2016 was a . . . well, it was definitely a year.
I learned a lot this year, though!
Yes, 2016 provided some terrific opportunities for learning—sometimes via the proverbial “hard way.”
Here, in no particular order, are some of the lessons gleaned from the past twelve months:
1. Eating is largely about habit and social ritual, rather than the ingestion of necessary nutrients. Willpower can flip that relationship with surprising totality. People who think that dieting is complicated are kidding themselves or lying to you.
2. Creating storytelling podcasts can be pretty fun. In case you hadn’t noticed, this formerly writing-heavy website has largely become a depository for storytelling podcasts over the last six months.
3. On the other hand, I have almost no interest in listening to storytelling podcasts. Exception: I like listening to ones that I’ve created, but I’m not particularly motivated to listen to the work of other people, unless I have a specific and compelling reason to do so. Whether that makes me a bore or a narcissist or something else is up to you.
4. In my entire life, regarding someone’s chances of success, I have been very, very wrong about exactly two people: Russell Wilson and Donald Trump.
5. I should have moved to Old Town Alexandria when I was 25, not in the waning years of my 30s. But it’s still nice. Better late than never.
6. Speaking of storytelling, you probably shouldn’t do a podcast series about the 1991 Washington Redskins during football season. It’s just background noise, especially when the Redskins are having a decent year. Speaking of that . . .
7. I have no idea how to promote a podcast effectively. None. Even with the advantage of having a popular platform (Hogs Haven) on which to promote my work, the number of listens I got each week was around 50. That’s fifty. Five-oh. The number of comments on my usual columns at Hogs Have are almost always over 100. The number on the podcast posts were somewhere between zero(!) and eight. I have to get better at that.
8. Much to my chagrin, disc-based media is already dying. I got my first blu-ray player in 2014. The format will be bordering on obsolete within 24 months of this writing. If you visit, e.g., a Barnes & Noble, you’ll notice there is probably as much vinyl in the store as there is blu-ray. This matters to me because I have about five huge albums full of movie and TV discs at the moment. As hard to believe as this might be, we will be even more dependent on the Internet in a year or two than we are now.
9. I sometimes forget how old I’m getting. Almost all of the people I’ve befriended at work, for example, are younger than I am. That possibly speaks to my maturity level or my lack of career advancement, but, in any case, the members of my DC peer group being between five and fourteen(!!!) years younger than I am can drown out the sound of 40’s rapidly approaching footsteps.
10. Never wear sneakers on a first date.