The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Tag Archives: New Years

Reflections on 2018, Welcoming 2019 with the Girls und Panzer 2019 Calendar

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” –Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Depending on one’s perspective, the rapid passage of time is either a blessing or a curse – for better or worse, 2018 is in the books now, being a very eventful year that saw the 2018 Winter Games, a partial thawing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the launch of the Parker Solar Probe, amongst others. Back home, Cannabis became legalised, and the nation remained quite divided over the future of energy. Looking closer still, it was a busy year for me personally, as well, culminating in a job change. Life continues to throw unexpected surprises as it always has, and with the past year’s experiences, I can reaffirm that the only real absolute in life is that there are no absolutes. 2018 was a similarly difficult year as 2017 was, but a persistence and determination to make things happen, in conjunction with friends and family, allowed me to endure and build out a solution. As such, 2018 was a vivid reminder that no man is an island: with support, I knew that with an honest effort and grit, there would be a dawn to look forwards to. Life is full of surprises, and things can change in a heartbeat after long periods of effort and little to show for it. The Calgary Flames have certainly shown this to be true: during a match against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 12, the Flames were down 5-3 in the third period. In the last two minutes, Andersson and Monahan managed to score, bringing the game to a tie and forcing overtime. Gaudreau would score 35 seconds into overtime, giving the Flames another comeback win. The lesson here is that until it is truly over, the worth of each drop of sweat cannot be understated, and that one really must keep the pressure on until the end. The Flames certainly did, and were rewarded with their seventh comeback win of the season. This sort of mindset has been helpful for me in the final months of 2018, and entering 2019, I am considerably more optimistic about where things are headed.

I’m going to keep doing everything I did last year, but better. I will continue to make the most of whatever happens, and further to this, I will take responsibility for what happens.

This was the resolution that I made entering 2018, and in retrospect, I fulfilled this. I needed a change of scenery and then took the initiative to realise this wish. During my business trips with my previous company, I put in my best effort to deliver precisely what was asked of me, and for my troubles, got an opportunity to travel a little, as well. With this in mind, for 2019, I aim to approach everything I do with a full and complete effort, putting my best foot forwards each and every time. Time passes by very quickly, and I firmly believe that life is very short, to the point of where positivism and effort is the most enjoyable (and for me, proper) way to make the most of things. Finally, for The Infinite Mirai, a blog that now has seven years of history, my goal will be to continue running this programme even as things get busier and even if I post with a reduced frequency; being able to write and reach others is something I enjoy doing, as it gives an opportunity for the community to really connect and share. I am very happy to be a part of the positive, insightful and energetic community of WordPress Anime Bloggers. Having said this, whether you, the reader, are a part of that wonderful community, or a passerby, I would like to wish you all the best and a Happy New Year 2019. It’s a blank slate again – let’s go exploring!

Reflections on 2017, Welcoming 2018 with the Girls und Panzer 2018 Calendar

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

We’re now a short ways into 2018, and before we begin busying ourselves with making the most of another year, I’m going to take a few moments to look back on what 2017 entailed, especially pertaining to some of the learnings that were accrued over the past year. Most of these learnings apply to the workplace and interpersonal skills. It is always bewildering as to just how much one can learn in the space of a year, and during 2017, I came to appreciate the importance of good emotional maturity and problem-solving skills in individuals to be far more important than any technical skills. It was a strong reminder for me that being able to professionally and courteously interact with people is by far one of the most important traits that one can have: regardless of what profession one is in, our occupations ultimately deal with doing something of value for people, and as such, moving into 2018, I’m definitely going to be mindful of this as I work harder for a company whose aim is to generate more revenue and is looking to expand. 2017 was a bit of a difficult year that had also seen its share of enjoyment – from the challenges at work to the days spent in the mountains and my travels to Japan and Hong Kong, I’ve come to really appreciate maintaining a good work-life balance. I continue to lift weights and do martial arts, while at the same time, make time to sit down with a good book or game. Last year, I simply resolved to let things happen as they happened, and in retrospective, that didn’t turn out half bad.

As such, my resolution for 2018 remains quite unchanged: I’m going to keep doing everything I did last year, but better. I will continue to make the most of whatever happens, and further to this, I will take responsibility for what happens. I’ve heard folks remark that resolutions are usually vague and pointless in keeping, but looking back at last year, I did manage to keep all of them (I did end up volunteering for a pair of science fairs, for instance). As such, I contend that resolutions are not entirely unnecessary, and I’ll likely keep up the practise of being a bit more introspective than average in New Years posts graced with anime calendars so as long as this blog continues to be maintained. On the topic of The Infinite Mirai, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the blog has proven to be this resilient, and in the upcoming year, I will continue to write for it. That leads me to wish all of you, my readers, a Happy New Year 2018. While I’m not certain of what exactly this year will entail for my blog, I am immensely thankful for your readership and feedback. Let’s get it!

Reflections on 2016, Welcoming 2017 with the Girls und Panzer 2017 Calendar

“New Beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel some level of excitement as new chances come your way.” – Auliq Ice

While news outlets, tabloids and popular media has painted 2016 as a particularly poor year for a variety of reasons, 2016 ultimately turned out quite remarkable despite a slow beginning marked with uncertainty was to what I would do during the transition from being a student to full-fledged member of society. On all counts, things went very smoothly: I finished my thesis defense and paper shortly after being offered a software position, and convicted back in November to close off my academic career. En route to the finish line, I travelled on several occasions — once to lend a hand to the Giant Walkthrough Brain in Kelowna, and twice to international conferences. With this in mind, I’ve completed not only my resolutions from last January, but I also managed to fulfil a dream I’ve had since 2014; travelling with a clearly-defined goal proved to be wonderful experiences, and after yesterday, where I had the opportunity to watch the Calgary Flames defeat the Phoenix Coyotes in a 4-2 victory in regulation time, 2016 draws to a solid close. 2017 opened with shrimp cocktail and champagne; following a short sleep, it’s time to read through my post from last year, note that 2016 was pretty damn amazing in spite of popular belief, and consider my resolutions for 2017.

From a life perspective, my main resolution for 2017 is to put forth my fullest efforts for my work as a software developer, learning all of the necessary skills to be effective at what I do. Beyond this, I will take a leaf from Calvin and Hobbes: It’s a Magical World and Pure Pwnage: Teh Movie — I’m just going to let stuff happen, take it in stride and make the most of whatever circumstances and situations I encounter. This will apply to health, career, finances and even relationships. Besides the more serious goals, I will also aim to diversify my activities in 2017: on top of resolutions carrying over from last year (finish reading my unread books and the games I’ve not yet finished), I will also see to volunteering for different events, bring back my old hobby of pencil sketching and, in the spirit of letting stuff happen, maintain an open mind to what I can be doing with my newfound time now that I’m no longer required to write conference papers or plan tutorial sessions. This brings my New Year’s post to its conclusion: I’d like to bid all of my readers a Happy New Year 2017, and thank everyone again for having stuck with this blog for so long. Without your readership, I probably would not be able to summon the motivation to put posts out, so here’s to everyone for making this blog a reality, and I look forwards to seeing what this New Year has in store.

A Hibike! Euphonium 2016 Calendar, Some Reflections on 2015 and Looking Ahead to 2016

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” —Helen Keller

For the past two years, I’ve been welcoming the New Year with Girls und Panzer Calendars, but this year, I’m going to do something different: I’ll present the Hibike! Euphonium 2016 calendar for its excellent artwork (I’ve become quite a fan of Kumiko), and because there’s a Girls und Panzer post coming up in just a bit. Before I delve into a 2015 reflection and outline some resolutions for 2016, I’d like to take this time to thank all of the readers who’ve motivated me to continue writing: 2015 was a phenomenal year for The Infinite Mirai, featuring some 135 new posts, a fair bit of good discussion with the readers, among them Jusuchin (Military Otaku), cloudst12, Edward and Neomo, and a four blogging awards (two of which are freshly-published: the Creative Blogger Award and the Free Spirit Award: all awards can be viewed by hovering your mouse over “About Infinite Zenith” in the menu up top). The folks coming from Facebook, Twitter and Reddit also earn a heartfelt thank you; my site metrics show that this blog and social media appears to play quite nicely together. Without fellow bloggers and readers to keep things going, I’m not sure if I would have had quite the same level of motivation to keep The Infinite Mirai as active as it presently is. So, looking back on 2015, a hell of a lot of things happened; that much is apparent from the blog posts, which paint 2015 as a year of adventure despite a shakier start, and looking back, I think I’ve fulfilled my resolutions.

Cover

P01- January, February

P02- March, April

P03- May, June

P04- July, August

P05- September, October

P06- November, December

Now, for 2016, my resolutions are quite simple: I will strive to finish my graduate studies to the best of my ability, and make a concerted, serious effort to make the transition between academics and industry one that is as smooth as can be reasonably expected. I also resolve to not concern myself with matters of the heart and wield my freedom to continue exploring the world around me; in these crucial times, career, finance and health are my absolute top priorities, and a relationship might not be what I need at this point in time. My simpler resolutions remain unchanged from last year: I aim to read all the unread books on my bookshelf, and finish the games that I’ve still not beaten since last year. These ones seem far easier than the other resolutions, which will be a challenge, as those entail my future, but I live for a good challenge. In closing, Happy New Year 2016, everyone, and thanks for taking the time to read this blog! May your 2016 be productive, meaningful and fulfilling!

A Girls und Panzer 2015 Calendar

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” —Neil Gaiman

As is tradition, I introduce to the site the 2015 edition of the Girls und Panzer Calendar: this comes exactly twenty days into the New Year, and by this point in time, we’ve now settled in such that things such as our occupations routine are well under way. The above quote inspired me to look back on 2014, which was an eventful year that saw many things happen, from my acceptance to the graduate studies program and participation in the Giant Walkthrough Brain, to experiencing unrequited love in full force for the first time. I’ve discovered where my limits lie, and with it, the place where I can begin to explore further. When I read my old resolutions from last year, I have met them to a satisfactory extent: “I resolve to make the absolute best of any situation and give it my all such that I have no regrets at the end, no matter which direction the future takes me. I also resolve to never lose sight of the bigger picture, and keep in mind this big picture whenever things become difficult, such that I may always have focus and direction”.

My resolution for 2015 comes a little later, but given that I have a track record of keeping my promises, now is not too late to state my resolutions for 2015: this year, I resolve to learn and adapt, to the fullest of my ability, all that is necessary for me to undertake my role as a responsible, productive member of society, specifically, with respect to both career and domestic matters. I also resolve to roll with setbacks, and even though we’re just twenty days in, I’ve already experienced one already! Sounds like a rough start, but setbacks are a part of life, and I contend that people who experience no setbacks en route to their futures are either really lucky or about to learn a cruel lesson the hard way. I was able to see through my 2014 resolutions (even if for a while, I did lose sight of what I was looking for), so it’s time I put in due effort to do my best for 2015, as well. As per usual, my more casual objectives will involve finishing my backlog of games; according to some statistics, I’m around 83 hours from finishing off my Steam library.