For some reason, I am very excited about next year. This next year feels like it will really be mine to explore and enjoy. This is the first time that I haven't felt some giant external pressure. I don't know if that's because life changed or I changed.
I've done this enough to know that some resolutions stick, some only last a few months, and some never happen. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try to live more intentionally.
It's time to get back into the swing of things with meditation. I'm a better person when I have some sort of weekly spiritual practice. I liked the Buddhist meditation group I went to, but the lessons set the bar very high. Every one of my thoughts was put under scrutiny. They made me feel like a bad person because everything I desired or disliked became a source of failure. On the other hand, I don't want something new age that makes me feel like everything I do is wonderful. And I like meditation. So perhaps I'll do the previous meditation group but only twice a month. (not too much self improvement!) I will also talk with my acupuncturist about a Buddhist meditation group that meets in the village. She once said she thought I would connect with some people for meditation.
I say this every time I'm in Asia. If I could make a big pot of rice and beans once a week I'd be happier and healthier. I need to learn how to make a bunch of stuff in a crock pot at the beginning of the day. Last time we went to ABC Bronx, we had a lunch made by the Caribbean ladies that worked there which was rice, beans, stewed vegetables and stewed chicken. It was amazingly good. The food in Bhutan is similar - hearty, simple, and healthy.
So my resolution here is to cook a slow roasted meal once a week so that it becomes a habit.
I have to admit, I'm enjoying the results of the Victor routine. Next year, I want big muscles. Victor had been kind of holding back because he knew I didn't want to be too big for the wedding, but now I think I'm ready to go for it. This means a solid 4-5 hours at the gym per week minimum, which I was doing before the wedding, so it shouldn't be a problem. It just means that the weights will be heavier and the workouts more intense.
And I'd like to balance that with yoga. I found a men's group in Brooklyn that I may go to. It's on Wednesday nights, so it's a bit difficult with David's timing. We shall see about that one.
I hate writing this resolution because I've failed at it the past three years. I think this means that I have to change the way I approach it. I can't just say hat I want to write more because it leaves me unaccountable. I either need a writing partner or group, or I need to take a class. Perhaps I could start a writing group with Geeks OUT? There are plenty of people that I know are aspiring comic book, fantasy, or horror writers and having a writing group in which we review each other's work could be a lot of fun. Classes are less fun, but very productive.
There really should be a resolution here about submitting the work that I've done to try to get published, but I think this has been difficult for me because I've lost my writing momentum. I need to get back on the wagon with writing and then try to talk to publishers.
And the real dream is to get the first five issues of Cursed Office written, the first issue drawn, and sent to publishers. But that's kind of a pie-in-the-sky dream. I should be able to make some progress towards it.
I really want to draw regularly this year. There's a weekly drawing group hosted by someone with Geeks OUT that I could attend. And I have no reason not to go. I could take a class, which would be fun, but there's a lot of travel in the first part of next year, so I would miss a lot of weeks. So it sounds like attending the free group is a better bet.
This is another dreaded category that I hate to broach because I'm so bad at it. I spend whatever I have. I'm terrible at paying bills. I have other friends with whom I share a level of freak-out when it comes to filling out paperwork. I'm behind on my property taxes. I have the money to pay them, I'm just behind and afraid to buckle down and get caught up. I know that probably sounds weird to you, but it's just a thing with me that I've accepted causes me anxiety.
I need to set up a decent spreadsheet for each property and keep better track of my expenses. I think I tend to falter on finances because I don't know the answers to things and I keep bad records. Having better kept records takes most of the fear out of it for me.
I've got to get out of my jeans and t-shirt uniform. I have t-shirts that I like, so it's fun to throw them on and be casual. But I also like dressing up a bit for no reason. I have a lot of good clothes I never wear. So I'm going to clean out the closets and start dressing nicely 3 days a week.
My dream here is that I'd like to start shopping for nice clothes again, but I figure I should start with going through my forgotten wardrobe first. There's also the issue that my pants are looser and my shirts are tighter. I don't want to buy new Etro clothes until I know roughly where I'm going to land in terms of body shape.
This also means I need new khakis and/or dress pants. There's a Banana Replublic nearby so it should be too hard. Or I could try Bonobo's.
I used to read more and I miss it - specifically, fiction. I use to go through a book a week. Its good to sit down and read something that someone else felt was important enough to write down.
There is no shortage of great places to recline and read in the house. I think one of the problems of working from home is that laying on the couch and reading feels like a bottomless pit of laziness. I feel like once I start, it's a short step to long naps, eating on the sofa, and being a giant slug. But that's a silly notion, isn't it?
So next year, I give myself permission to read every day in the house. Conversely, I think it's time to ban Gawker. I don't need more snide content in my life. Every time I travel, I realize that I don't miss Gawker, the news, and to a lesser extent Facebook.
I saw a friend on Facebook post his reading list at the end of the year. I think keeping a reading list is an excellent idea.
Is time to revamp marran.com. I love the underlying technology of having a static site, but it's too difficult to post to. Most developers that blog use the same underlying technology (it's called Jekyll) but no one has ever built a robust admin interface for it. Everyone posts from their desktop computers and you have to be a techie to use it. I'd love to build an admin tool for the average user to have their own static Jekyll site. It's a year-long project at least. It basically involves creating my dream CMS for a totally extensible website framework with the best performance you can get. And it wouldn't be confined to this silly blog paradigm that the majority of the Internet uses (though you could easily use it to build blogs if you wanted). Every time I think of the project I get excited, I just get bogged down by the amount of work involved. I know pretty much how everything will fit together, I just need to build it. Maybe I should get an intern?
So this is my 2013:
- Join a meditation group
- Make a crock pot meal once a week
- Get big at the gym
- Start or join a writing group
- Attend a drawing group
- Make a spreadsheet of my properties and get caught up
- Dress nicely a few times a week for no reason
- Read books!
- Build my dream CMS
My main concern is that a lot of these items require evenings and that's the only time I see David. I think we're in a new point in the relationship where we don't see each other as much and it's really okay. The time we have together is very special. And I suspect something is going to happen with his career over the next year or two that will mean he will have even less time at home, so maybe he will be relieved that I'm not waiting at home for him. Who knows. I'm not going to get bogged down in the worrying about it. I guess that's what I mean about our new place in the relationship. I feel free to pursue my own interests and if there's a problem, we'll circle back and fix it.
And just in time for this, I read probably the best motivator for New Year's resolutions I have ever read.
So look out, 2013, it's time for The New Jan Brady!