30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Roller Coaster of a Year

2018 was one of the roughest years for me in recent times... and I'm not even talking about what's going on over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

At work, I'm dealing with a changing of the guard scenario, which isn't necessarily good or bad.  I'm just not a huge fan of change in general.  Plus one of my friends and co-workers for the past 10 years was forced to take an elementary position, which wasn't something anyone at our school wanted to see.

Another one of my friends has been dealing with some serious health problems.  Thankfully his doctors discovered that it isn't leukemia, however he's been in and out of the hospital for the past few months.

Closer to home, my parents are slowing down a lot.  It's part of life and something my siblings and I have been preparing for mentally for quite some time now.  However that doesn't make it any easier to watch.

As for myself... I feel like I spent more than half of the year dealing with back issues.  I've had this problem for years, but 2018 was by far the worst.

On a more positive note, this has been a pretty good year for me in regards to the hobby goals I set for myself a year ago.  I figured I'd kick off the new year by reflecting on those goals and seeing how I did.

2018 Goal #1Maintain a Monthly Budget (Failed)

Okay.  I'm pretty sure I attempted to do this in January.  Even if I did, I definitely didn't stick to a monthly budget.  That being said, I did keep things under control and spent much less money in 2018 on cards than in previous years.

2018 Goal #2Purchase a 1984 Fleer Update Roger Clemens (Passed)

I've been wanting this card for a long, long time and in March I finally picked one up off of eBay thanks to a 20% off coupon.

2018 Goal #3Purchase another 1956 Topps Hall of Famer (Passed)

I picked up Spahn in February and Mathews in March, so the goal was accomplished.  Sadly... I haven't paid much attention to this project ever since.  Might need to do something about that in 2019.

2018 Goal #4Average 3 Posts Per Week (Passed)

I wrote 194 posts in 2018, which is the most since 2014.  That's almost 4 posts per week.

2018 Goal #5Complete 2 Card Sets (Barely Passed)

1979 Kellogg's Baseball and 2018 Topps Stranger Things

Back in September and October, I was determined to get my hands on a 1979 Kellogg's set.  I ended up piecing together a few partial sets to complete one decent one.  The Stranger Things set was wrapped up last week with help from Ryan (over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko) who sent me the last 23 cards I needed.  If I had to guess, I'd say that I completed at least one... maybe even two more sets in 2018.  My mind is just drawing a blank right now.

By the way, Ryan runs an interesting series over on his blog where he interviews fellow bloggers about their hobby interests.  I encourage you to head over to his blog and check it out.  And he's always looking for people who are interested in being interviewed.

2018 Goal #6Attend 2 (or more) Card Shows (Passed)

After ditching a bunch of shows in 2017, I bounced back and attended all three Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Shows as well as the GT Sports Marketing Show.  If that weren't enough, I also attended the 2018 Las Vegas Toy Con and the 2018 Bay Area Toy Expo and Comic Convention.

Overall... I met five out of the six goals I set for myself in 2018.  I can live with that.  As for 2019, I'm not going to set any specific hobby resolutions other than to have fun, continue to blog on a regular basis, and focus on quality over quantity.

What about you?

How'd you do with your 2018 hobby goals?  Do you have any specific hobby resolutions for 2019?

As always... I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.

Happy New Year and sayonara!


  1. Hang in there Fuji.I can relate to that back pain.At times it can be paralyzing.I can't remember setting any collecting goals for myself in 2018.If I did then I'm sure I've attained most as i don't feel like I have any huge holes in my collection.2019 will be a Starting Lineup filled one for sure.I might even create a blog specific to them.

  2. The most common thing I've noticed in my 15 years in the school system is resistance to change. It happens everywhere apparently.

    I just finished my yearly goal post (insert football joke here). I feel the same as you - great year for cards and blogging and blah for most everything else.

    The best to you for the coming year! You rock dude!

  3. Great job with your goals! Wish I could be that successful.

  4. I'm with you on the back thing (and having to watch loved ones deteriorate). My hobby goals are not going to be anything stressful (see todays post). Got to keep it fun....have more fun. Already started with in just 1 day! Have a blessed coming year!

  5. Here’s to a healthier 2019! Glad you met the majority of your goals!

  6. Well, first things first... I am really hopeful that 2019 is a better year for you. I've been in your shoes in all but the back problems. And I'm going thru the aging parents thing again (via my wife) as my in-laws hit 90 and 92. And, like me, you've been in education long enough to have seen many things come and go. Trends change (do you remember 'open concept' classrooms?). I lost good friends to health, transfers and retirement but things have a way of working out. At least they did for me.

    Having said that, I don't really set hard and fast hobby goals. Generally I just want to have fun. Finish the sets I'm working on. Get more organized (insert eyeroll emoji here) and maybe find a white whale, like the '59 Bazooka Billy Pierce that's eluded me for years.

    Keep posting. I read, and enjoy, every word. Happy New Year, Mark!!

  7. Yup, on the parents thing. It came out of nowhere in 2018 and WHAM I am in the thick of it.

    No goals other than "complete sets." It's a fun hobby. Goals are too confining.

  8. I personally have no goals. I have never-ending lists that I'm trying to reduce. And then I discover that I need to make a new list.....and that's how you have a 20+ tab excel wantlist without end.....

    always love reading your blog.....can you let me know when the next bay area card show is? i haven't been to a show in years.

  9. Looks like a successful year. I get it with the back issues. No fun for sure. No goals per say. Just try to stay for what I collect.

  10. You did very well with those goals for 2018 Fuji, congrats!

    Reading this post, it struck me as amazing how similar my 2018 was to yours. I had a changing of the guard at work and am still nervously waiting to see how that will impact my compensation going forward, but won't know for another couple of weeks. On top of that I experienced the toughest loss ever in my personal life when a very close immediate family member passed unexpectedly and way too early. Here's hoping 2019 is a better year in our personal lives, and an equally good one in the hobby. Cheers!

  11. big tone - i love the kenner slu posts, so keep them coming. if you create a new blog dedicated to them, that's even better.

    gca - thanks. here's hoping a positive and sunshine filled 2019 for both of us and our collections

    section 36 - honestly didn't even really target them for most of the year. i think i just set the bar real low ;)

    john miller - thanks john! here's to healthy backs and families in 2019.

    sumomenkoman - right back at you buddy! can't wait to start reading the blogger interviews of 2019.

    commishbob - if you can believe it, open concept classrooms are making a return. i'm thankful that i'm not in that scenario. i enjoy managing my own set of students and not having to deal with other teachers and varying expectations and rules. as for our hobby... hope you're able to find the 59 bazooka pierce. love that set.

    night owl - best of luck on your sets. i admire collectors who go about building vintage sets. i lack the patience and budget to do it that way.

    dan - i have the exact same problem with lists. take one down and two more pop up. as for card shows, the serramonte mall show is january 26th and 27th. it's a great show that has a mixture of toys, comics, sports cards, and other collectibles.

    mark hoyle - happy collecting in 2019. hope you add some cool vintage collectibles to your collection this year.

    the lost collector - thanks, you too!

    shoeboxlegends - sorry to hear about your loss. hope the thing at work ends up being more positive than negative. here's to a much more bright and positive 2019!

  12. I didn't have any goals for the past year but I want to cut down spending big time this year.

  13. Changing of the guards are always hard at schools. Eventually everything settles down and there is some sense of normal, but the initial transition is always rough. I am lucky to have two healthy parents and a back that does not hurt, but I can definitely empathize. I have had plenty of friends, co-workers, neighbors, and other life acquaintances deal with their own health and those of their parents and grandparents. I love your blog Fuji, love reading about your cards, and wish you a great 2019.

  14. Your collecting goals are audacious and I hope you have some great hits this year. My goals are to keep on the same path and I did make some good progress in 2018. Also hope the back and non card things turn positive. As they say, maybe this year will be better than the last.

  15. corky - that's a goal i've tried out in the past. hope you're more successful than me. although... i gotta admit, i spent less money on the hobby this year and it wasn't even close. happy new year!

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - i'm sure hoping this year is better than last year. so far, so good. hope you have a great 2019!

  16. I'm not a big fan of change either, especially at work. Though I would give anything to change jobs, there would be a whole new set of anxiety issues until I adjust to my new surroundings (if/when that ever happens.)

    I hope you're able to accomplish all of your 2019 goals, and that you, your family, and friends have much better health in 2019.

    ...and get some more '56 HOFers ;P

    1. Hope you find a job that suits you and makes you happy. I just got my eBay bucks certificate. Maybe I'll apply it to a new 56 for my PC.