desk isn’t the same as in my kitchen, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

I forgot about that Harry Chapin song too – that one was one of my favorites.

And you forgot to mention that it was your first trip to Tappahannock in 30 years and you spent a week with your favorite sister šŸ˜€

Julie said
December 19, 2015 at 8:53 am

Good morning Charlie. You have done quite a bit of things that’s not even on the list. You had a busy but awesome year and you’ll live to be in another year. It’s all good. Time is never enough so you just make the best of what you have and go with it. I will love to read your books when you get them published. It’ll be grand.

I drive school bus and care for my Alzheimer dad and stroke/blind mom so I do know about no time for the fun stuff. But it will be there when the time arrives and for now this is the life the Lord has given me so it’s onward and upwards.

Take care Charlie and have a blessed Christmas.

Christine said
December 19, 2015 at 9:15 am

It never really occurred to me to look at the year gone by. I’m always so busy making resolutions and plans for the next one. šŸ™‚

Happy New Year!!