Everyone walks around with a lens behind them, formed of pressed air, pointing backward, magnifying the past, and objects in it appear closer than they are. Hindsight, people, I swear.

It’s like a funhouse mirror, that lens, warping and exaggerating what was. Don’t be confused. Don’t mistake it for a mirror. What was, was. What you see through that lens is not what is or what is coming. Things that were aren’t anymore and only now is now.

I’m going to glance back, like I sometimes do, like I sometimes have, and even link to some of what I posted this year, but just for a moment, just while the door on 2013 is swinging shut. Then the Closed sign goes in the window and we zip up our coats and we walk away. Because this hindsight bullshit isn’t working. Not today.

Here’s the thing: I feel like I worked pretty hard this year. I released some stories, some essays, some games, and I went to a bunch of conventions and I taught some students and I built some new things and it’s not enough. I can’t work much more than I do, so I have to work better, faster, smarter, and for better pay … or nothing’s going to change. And stuff needs to change. As the year went by, I thought it was going pretty well. Sitting here now, with that warping lens behind me, it looks like all the work I did barely inched me forward. It feels like I’m no closer to the mountain than I was.

I don’t pretend to know what 2014 is going to look like. I don’t know how to get through the wilderness between me and there but I can see the writer, designer, and husband I want to be from here. It’s just that I had a pretty full year … and it wasn’t enough. So I need to find new strength, new wisdom, and new energy to cross the marches ahead. I don’t know where the strength and hours are going to come from yet — and I won’t gripe here about money and dreams — but what else can I do?

Some things exist now that didn’t exist before and that’s not nothing. I hope I’ve brought some fun into your lives and I hope you’ve enjoyed a story or two that I told this year. I thank you for reading what you’ve read and for writing me when you have.

So. That was that. 2013 is a thing that was. And when we leave here, we can never come back to this place. We can only go forward and do better than was done to us.