Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Thirteen Resolutions for Twenty Thirteen

I'm hit or miss on resolutions. Inevitably, I always fail at one thing or another. All these years, I should probably have just been resolving to not die. If I had, I'd have a perfect record on resolutions. But I won't make the resolution to not die. With my track record on past resolutions, this would end up being the year I mess it up.

I have a realistic view of things and that view is not always an optimistic one. Resolutions tend to be very optimistic in nature. They come from a place of wanting to become a better person. It's a noble thing, that desire to be better.

Not long ago, I decided I wanted to be a better person. But I didn't wait until January 1 to make certain changes or choices for my life. After reading Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, I decided that I wanted to live a better story. When I made that decision, I decided that I wouldn't put off doing the things that I wanted to do in order to make my story better.

But a new year began today. On the one hand, it's just another new day. On the other hand, people traditionally look toward a new year with a new outlook and a desire to become better versions of themselves. In reality, it's no different than the beginning of October. In reality, it's no different than any other day that ends in "y."

In the final episode of Community's first season, Jeff perfectly summed up the New Year's resolution. He used the summary in attempting to choose between two women who claimed to love him, but it's a summary that makes sense. New Year's resolutions remind us of the people we want to be. Three weeks later, it's easy to go back to the people we already are, hitting the snooze button and screening our mothers' phone calls. So, do you try to evolve or do you try to know what you are? Well, here's to optimism!
1. Be sure to write 2013 on all important documents, rather than 2012. You can't tell me this is something that everyone everywhere isn't a little worried about messing up at some point over the next few days. It's not as crazy as it used to be since, statistically, most people don't write checks that often anymore. I, myself, only write two checks per month. Both of them will be written today. Once I get back to school, though, I'll be putting the date on many important official documents related to work. It will be important to write that 3 as the final digit rather than 2.
2. Post something on the blog daily. Back in 2008 I made this same resolution. Throughout that year, I stuck to it. Some of the posts ended up making it to the blog after midnight due to my vastly extensive social life. I don't have that "social" problem anymore. Shouldn't be an issue.
3. Reach the goal weight of 185 lbs. which I set for myself back in September when I began losing weight. As has been implied by the bolded text, I began losing weight back in September. When I weighed myself on Labor Day, I was at 225 pounds. Then I started jogging. I switched to the diet sodas. I became more responsible with my food portions. Then I caught a cold in November and stopped exercising for a while. But by that point, I had gotten down to 205ish. I weighed myself yesterday and clocked in at 207. It's nice to know that I've maintained the near 20 pound loss while not exercising. I'd like to get back on track with the jogging though. So that's started back up again. Because it will lead to the next resolution...
4. Run a 5k for the first time ever. My original goal was to run a 5k on Thanksgiving. That didn't happen. Remember, I got a cold in November and stopped running. By the time I felt better, I knew there was no way I'd be able to finish preparing for a 5k run in the cold pre-winter air of downtown Roanoke. Again, I'm getting back on track with the jogging. I'll do some research and find a decent 5k that I can participate in at some point when the weather gets a bit warmer. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know.
5. Finish watching the AFI top 100 films of all time. Okay, this started as a resolution the last time I made resolutions. That was back in 2011. I didn't even make it through half those movies that year. In fact, I only recently crossed the threshold of the 50th film. I'd like to finish this list this year. I just hope my schedule and Netflix both cooperate with that desire.
6. Read the Bible more. This is another one of those resolutions that I've made before. Never seem to do as well with it as I intend to.
7. Read 25 books. And in the past I've resolved to read more than this in a year. And failed miserably. 25 seems to be a more feasible number. I'm hoping I can surpass it, but hey, no guarantees.
8. Write a complete and coherent novel. Another rerun. Just take the time to do it, stupid!
9. Go on a real vacation. I haven't been on a true vacation in years. That time I went to Los Angeles was probably the last vacation I've actually been on. I've taken plenty of time off work in the last few years. In fact, I'm enjoying some time off as I type up these resolutions. But I'm enjoying that time off from the comfort of my own home. I want to go to a beach. Or on a cruise. I was going to do the cruise thing in 2012, but then I changed jobs again... and had to move twice... These events tend to eat into one's savings.
10. Take more pictures. I recently played photographer for a friend's wedding. I used an old school camera that needed real film. Then I discovered that real film costs a lot of real money to get developed. So I think, for a while, I'm gonna need to go back to digital for my photographing needs. Photography was something I really enjoyed back in the day. It's something I'd enjoy to this day if I had a decent camera.
11. Leave the one Christmas decoration I have out until I move in August. This one is mostly because I'm lazy. Also, I don't have anywhere else to put my one Christmas decoration.
12. Begin work toward a license to teach in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I do love my current job. But being in a classroom has inspired me to want to teach. Just like I wanted to do back when I was a kid. I've been looking into the steps I need to take. And now I need to make a decision as to what kind of teacher I want to be. If I want to teach history to high school students, I can go through the local community college's career switch program. If I want to keep working with the younger, elementary school kids, I'll have to go through a more complicated, more expensive program that will probably take twice as long to complete. Really need to weigh the pros and cons here.
13. Become the hero Gotham deserves, not the one it needs. I think this one is fairly self explanatory.

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