New Year’s Revolutions

First of all, I love this commercial:

The deadpan “New Year’s revolution? Oh no.” reaction cracks me up.

Second of all, just like every discussion about “resolutions” I feel the need to state that I’m not really “into them”.  The idea of making a bunch of promises to yourself to make pretend that this is the year you won’t spend Sundays eating cheese and drinking beer in your underwear is just silly. Because when you spend Sundays eating cheese and drinking beer in your underwear, you’ve probably got enough disappoint going on in your life that realizing you broke a simple promise to yourself can only make things worse.

However the transition from the old year to the new one is a fairly appropriate time to reflect on what areas of ones life could stand some greater (or lesser) attention. And so I can disappoint other people as well as myself, let’s spell those out here.

1 – Listen to more vinyl

Seriously? Seriously. This is not strictly about the LP format, but more about taking the time to really listen to music rather than letting it sit in the background of another task. The physical interaction with the turntable and records adds to the experience, but I mostly want to feel as though I am giving attention to the artists I enjoy – not merely adding to my stats on

2 – Take more photographs

I didn’t buy a new camera just because I’m a huge gadget nerd. The frustration of lugging a large DSLR around and not wanting to pull out an external flash for supposedly casual shots has led me to take fewer and fewer photographs over time. Sure, I still take snapshots here and there – especially with my phone – but it’s just not the same. We’ll see what effect a micro four thirds system will have as I intend to carry it with me EVERYWHERE. And eventually I’ll try one of those “shoot one photo every day” challenges.

3 – Read EVERY day

For the past few years I keep trying to become the avid reader I once was. It typically starts out strong, vacation puts me into overdrive, and then I go half the year without picking up anything beyond a tech manual. But over the last 2 or 3 months of 2013 I read 6 or 7 books and felt excited and driven each time I picked one up. This year I’ve already set the modest goal of 24 books (that’s 2 per month for those really bad at math) and have finished the  first (Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard – a fantastic novel about art and the stupidity and arrogance of men). But more than simply reaching a goal I want it to become a part of my daily life. Just because I read 300 pages one day doesn’t mean I can skip the next week. 20-30 minutes each and every day is all I’m asking brain – you can do it.

4 – Communicate

This one goes along with my last post. I need to talk to people more regularly. Write more, watch less. Whatever you want to call it – some days it feels like life is slipping by too quickly. Pretty soon I’ll forget everyone I know.

5 – Keep building

I still need to finish the drawers for the combo desk/bookcase built-in units. As soon as they are done it’s time to move on to a “desk” for The Kay. And then my nightstand. And then a stand for my turntable and stereo. And then the rest of The Kay’s bed. And then built-ins for the dining room… I may not get to everything, but I’d rather be down in my workshop than sitting on my butt watching TV.

6 – Get back on track

The beginning of November was probably my peak. I was running 3 miles every day, eating well, taking my supplements, and just plain feeling great. Then I hurt my foot, the weather got too cold for my lungs, and holiday party after holiday party derailed my diet. I knew it would be rough, but I’ve had a real hard time getting back on track. By the end of the month I should have a gym less than a mile away to let me overcome the weather. My morning shake is still the norm. Time to bring everything else back in line and start working with my new doctor and support system.

7 – Spend more time with The Kay

That probably sounds odd to people who see parents today as being far more attentive than they should be. But as the one who is out of the house and in an office for most of the week, it’s hard to balance needing down time with needing “daddy” time. The Kay has started bugging me some days that she wishes I could stay home from work or quit my job completely. Don’t we all… But that’s not likely to happen any time soon. What I can do is make sure that when I get home I spend some real time with her. Play. Read. Dance. Or even just curl up together on the couch. Twenty years from now I will not regret the extra time I spend listening to her play piano instead of reading twitter or Facebook.

8 – Stop worrying about completion

Not all of the photos have to be perfect before sharing. Not all of the music has to be organized before listening. The house does not need to be in perfect order to invite people over. The blog post does not need to cover everything before you hit “Publish”. Just like this one.