Looking Back at 2017 and forward to 2018

I spent New Year’s Eve alone, working on my audiobook spreadsheet. In some ways, it is the most Casey thing I could have possibly done to ring in 2018. In another way it was a huge disappointment. I actually felt pretty festive this year which is the first time in a long time that I could say that.
I’ve been writing year in review posts for a few years now and none of them have been terribly positive. I thought 2014 was a bad year only to be hit with much worse years in 2015 (death of Ginny, cancer diagnosis for my dad and friend Melissa) and 2016 (death of my father and general dissatisfaction). This past year wasn’t always great. I lost my friend Melissa in November and before that, my great aunt Dorothy passed away in April. Add the fact that I was actually sick for six weeks from President’s Day through the end of March and 2017 could go down as yet another in a string of bad years for me.

However, when I look back at 2017 I will remember it as a year of positives in which some sadness was found. This is a departure from the previous years where it was mostly sadness covering up anything that might have been positive. It is funny that I thought 2014 was such a bad year at the time when looking back now I don’t really remember what made it so bad other than a breakup which happened early enough in the year I had plenty of time to turn it around.

The biggest reason that 2017 was a positive year for me was Talking Audiobooks. The podcast that I agreed to start hosting back in April has changed my life for the better.
In the first place, it has allowed me to meet a lot of great people, some of whom I now consider my friends. It has also allowed me to grow closer to other people, even some that I have actually known for quite a bit of time.
My relationship with my producer is one of the highlights. We have developed quite the friendship over the past few months and I both trust and respect him. I won’t say that we have never had a rocky moment because that would be untrue but we were able to bounce back from it and it actually probably helped make our relationship even better.

Aside from that, it has allowed me to do a few things I never would have done otherwise. A highlight of my year was promoting a giveaway for Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross. I had such a good time doing that promotion and it was so very successful for us that it was a nice boost for my confidence. Some people may find this hard to believe but I have actually been lacking confidence in my own abilities and talents for several years now and had no real idea how to rehabilitate myself. What I have done with the show has gone along way towards answering that questions.

The death of my friend Melissa not withstanding, I have my other friendships still in tact. I also still have good relationships with my family both immediate and extended. I am thankful for all of that and find it a blessing every day.

I can honestly say right now that I am happy. I haven’t been happy in quite awhile. However, being happy doesn’t prevent me from falling in to periods of depression. Depression is a nasty condition and it is something I am constantly aware of in my life and how it impacts me and how I view myself and my circumstances.
I still have more that I want to do. I am happy doing the podcast but I still want it to grow bigger and to start to generate money for both myself and Ken. Making some money was always the goal and remains so. I wasn’t worried about that particular objective at first since the more immediate goals were to do a quality show on a consistent basis. Doing that, I believed would grow the audience which would position us for making money. I still think our shows can be better and that the audience can grow larger but now the thought of the podcast being a moneymaker isn’t so far off and doesn’t seem so unrealistic.

I have set a New Year’s Resolution for 2018. It is one that I won’t know if I have broken or kept until the last day of the year but this is my goal.
On December 31, 2018 as I get ready to ring in 2019 I either want to be in a healthy romantic relationship or failing that I want to have found away to be content with being single.
I chose to make this my focus because this is the largest aspect of my life with which I am still not currently satisfied. I have a lot of people in my life, friends and family both that are very happy to be single. I have never been in that place. So I have two choices the way I see it. Either try and change my situation or learn to be content with it. So that is what I am hoping to accomplish this year.
As to how I am going to achieve either of those possible outcomes, right now I am not sure. It is going to be a challenge for me either way. However, I am actually excited by the fact of the challenge whereas in years past it might have turned me towards something a little less challenging as a goal.
Now you know why I said earlier that I can’t know if I have succeeded or failed to keep my resolution until the end of the year. If I am still single on 12/31/2018 I will have to ask myself if I am okay with it. If the answer is yes, then I will have been successful in finding contentment. If the answer is no, then I didn’t succeed at all. Obviously, if I’m not single on the last day of the year then I have succeeded.
Even if I am single at the end of the year it is still possible that I will have succeeded in being in a healthy romantic relationship. If I start dating someone in April and we break up in September that would actually satisfy my goal in my mind. Because even a healthy relationship can still not work out. That may sound like a qualifier on my part, a way to rationalize a potential failure in advance but it really isn’t the case. It would be a success because of how long it has been since I’ve had that kind of relationship and a reminder that even if it didn’t work out that all hope is not lost.

I’m not sure that there is anything else I feel like reflecting on at the moment when it comes to looking back at 2017 or looking forward to 2018. I am excited for this year and what it will bring. Maybe I won’t get everything I hope for out of this year but it is also possible I will get things better than what I was hoping for that I never even knew I needed or wanted. Anything can happen. In January of 2017 I certainly didn’t see myself as hosting a podcast about audiobooks and yet here we are now.

I’ll be back later with my usual year-in-audiobooks post. I’ll recap my reading for 2017 and hand out some awards. I should note that all of the posts that get filed under the audiobooks category on my blog will appear on the currently under construction version of TalkingAudiobooks.com. This means you may see me write more book reviews in 2018 as well as more audiobook related posts as we add more written content to our site.

Until next time, happy new year to all!