Happy New Year, folks. I went on a sort of internet detox the last couple of weeks of December … if you can believe it, I just wasn’t in the mood for checking email, blogging, etc. It occurred to me after a few days of such that perhaps it was a good idea to ride with it while the opportunity lasted — my employer shuts up shop for a week or two around Christmas, and so there was no work, or work email to drag me back in.

Anyway, I’ve been rolling this post around in my mind for the last few days (not that you should expect a higher quality for a’ that) … it seems like this is as good a place as any to take stock of xocg’s 2007, even if it is a bit self-indulgent.

It turned into a busy year for travel, starting with Seattle, and Vancouver BC (January); Bahamas (February); Baltimore (March); Washington DC (June); St Louis (Sept); Denver (Oct); and finishing off with a bang, a week in Ireland (Nov/Dec); leaving out of course the many trips back and forth to the hometown. Highlights that jump to mind are the appetizer course & the ice cream sandwiches (plus that lovely Bonny Doon Framboise) at Purple Cafe in Seattle; mugging on the beach in Vancouver with the boys; the very high quality and quantity of collegial beer drinking with colleagues in Baltimore; four-part harmonies in the car drivin back from St Louis; that crazy Mexican place in Denver; and a long afternoon listing to traditional Irish music in the snug Tig Coili, Galway. There’s lots of photographic evidence at flickr, both of trips within these borders, abroad, or just rambles at home.

I don’t like to talk about work specifics on this blog, so I won’t. It’s been a good year there; towards the end of the year, I felt a real sense of re-confirmation and contentment to be where I am, and I am not unaware of what a great blessing that is.

I finished a third of my degree in 2007 (so why do I still have so much to go, since I’ve already been going for what feels like aeons…); that’s something. According to US News & World Report, usability is a good place to be headed in 2008. Certainly I wouldn’t quarrel with that median pay for Chicago — $100K is a good chunk of change. I’d even average that with my current pay and feel grateful. Still, it engages me, it challenges me, and it jives with my current career direction. And, one day, the days of homework will be behind me.

Domestically, another year passed at the same address — reducing my average to four addresses in seven years, getting quite respectable — though not without change at casa cg, what with the bedroom/closet rehab in March (precipitated by a still-mysterious, and quite-unnervingly-large leak hanging pendulously over my bed… lemonade from lemons I guess) and the new living room arrangements. I am so grateful for this apartment also; every day I walk to work and I am so relieved to be doing so, not just because it saves me commuting money and time (though that rocks, and fresh air is a much preferable substitute to stuffy subway air or the effluvia of other passengers). Yes, there are things about Lincoln Park that suck. But there are also lots of other nice things too.

I don’t keep track of how many books I read, though I would like to know, but during 2007, Netflix shipped me 76 movies. I watched most of them; maybe two or three I gave up on and shipped back. I wish I had blogged slightly more, as I posted 95 times during the year; surely I could have hit 100 with a bit more effort, and made it into syndication?

And, of course, many of the delights of 2007 I owe to the care, the company, the counsel, and the companionship of my beloved family and friends. Really, that’s the only thing I like about New Year’s Eve, the impetus it gives us to stop and take stock of the people, things, and experiences we are grateful for; and New Year’s Day gives us hope for a new start despite those things & experiences we might not find so inspiring (I’ll just leave out people, eh?).

On that note, I don’t really do resolutions as such, but I’ve whinged on a bit here already about 2008: The Year of No (actually more of a plan to streamline & prioritize for someone who chronically overcommits). One unexpected “No” for 2008 is my recently having been decaffeinated. I’m liking it so far; sleeping better, and no headaches, so I think I’ll continue on and see where it goes. As for resolutions, a colleague of mine described to me her personal method of goal-setting and -tracking, and I think I’m going to try it, though probably not in this public forum.

I wish you all happiness, prosperity, peace, contentment, and joy in 2008, and less rambling self-referential posts from me.