2020 Recap & a Decade of Blogging

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A video summary of 2020; the year that made our grim-dark fantasy world seem preferable to the real one.

So the last post draft was jinxed... big time. No joke, there I was the morning of January 6th, literally typing up how awful 2020 was and trying to find a bright side; something along the lines of there's only one direction (UP) to go when you're already at the bottom...

The chilling reality is that the bottom in my country was reaching new depths and lows due to domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, and frankly toxic individuals who only see themselves as victims in some fantasy zero-sum game of life. I'm sorry but it's impossible not to mention the truly unprecedented times we find ourselves in. For myself, for my kids, it's important to acknowledge what we've all gone thru. Without acknowledgement there's no healing, no learning from mistakes... no deeper understanding or informed awareness; no human progress. We're better than that.

I've largely tried to keep this blog focused on the fun fictional escape that is 'the hobby' -- and looking back over the years I think I've mostly done that, but as a result haven't been all that frequent with updates (see top of screenshot above). Outside of the several (4!) posts announcing the birth of each of my kids or some other life milestone, I've managed to not go off topic all that much over the past decade of posting here on JoeSavesTheDay. So allow me to break that trend and share with you some of my more personal experiences and a peek behind the blog curtain, if you will. For context and perspective let's start at the beginning.

In the bloginning...

I started this blog in December 2010 -- I was 25 years old, just a few years out of college/university where I double majored in Philosophy and Information Systems. I didn't have any kids yet and had only been married about a year. My biggest inspiration for starting the blog in the first place was my best friend Steve, who at the time was blogging about his year long challenge to read a book & learn something new each month and write about it. I found it really motivating and I was already looking to get back into the 40k hobby after a couple years long hiatus, so thought this outlet might be a good kickstart & accountability tool to get my piles of grey plastic sprues built and painted into proper miniatures, like my teen-aged self always intended 😉

Another huge inspiration for me to give blogging a try, and I suspect a big one for a lot of other hobby blogs from that era, is Ron from From The Warp. To this day, From The Warp still stands as an absolute treasure trove of some of the best hobby How-to's & tutorials anywhere on the Internet. But even more than the quality of Ron's content, it was the incredible hobby community that Ron fostered and grew around From The Warp. It's the reason I still proudly have the FTW banner displayed on the right and always will. It represents that same awesome & welcoming #WarhammerCommunity you see thriving today.

Thanks Ron for all the inspiration over the years and creating a hub to help build up this great community from the early days before GW entered the world wide webs. And really glad to see you back at it again over on Space Hulk: Boarding Mission!

So that's most of the blog's origin story. For an even more in-depth behind the scenes look at the man, the myth, the blogger... well, you'll just have to be on the lookout for that one on a much more popular blog than this one!

10 Years later...

Now I'm 35, the world feels a whole lot different from when I started this thing, and so does my aging body haha. It's true, more than just trying to find free time to hobby, which yes gets more challenging the older you get and more life responsibilities you take on, my body was the biggest detractor to my hobby activity this past year. More specifically, I'm talking about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which basically makes it hard to do anything with my hands like hold a paint brush or squeezing tiny bits together for any period of time while glue dries... sadly, quintessential hobby activities, but even worse it's gotten in the way of some fairly quintessential human activities too, like sleeping 😒

Just like the title of the book my wife is reading, the body keeps the score. And it sure does, whether we want to acknowledge those pains or not! Don't worry tho, I'm back in physical therapy again and it's already helping tremendously. I had 8 weeks of PT last summer and it was an absolute game changer for me -- for a little while there I even felt like I was 25 again haha! Thankfully, when my body had enough last year and forced me to acknowledge that I needed help, when I finally asked for it, even during the pandemic, people in my community supported me and found the help I needed right away -- I feel extremely lucky & fortunate for the family and friends who were there for me. I seriously don't know where I would be without you.

So that's it for now folks, thanks for reading. I truly hope 2021 is a better year for everyone. Also, I've discovered that hiking makes everything feel better, so here are some pictures from my adventures as I searched for sanity in the year that was 😎

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