I don’t think there are many people who will loudly proclaim that 2008 was an especially good year. Sure, it had its good points and I not one who dwells on the negative and ignores the positive. But this is not a retrospective. I am not big on those these days. (As an aside, in my twenties I used to be heavily introspective and often depressed and when, in my thirties, I tried to go back and figure out when I became a happy person I realized that I’d stopped writing in my journal at the same time I stopped being depressed all the time, which begs the question: was it the introspection of journaling that made me depressed or was it a symptom of something that I otherwise outgrew?) No, introspection is not something I am into much these days. If anything, I dwell on the positive and only list the negatives that still exist as a laundry list of what I need to fix in my life.
So, with that preface, while 2008 had its good points, I feel that we, as a family, are worse off now than we were a year ago. I think that I am better off in many ways. I bought and learned to (almost) play the guitar, I’ve returned to teaching myself to sketch and draw (something I did briefly in the early 90’s and then let slide) and I had the good fortune to present in (and therefore visit) Las Vegas where I also met a lot of really great people that I hope to see again.
But, like I said, in many ways we are worse off and we have a lot of work to do to fix our lives and our situation. On the plus side, I have ever confidence that we can do it. I have seen how we have overcome adversity in the past and know that when Ann and I set our minds to something, we do it. On the negative side, much of what is standing in our way is the economy and the effects that has on everything else. Much of what we want or need to do falls into the category of “Wait for things to get better.”
As such, while our biggest resolutions are on the order of finances and home improvement, I think they make poor resolutions. Instead, I will be somewhat selfish and focus entirely on my own personal goals for myself. And these are continuations of the changes I began making in my life last year.
Resolution 1: Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. This should be easy (we have a treadmill for the bad weather and I love to walk in nice weather and we have a Wii fit which continues to amuse me. Yet I find that when I have time, I am often too tired. So the trick for me is making time for this when I have the energy and drive to do it. I suspect that I will be doing this early in the morning when I first get up and before I head to work.
Resolution 2: Do at least 30 minutes each day in a creative pursuit. This includes practicing the guitar, sketching (working my way through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain), podcasting, writing, or photography. Bonus points if I do more than one.
Resolution 3: Read more. I think I read the fewest books in 2008 than in any year prior. I have a stack of half-read or unstarted books on my nightstand that go back an embarassingly long time. Time to fix that.
That’s my list for this year. It’s modest but also will result in significant changes in my personal life and attitude so I don’t feel that I need more.
I am looking forward to an exciting year doing the above and also in other fun projects I know are ahead. Jack becomes a Webelos Scout this June and that means we begin camping a lot and it also means that as a den leader, my game will need to be seriously upped. And as he grows into the young geekling I want him to be, he is starting to be old enough to be exposed to a lot more than he previously could be. This includes books, movies, and projects. He’s expressed an interest in robotics and I am overjoyed at discovering that with him. Maybe it’s time to get Lego Mindstorms too? (wait, is that for him or for me?) He also wants to learn Flash to start creating online games. I’m daunted by that as I have to learn it with him and I need to find the time for that and I am not entirely sure if he’s really ready for that. We’ll have to try and find out. I have a 4-5 year old copy of Flash MX and books to go with it so we’ll start there and see where we go.
So, that’s my plan for the year. We’ll see how dilligent I am in getting all of this done moving forward. I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful 2009 and let’s stay in touch. Maybe we can all encourage each other to keep to our goals for the year.