Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person on the planet who's having a good experience. Unlike the hellish experience portrayed by my peers, I ended the year incredibly grateful that 2016 was such an awesome year.
Susan and I visited Spain, France and Italy. I made a 17-day trip to Colorado to train for a marathon that I absolutely bombed. Along the way, I broke 100 miles of running per week on two occasions, the most notable being a 111-mile effort in Colorado Springs at 7,000 feet of altitude. I do not recommend trying this, at home or anywhere else. We also took trips to San Diego and San Francisco as part of work travel, as well as a week-long trip to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. This wasn't a big travel year for us, but next year is looking bigger - Susan and I are planning a longer international trip, and there are some other travel plans I've got on the back burner.
Work-wise, it was a good year. The big news was the relocation of my job from Chicago to San Diego. We'll be relocating throughout this month and the next. Suffice to say, I'm very much looking forward to the change of weather (not to mention trading views of the Pacific for the skyscrapers-and-corn motif of northeastern Illinois). As part of the move, I'm going to be a manager of humans, something I have actively tried to avoid for a long time due to the Peter Principle
In macro, next year's vocational outlook is positively rosy; the new Trump administration will put zero pressure on the pharma industry to control prescription drug prices, so we should see another year of record profits (and a fat, wholly undeserved bonus for me). Meanwhile, my employer will continue to heavily subsidize my healthcare and the expected Republican tax cuts should benefit relatively high earners like myself. Although I don't particularly care about these things, they're the silver lining of having a Republican senate majority and Commander in Chief.
Financially, it was a decent year as well. One of these days I'll write a post about my actual expenses and how I minimize them, but for now let's say that I kept my spending around $28K, which includes buying half of a new-to-us car for Susan and taking some lengthy vacations. The market returned a whopping 13.2% (mainly on the tailwind of the late-year market rally by professional investors optimistic about record profits), and between my additional savings and return on existing investments I was able to come very, very close to the point where I will never be forced to work again.
Finally, one of my goals at the beginning of the year was to begin writing more seriously. A first step was this blog, which was an effort to get me writing more consistently and get my creative juices flowing. This past year I wrote 52 blog posts on a variety of topics, roughly meeting my goal of one post/week.
Goals For 2017
Finish the move to California. Right now I'm juggling all kinds of shit - moving our lab, moving Susan and myself, selling a home and finding a new one, and eating all the crap in the cupboards so it doesn't go to waste. In particular, I'm really looking forward to a 2,100-mile drive with Susan and three cats.
This Website needs more work. I am not a web designer and it shows. I need a front page that doesn't make the eyes bleed. Content-wise, I'd like to keep posting one entry a week. I feel I have a lot more things to say, particularly one science topics, money/investing, and perhaps observational humor. I also need to think about ways to expand this outside of people I know. Right now, I make no effort to advertise this site beyond Facebook posts and, while I'm not interested in writing so much for financial gain, I would like to reach a broader audience at some point.
Finish my current novel. A little secret - I've been working on a second work of fiction (the first is in a desk drawer) that could be described as The Martian in a lab. I'd like to finish a first draft in the next 3-4 months.
Be A Little Nicer. Just a little bit. I've always had a more acerbic type of wit and I've never been shy of telling it like it is, but there are times when I need to hit the brakes a little bit. This is especially true when I get stressed - my inner turmoil seems to leak out a bit too much. While I have no good ideas on how to dampen this sort of behavior (or even quantify this goal), I'd like to become a little more laid back.
Hope everyone else had a good year and best wishes moving forward!
BY THE WAY: According to my website statistics, my most popular post from 2016 was My Experience as an AirBnB Host.
Noah's Inner Monologue
Scribblings of a man who can barely operate an idiotproof website.