Warning….. Long Post Ahead:

Reflecting back on 2017

Well the year is basically over as I write this (it’s 9:20pm on New Years Eve), and I’m going to post early so I don’t forget, as I may head to bed early and sleeping through the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.

It has been a roller-coaster type of year—we’ve managed to survive the first year of having an inept elderly (probably having onset dementia or Alzheimer’s) thieving jackass in the highest office in the land ( I am trying to keep my political comments to a minimal on this site, since I know that there will be numerous people who have difference of opinion). I’ve also switched jobs (while it isn’t the exact dream job—it is learning how to run new instrumentation and working on the soft skills that are needed for getting into an industry position), started this blog, took my first trans-Atlantic trip to London on my own, have networked like crazy, and started to spend more time on personal and professional development.

One thing that I’ve realized—is that I really don’t have a set in stone (or even on paper) plan for either personal or professional development—I’ve been winging it the past few months. Hopefully by starting my bullet journal/normal journal I can start drafting both personal and professional development plans for 2018. One thing I tried to do more of is writing in my journal and starting to listen to different podcasts.

I’ve found several podcasts that have to do with wide range of topics from side businesses to health and fitness to trying to be pro-active in today’s political climate; in addition to listening to different TED talks (which are a little difficult—because when they’re recorded—they’re recorded live, which means if there are visual presentations—they aren’t included in the podcast, so I get to try to visual guess what the presenters are talking about). It will just take me a day to two to get through some of the longer podcasts, since the ride to work and everything is only about twenty minutes and most of the podcasts are longer than that).

I’ll probably be reviewing some of the podcasts this coming year here on the blog to give a taste of some of the personal development that I’m doing in addition to the books that I’ve been reading. I’ve also realized that I’m at least one book review behind schedule—I finished one book about two weeks ago, and haven’t finished writing the review (short for Amazon; and then expanded for here), but that is one the to-do list for the first week of January 2018.

I’m going to be trying to plan out via both a planner and then a bullet-like journal plans for both my personal and professional development for the coming year. The professional development is a must, since I want to try to transition into an industry position within the next nine-to-ten months; and the personal development is also a must because I’ve realized that while I want to travel, I’d like to leave the language books behind (so I need to brush up on at least one or two foreign languages). There will be several different posts over these topics as well in the New Year.

Though on the downside of things, found out that one of my professors from college had just passed away last night (27th). While I knew his health had been declining, I am happy that the last time I saw him in his office he seemed to be in okay health and happy spirits. I’ll always remember that the chemical structure for cholesterol looks like chicken wire, and that he will always be “my advisor in the first degree”. He was someone who had witnessed the changes in science (as he would love to point out—when he took biochemistry—there wasn’t really anything on DNA and knowing the structure was fairly new), and he wasn’t pleased to see how society was trying to go backwards. He was also one person whom I could always talk with and either he would either give advice or just act as a sounding board. Who knows maybe if I can ever figure out how to isolate the gene for stupidity I’ll name the antidote in his honor.

Yet another downside to this year—two of our dogs have terminal cancer, and there is a strong possibility that one will need to be put to sleep within a few weeks of the New Year; the other is acting fine—just keeping an eye on her eating habits, and once she stops eating at least eighty percent of her food daily, I’ll have to think about putting her to sleep as well. Cancer sucks no matter who develops it—I think it’s worse with pets because they can’t communicate with us their pain (with the exceptions of yelps and barking/meowing) or whether or not they want to take the medicine.

This is why with my dog (who has had a great long life—if we can keep things under control, she might reach her sixteenth birthday in May), I decided that she wasn’t going to be treated, since the treatment plan is similar to what humans go through for the same type of cancer. If I’m ever diagnosed with cancer, I’m asking how long do I have and then trying to knock things off the bucket list—there won’t be a treatment plan (side effect of being a scientist and knowing that even the “best” drug has off target side effects).

I’ve managed to read numerous different books in the area of personal development, and am going to try to incorporate what I’ve read into my day-to-day life more this coming year and be more productive.


Personal and professional development books that I’ve read since August:

Declutter your mind: how to stop worrying, relieve anxiety, and eliminate negative thinking by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to stop being lazy and overcome your procrastination by S.J. Scott

52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal

Rise Sister Rise: A guide to unleashing the wild woman within by Rebecca Campbell

Light is the New Black: A guide to remembering your souls calling and working your light by Rebecca Campbell.

Moonology: Plan and predict your way to joy, health and abundance with the magic of lunar cycles by Yasmin Boland.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Budget like a pro: Manage your money, pay off your debt, and walk the road of financial independence. Personal Finance Made Easy. by Zoe McKey

Minimalist Budget: Simple strategies on how to save more, spend less, and curb spending temptations (without living on ramen) by Zoe McKey

Minimalist Makeover: Four easy step-by-step strategies to simplify your life just as much as you want by Zoe McKey

More with Less: How to declutter your home without sacrificing comfort and coziness—a unique minimalist makeover approach by Michelle Moore

I’m also reading several other books as well and should hopefully be done with those in the next week or so (gotta love having a kindle to where you can go between different books depending on what your mood currently is):

Science Blogging the Essential guide (I’m about 40% through this book)

Happy Woman, Happy World by Berte Chelette (I’m about 15% through this book)

Rewire Your Habits by Zoe McKay (I’m about 20% through this book)

Black Hole Focus by Isiah Hankel (I’m about 70% done with this book).


Looking back fitness wise, I realized that the only thing I really managed to do is almost get through a new workout program: The Shift Shop in August. I realize that I have a tendency to start strong, and then something happens in early spring and I lose momentum, and then it takes awhile to gain it back, and then close to the end of the year I lose it again. So instead of trying to set a list of New Year’s Resolutions, I’m going to go with a 101+ goal list, improving my level 10 life, and trying to put together an individual personal and professional development plan—so yes there will be goals (or resolutions if you want to call them that), but divided into different categories, so I can try to have a well balanced & productive year—not just focus on one or two things and end up doing nothing all year again.


Going to end the year with these three quotes that I found on pinterest:

Know this: You can start over each morning.

Difficult Roads often lead to Beautiful Destinations.

Never be afraid to try something new because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.


Here is to 2018—may it be a better year than 2017, more happiness, joy, and adventures to come.