Eight days into the new year, and I’m finally getting around to making some resolutions. So I’m already off to a great start! Woo Hoo! This should be great.
1) I need to get physically fit. I need to be stronger, more flexible and have better balance and stamina. The photography hobby I’ve taken up is making that really obvious, and I need to get serious about being healthier for my own sake, as well as for getting the photos I want to get.
2) Take photos every day. It’s the only way I’m going to get better.
3) Write every day. Either here on this blog, or on other projects; I have story ideas all the time that I end up seeing executed by someone else, and often not as well as I would have done.
4) Read every day. – Aside from the fact that reading has always be my “Go To” method of stress relief, there are also some books I want to plow through for because I have a story idea.
5) Turn off the TV. I waste way too much time on it. More important things to fit into the day. I think the Rachel Maddow show is the one thing I watch that is actually worthwhile; everything else can go away.
6) finish refinishing a couple piece of furniture that I have half started. Just for the sake of getting them done.
In the grand history of me making resolutions — I’ve never completed any of them. But I have made great strides in the direction I want to go, so they’re useful for me to clarify what’s important. I can see where I get derailed — I’m good through January and February, but it gets to be March and I start worrying about gardening, and April, May and June are all big social months where I pay attention to activities rather than goals. I’ll have to watch out for those things this year and fit the goals first, then the activities.
This past weekend, Stephanie and I went to my company’s warehouse employee book sale. This is where they lay out all the returned stock from bookstores and let us purchase it at a steep discount, which means that it doesn’t need to get recycled or trashed. It’s one of the great perks of my job for book lovers like us, and is a really great deal, money-wise. I was able to pick up many books that have been on my “to read” pile for a long time.
On the other hand… we came home with 160 books. 57 of them were mine, 30 of them are presents for family members, and 73 of them are Stephanie’s. So… yeah. We made great strides in reducing clutter this year in our house, then frakked it all up. Heh. Actually, the sheer volume of stuff we cleared out this year is quite a bit more than the books we acquired, so we’re not at all back where we started. But we have a lot of book storage to come up with.
And I have a LOT of books. Doing the math – I acquired more books at this sale than I read this year, easily, and I did the same thing last year. And I also bought quite a few new books this year, although one of my goals was not to do that. I feel guilty that there are so many wonderful books in my library that I simply haven’t read. And many of them have been sitting there for quite some time, while I go around willy-nilly, checking out new titles from the library and buying new books from the bookstore.
So… that leads me to my 2008 new year’s resolution(s), which I’m making a bit early:
In 2008, I will read only books that I already own, and read more of them than I have in the last few years. To accomplish that, my plans are:
I will not buy ANY books in 2008, new or used, unless I have to for work, with one exception – next year’s year-end warehouse book sale, and that only if I accomplish my resolution, and I can only purchase as many books as I’ve read in 2008.
If I need a book for book club, I’ll check it out from the library, or (worst case scenario) Stephanie will buy it.
I will NOT check books out from the library this year, unless it’s for book club. (I know that seems strange, but the goal is not about saving money, it’s about focusing my attention on my own library.)
Do a massive purge of my feed reader and severely reduce the number of blogs I read regularly.
Carry my current read around with me everywhere, so that I focus on it, and not the magazines in the doctor’s waiting room, the internet while I’m waiting for gym class, etc.).
So there it is – my official 2008 New Year’s Resolution. Let’s see if I can stick to it.
2019 update: I did not succeed at this resolution. Not this year, or any other year that I made it.
2022-03-12 Update: And I haven’t since 2019, either.
I have this trouble where I try very hard not to do something — drop a screw, tip over a paint can, upend a box of packing peanuts — and whatever I’m working so hard to avoid is exactly what I end up doing, because I’m trying way too hard.
That same self-defeating thing happens with my new year’s resolutions. Every year I make some resolutions, and I succeed wildly — at everything else. And then at the end of the year, I go over my resolutions and despair at habits I haven’t managed to break or to form, while ignoring all the stuff I got right. So I start off the year on a downer, which is totally unnecessary, and keeps the spiral going. This year, screw that fuckin’ noise.
This year, I’m going to make a list of hopes for the year instead of resolutions — positive wishes to start the new year out right.
1. I hope we have a quiet, relaxing, fun year.
The last couple of years have been full of stress for Stephanie and I. Between surgeries and home purchasing and moving, we’ve been caught in several storms and I think we’ve come through them stronger, both as individuals and as a couple. But I’m hoping this year will be a lot less of “you and me against the forces of the universe” and a lot more of “you and me in sync with the forces of the universe.” I know that unexpected things always come up, but I think we’ve got a pretty good foundation to deal with them.
I hope we have a lot of time to just hang out in our house together, and with our friends. We’ve created a nice space for ourselves and our pets. I enjoy hanging around the house with Stephanie and playing games, reading and relaxing. And I enjoy having friends over. I hope we can do a lot of that this year. I was intrigued by the idea of creating a Porch Sitter’s Local here in Indy – we certainly have the porch for it.
I hope we can get a some stuff sold on eBay this year. I still have a stash of stuff to sell on behalf of my mom, and we’ve been collection a pile of sale-able items post-move sorting, and I’d love to get through them.
There are lots of festivals and events around Indianapolis that happen every year, and that I’ve never attended. I’d love to do some of them. We’ve missed the pride event a couple of years running, and I’d like to do that this year, if we can. And we have a great new neighborhood to explore.
2. I hope my frikin’ house sells.
I think I’ve done all I can really do to make that happen, and all I can do is routine maintenance and keeping on top of things. This is just one I have to leave up to the world to take care of.
3. I hope I can take time to express some of my creative energy.
I hope I can finish some webdesign projects that have been lingering around. My dad has a site he needs created, I have Stephanie’s blog design to work on, IndyScribe needs an overhaul, and I have another art site I need to work on.
I hope I can get some more work done on my novel. I still think I have a great idea, and I want to build out some time to get it working. I think that what I was missing with NaNoWriMo was some element of illustration/art/design that I want to go with it.
I have some furniture I want to refinish – I’ve done some of that in the past and found it to be a really relaxing, rewarding type of project. I’d want to work on some of the stuff I have stashed in the garage.
I hope to design a nice garden/lawn space around our house. I want to plant some vegetables and a raspberry bush this year – things I have no experience with at all, so that should be a fun challenge. I’m hoping to find out if some of the more experienced gardeners in our neighborhood will give me advice and let me look over their shoulders.
I hope to get some time to work on the interior design of our house — we have lots of fun art that still needs to make it onto the walls, and we have some areas where we can make some creative use of space. There’s lots of interior painting we want to do, also.
I hope I can become a better photographer and get some great, fun pictures. I’m learning more about my camera and how to adjust for lighting and other factors. Maybe our trip on Route 66 will be a good opportunity to get better at taking pictures.
I have some art projects dinking around in the back of my head, too, and I want to find time to work on them.
3. I hope we get to do some more traveling this year.
Stephanie has a work conference to go to in January, in Wisconsin, and I have one in March, I think. We have plans to drive Route 66 with a New Beetle Caravan in June, and I think those are solid, unless something unexpected happens. We talked about visiting my family in Iowa in the spring, but we’ll have to see if that fits in for them and us.
I haven’t got Stephanie’s skating competitions this year sorted out in my head yet, but those will need to go on the calendar, too.
One thing I’ve never done is go to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. It’s usually in August. I don’t know if we can swing it after a big trip in June, but it’s one cultural activity I’d love to go to someday.
4. I hope I can be less angry all the time.
I have such a level of frustration and irritation, and it gets in the way of getting things done and of my relationships with other people.
I was blaming that on reading too much negative stuff online, and too many angry political discussions, and I’m sure those things don’t help. But I have to acknowledge that it’s something inside me and how I interact with the world that needs to change, not just external things. I’m trying to change the way I react to things that bother me; to not have knee-jerk reactions without thinking about what’s going on first, and that seems to be helping.
I’m trying to set limits and say no more — lots of my stress comes from being overwhelmed by obligations; occupationally, financially, socially, politically. I’m becoming better at not letting other people hijack my time and energy, and letting myself recharge in between. I’ve noticed that going to water aerobics is amazing for de-stressing; I always have an endorphin high and feel completely zen-like when I’m done, so I have at least one outlet for stress.
5. I hope we can help defeat Indiana’s anti-marriage equality amendment in the Statehouse this year.
I foresee this being an exhausting, stressful experience, and I’m not looking forward to it at all. But we do have a much stronger position after the 2006 election, and I hope that will make the coming fight much less painful.
I promise in 2006 not to start an unnecessary war based on a lie with insufficient troops to whom after three years of fighting I still haven’t given enough body armor or a plan for victory.
Just kidding. I’m totally going to do that.
Here are my real resolutions:
1. MORE GAY SEX IN 2006. As I mentioned before, the religious right has started a campaign against gay sex. So I’m pledging a counter campaign — more (safe, responsible) gay sex in 2006. It’s the right thing to do.
2. Don’t buy books, except for book club where necessary. I have tons of books I need to read on my shelves, and I plan to get through as many of them as possible.
3. Scale down my possessions so Stephanie and I can live together.
4. Get on the elliptical more, eat better, and use the new heart I got last year to get in good physical shape.
5. Cook more. I really started gaining weight when I started eating crap out of a can. If I go back to fixing meals, I hope that will help me eat better.
How about you?
Well, there was the heart surgery. And Stephanie’s lumpectomy, too. But we did get to do some traveling toward the end of the year. We visited Louisville twice, and Chicago twice, and New York once. Plus we got to help out a little with the Indianapolis Human Rights Ordinance at the end of the year, which was great.
Plans for next year:
Stephanie is skating in the Gay Games in Chicago in July! That’s the major event that we’re planning. We also want to do a “Big Things” road trip in the spring, and we’re going to my cousin Sarah’s wedding on April 22nd.
Right-wing “media advocates” Accuracy in Media (AIM) are urging people to “Quit Gay Sex” and promoting a false parallel to news organizations that are urging people to “Quit to Live” smoking. They claim, falsely, that: gay people are in “the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle” and “Life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases among homosexuals are on the increase.” The seem to be ignoring some facts…
1. “Homosexuality” is not just about sex, but about relationships and love.
2. Homosexuality is not “addictive” but an at-birth characteristic.
3. Not all “homosexuals” are men.
4. Lesbians have lower instances of sexually-transmitted diseases than heterosexuals.
5. Most gay men are not HIV-positive.
6. Most gay men aren’t promiscuous; most don’t practice unsafe sex.
In light of this, I’m planning to start a “More Gay Sex” campaign, urging gay people to have more (safe, healthy, responsible) gay sex during the new year. Casual encounters can be easy, just check these best places in Philly. And I’ll pledge to do so myself, as a New Year’s Resolution. I’ll be using a free fuck app to find people in my area. Who’s with me?And if you’re not gay, please use this perfect remote vibrator and have more heterosexual sex in solidarity, to show your support for my new campaign. If you’re looking for an escort service, try Houston escorts; you will definitely satisfy your sexual drive.
One person pointed this out: “Instead of ‘Quit Gay Sex’ how about we substitute ‘Make a Promise to Be Faithful to Just One Partner.’ Oh wait. That’d be gay marriage, wouldn’t it? My bad.”
Yeah, isn’t that adorable that I had to put that parenthetical state on that starburst? Not my most sex-positive moment, despite the resolution.