A Full Year of Blogging Finished!

I made it - a blog post every day from August 26, 2019 to August 26, 2020! While I didn't technically write every day - I burned out in late June but spent several days in early July catching up - this is a goal I'm very happy about! I feel like many of my big ideas fizzle out after a month and if they don't, they rarely pass the 3 month mark, but I can say that I blogged for an entire year!

It's been quite a year, as well. While I didn't do all of the challenges I had planned, I did do some of them, and I at least understood my limits. I also happened to pick a year that had a global pandemic, so that's unique... I hope!

I completed a few 5ks. 

I shared the 'extensive' research on Aldi's wine and cheese Advent calendars. 

I went to the gym every day in December (except Christmas day and the one day that was unseasonably warm so I took a walk instead). 

I did the No Sugar challenge in January to great success, but learned that if I were to do that again, I would need to eat more food and have a good three or four days of food ready to eat so I'm not wandering around the kitchen ravenous without a desire to cook.

I did the Sleep Habit challenge and it 'failed'. I still struggle with sleep. I still learned from the challenge, though, even if it didn't produce the outcome I wanted. It's a continued work in progress.

The SQL challenge is a true challenge. I found a few test dumps, and the questions are very hard. Not difficult in concepts, but difficult in how the questions are asked, and how picky the answers are. I struggle between studying more, taking more practice tests and memorizing test dump answers. More annoyingly, this is the easier of the two tests, both in actual exam and because I've been doing the work for this exam for far longer than the second exam. I'll keep working at it.

While I never officially started the Read a Book Each Week challenge, I have been reading much more than in years previously, post college. In a roundabout way, I did do this challenge, just not in 30 days.

I also didn't play the piano every day. It's still a struggle that I have yet to figure out. After a week or two of not playing, I often want to play, and do so for about 15 minutes or a half hour, but what I need is consistent practice for a little while.

However, not even on the radar when I started this was cooking and baking. I've done so much on that front, and I'm so pleased with my progress! I made Ham and Bean soup, Pineapple Pork, Jalapeno Stuffed Chicken, Mushroom Bacon Balsamic Pasta, Chicken Paprikash, General Tso's Chicken, Spicy Honey Chicken, Korean Beef Rice Bowls, dressed up Chicken Ramen with many different spices and other ingredients, Hokkaido Milk Bread, No Yeast Bread, Oat milk, Chocolate Truffles, and Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I'm sure I am missing a few other dishes I made.

 I also did a multi-month photography challenge and found it extremely fun and showed me that even small amounts of practice without ridiculous amounts of research will allow me to progress in my ability to photograph something(s) in a pleasant and eye appealing way. I enjoyed not only finding something to photograph, but learning how to edit the photograph to be better than what I initially captured, and explaining why I chose what I did. It helped cement my learning.

That is a lot of happenings in one year! I think that it's a good time to step back and take the hour or two that I used for blogging and put it into other work, like finishing the SQL cert and 15 minutes or more into playing piano. I'll switch to posting about once a week with exceptions like when I do the Aldi wine and cheese Advent calendars. I'm really glad I did the arbitrary challenge of writing every day for a year, and I'm looking forward to having to not write every day, now!

See you in about a week!

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