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31 December 2018

Ending a Tiring Year

It's New Year's Eve and I'm feeling awfully tired.

I'm pretty sure most of that is related to a mild sugar crash from all the food I ate at my grandparents' house while the family was over there to watch Pitt play in the Sun Bowl and have dinner.  (Though the game was more enjoyable than last time in 2008, it was still a 14–13 loss.)  But since this is an annual time of reflection, I suppose it rings somewhat true to how the whole year has gone, too.

My great-grandmother fell ill in late January, resulting in a quick up-and-back trip back home to see her one last time before she ultimately passed away on 1 February at the age of 103.  Then, just as I was getting through the busy season of Carnegie Mellon's Spring Carnival in mid-April, while dealing with a nasty ear blockage (thankfully easy enough to resolve), I got word that my paternal grandmother had been taken to a hospital in Pittsburgh.

So the next couple weeks were filled with visits until she was transferred closer to her home, leaving me just enough time to deal with the end-of-year craziness at work, and to run my first primary election as a Judge of Elections on 15 May.  While we knew her time was ultimately short, there were moments when it looked as though she might live a while longer.  And so, just as we entered a period where we were breathing a bit easier, and I'd set aside some time to help overcome executive dysfunction and tackle some of those self-improvements from last year, on 15 June, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.  I was asked to play some of my music at the funeral which was held five days later — and thank goodness I didn't drive back home in the torrential rains that hit Pittsburgh that evening.  Before I knew it, it was Independence Day, and then it was off to Music Camp, and right into the preparatory run-up to fall semester.

I took a little time off, though, in September to recharge a bit by spending a weekend in Maryland with my friend Will from undergrad.  This, of course, ended with my return Greyhound bus running nearly four hours late and getting into town around 03:30.

Then, I was busy as usual in the fall running Alumni Band Day for PBAC in October and Demosplash in November, followed by a running much busier general election on 6 November and a whirlwind lead-up to the holidays, including having to suddenly overcome the aforementioned executive dysfunction in early December to get a bit of cleaning done ahead of a visit from the landlord.

But in the wake of that busyness, I think I set myself up for some successes ahead.  And thankfully, the holiday season has been pretty restful.  And while I've never been one for resolutions, I actually think I've ended up in a pretty good place, and am ready to build further on it.  We'll see what that means a year from now.


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