So what happened in 2019? Many things. It was an eventful year.
I got dumped. The girl I had been meeting up with decided that she didn't love me enough to become my official girlfriend. She was a great girl with a proper character, and I wished the best for her. As I was never a possessive person, I agreed to split, and we did so on friendly terms, agreeing to stay friends.
I got my first real girlfriend. That was a real learning experience. Expenditures shot up, though I learned by the end of the year how to lasso it back under control. Interacting with a girl in this way was also something new for me. Not being a romantic guy, it took a while for me to learn how to sweet talk, which is what 90% of chatting with her is like. I still don't understand it, but at least now I'm able to respond properly, when I feel like it. We have some differences and some issues. Some mistakes were made. I think I learned the lesson to not make the same mistakes again.
I got good at pottery. At the expense of my workout time, I spent a lot of time this past year throwing pots, bowls, and other things. It was calming, and soothed my soul during some hard times this year. I'm glad I signed up, though I'm taking a break this year to focus more on getting back into shape, which, I sort of lost in between the relationship and the pottery.
My job has been steady. Not really as interesting as it was the past two years, but given the other adventures in my life this past year, it was probably a good thing my job wasn't adding to my stress.
My house didn't go anywhere. Apart from the roof replacement, which my insurance covered, and the A/C replacement, which I had to fork over, the house was not a squeaky wheel.
Two of my friends became dads. It's cool watching their babies, though I can't say I'm that enthused at listening to their conversations about being parents. I still listen in as I'm sure it'll come in handy for me one day.
I didn't make my goal of finishing the Life-Studies in 10 years. I'm still going to finish them eventually. I'm currently on Luke. So, in 10 years, I read through the Old Testament, and the first two books of the New Testament. Still a long ways to go. I'm maybe 60% of the way there.
The stock market did great this past year, which was contrary to the sentiment from a year ago. My 401k had a great year. Sitting back and having money come to me is probably the rosy situation everyone dreams of being in one day. The ironic thing is, it was looking uncertain until the last three months, when it just took off. The stock market is like a stormy sea that just turns into a sunny day with shocking speed. Perhaps to keep in the back of one's mind is that it can change in reverse just as quickly.
Getting into financials for this past year, in general, I spent less this past year than I did two years ago. Of course, spending two years ago was influenced in a large part by the mortgage, which was not in the picture this past year. Thus, excluding house-related expenses (mortgage from two years ago, roof replacement from this past year, and utilities, which were about the same both years), I spent more this past year than two years ago. The main culprit was gifts to my girlfriend in the early part of the year. Gifts, which did not make up a significant percentage of my spending in the past, slightly exceeded my spending eating out, which historically has been the largest category of discretionary spending these last few years, though, ironically, I spent slightly less this past year eating out than the previous year, despite being in a relationship. Hotel expenses and gas were other categories that saw steep increases due to the relationship. On the other hand, my spending on gadgets and technology was roughly halved this past year. I was probably too busy to browse Slickdeals. Finally, no longer having a mortgage hanging around my neck definitely eased up on the pressure to cut expenses.
Looking forward, I hope to start investing this year. Maybe start a business or something.