Approaching 2018

Well here we are folks, another year has elapsed and the time to flip the calendar to another January and to another year. 2017 will go down in my own life as a very trying year: losing my father, losing my job, and losing my passport (actually, all those kinda went together). But, given all that, life is as life does and dare I say that things could be worse.

I can’t say I really look at these years as any more than a change in number and a change in seasons. It’s not like “2018 will be the year that I do X”, but it is a time of season that has given me a much-needed break to get myself set up for the next couple of months, all of which are looking to be especially busy.

In any event, 2017 did see me travel from Beijing to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Railway. It was along this journey that I would hear of my father’s passing and then make my way back to Canada.

A few weeks later, as scheduled, my younger brother got married to his long time girlfriend/fiancee.

And, as a result of being back in Canada (and the aforementioned passport and job issues), I stayed for both seeding and harvest on my uncle’s farm, a first for me. I would also learn how to fly a drone camera, another first and a not altogether relaxing experience but a skill I can see of being some use later on.

After all that, I managed to sit down and write the rough drafts for three different books (but don’t hold me to any deadlines).

I interviewed and received a job offer from another company in China. It would take about six months to process the appropriate visa work.

I upgraded a bunch of my technology, including my computer and hard drives. Despite this, I neglected to backup one of my websites and down it went. Oops.

I also managed to transfer a bunch of old miniDV tapes (about 120 or so) and that brought waves of emotion and memories back to mind.

And now I’m back in Beijing doing a different job and I can say that it is good to be back and that I will do my best not to have the events of 2017 repeat themselves.

Oh, and I think back to one year ago when I wrote a post about how I was trying to get money out of China and one of the options was to buy #Bitcoin … and never did. Well oops on that one.

In any event, looking forward to 2018, I plan to finally pick up those Russian books I bought in Novosibirsk and read them. I plan to read and study Chinese a little bit more as I get settled into a routine. I do need to hit the gym again as I’ve let that lapse, y’know, given all my movings and travellings. My family is planning a reunion in August but, as I’m told about my new job, August is one of those “no one takes a holiday” months, which means I’m pretty much committed to staying in China for a while. And, finally, in an effort to diversify and make some sort of a backup plan, I’m starting up a few other websites that target other interests of mine and that I hope to grow over time.

If there’s one quote that keeps going through my mind it’s that whatever you want to be doing ten years from now, start doing it today. Actually, I’m not sure it’s so much a quote so much as it’s something I’ve noticed about my own activities, but it sounds good anyway. The quote can be boiled down to “start simply, simply start” which is a pretty common saying as well.

Anyway, that’s just a brief up-to-dater on the things going on here. Beijing is windy cold, not like -30C snow cold like in Canada, and the pollution hasn’t been too bad this year (because northeastern China has moved into using more natural gas for its heating needs rather than relying fully on coal). Life is as life does. Just keep moving along!

Have a Happy New Year and a great 2018!