Getting personal with the year in review |

Getting personal with the year in review

Barry Smith

I realize that by now you’ve been presented with “The Year In Review” pieces in every possible medium, but please read on. This one is different. This is a year-end review of me, and me alone. This is:My Personal Year in ReviewJanuary – The year is off to a promising start. I have decided to keep track of my year month-by-month, like a diary, so that when December comes around and it’s time to do my “Year in Review” column, I don’t have to go back and do a bunch of research. I open a file on my computer, name it “Year in Review ’04,” and type “January – The year is off to a promising start.”February – I completely forget about the ongoing “Year In Review” project. I remember it was cold.March – Still cold. I had a birthday, like I always do in March. Nothing really memorable.April – I rediscover the “Year In Review ’04” file, along with some other stuff, in a computer folder named “WORK ON DAILY,” which I haven’t opened since early January. I was initially confused by the “’04” part, as it is clearly “’05,” but then realize that I always make the mistake of using last year’s date for the first couple of months of the new year. Oopsie. I take a few moments and fill in the details of the months of February and March while the events are still fresh in my mind. Even though I realize that this isn’t supposed to be a meteorological look back, it’s kinda springy out right now, which is nice.May – I took my lawnmower to the repair guy, and he put a new spark plug in it, and it totally started on the first try. I guess I could have done that myself, but I’m not all that mechanically inclined. I didn’t even know the mower had a spark plug. Last week I ate some salmon. That’s about it.June – What the?! June? The year is halfway done? And what have I accomplished? I haven’t done a single thing I planned to do this year! There’s still time, though. I can make 2004 MY year. Yes! Look out, July, here comes Barry!2005, I mean … not 2004. Dammit.July – To make sure that I did these entries when I’m supposed to, I programmed my computer calendar to pop up a reminder at the end of each month. It said: “Year in review column, make entry.” I clicked the “Remind me in four hours” button every four hours for the next five days, until it finally gave up and stopped reminding me. August – Went to New York. It was real hot, as I was warned it would be. Started reading a book.September – Read the August entry (above) and remembered that I had started reading a book last month. Could not remember what that book was, or where I last saw it, but I decide to find it and finish it. Because this is MY year.October – Fall is a great time to nestle in and read that goddam book that I still haven’t been able to find. Sure, I could probably find a different one somewhere. I mean, books are everywhere, right? But, I was just so into finishing that last one, whatever it was.November – I’ve just realized that the year is almost over. I’ve been doing this monthly task for 11 months now, and I’m almost done. I read over all of my entries above – kind of a Personal Year in Review Personal Review. I think I could have done a better job of it, but there’s no point in getting all upset about it now, as this year is shot to hell.December – I decide to get a jump on this project for next year. I open up a new computer file, name it “Year in Review 2005,” and write “January – The year is off to a promising start.”