Fourteen for '14.
A fresh start. That's what I see a lot of ads calling it. Apparently because we keep fucking up all the ones that came before? Lord knows I haven't got it right yet. So we try to come up with ways to improve, to try to make the next one better. Every year.
I see some celebrating the old. Well done. We survived it. I see some desperately looking forward to the new. Maybe this one will be better. Others just take advantage of another opportunity to get shitfaced and make out with strangers in clubs. As for me, I'm going to make a list. I like lists, and I haven't made one in a while, particularly one of this sort. Been a few years. I haven't seen the point. I only end up disappointed. But I've had just enough champagne to want to try, and putting them down also helps to keep them in mind. So. Fourteen for '14:
- Number One. The same thing that's always number one on my list. The one thing I never do but want desperately. Maybe this time I'll get a little more specific: three hours a week. It's the minimum amount of time I spend in the gym each week so it can also be the minimum amount I spend writing. It's only fair.
- Let's see... I need to keep working on debt. I've been doing really well with it and have had it under control for a while now, but I need to keep it up.
- Get out of Dodge. The goal that I made for myself after about a month of living in North Carolina was to move out before I turned 30. That didn't happen. I still don't think that it was a mistake to come here, but it would be a mistake to stay. I don't expect to make any big moves this year, but I at least need to make some significant strides towards that end. Success at the previous two on this list would help with that.
- Keep up the gym-going. I've been doing really well at this, so I'm not terribly worried about it. This is called filler, people. Still nonetheless important.
- Eat less sugar/simple carbs. I'm terrible about this. I have a major sweet tooth. I'm sure I'd have had my abs ages ago if it weren't for that. Plus I don't want to be diabetic when I'm old. I'm good about the healthy stuff, but sweets just get added on top. Not good.
- Get out more. This one has been difficult here. Knowing/hoping that my time in NC was limited, I have consciously avoided putting down any kinds of roots and have kept making connections to a minimum. Because I really, really hate breaking them. As a result, I have become exceedingly boring. That won't do.
- Don't forget to play. Another perennial item on my resolutions: I have missed music terribly. I'm not even in the habit of listening to much of it anymore. Half of my usernames around the web have "music" in them because it used to mean something.
- Goddamn, I'm only half-way there? This is getting rough. I do need to read more. This is a strange one for me since even when I'm barely reading anything at all it's pretty safe to say that I'm still reading more than the average illiterate American. I use the term "illiterate" in a figurative manner, of course, not to show prejudice against the actually illiterate, but to illustrate my contempt for those who can read and don't. Trust me: those of us who do read can tell.
- Get better at telling stories. And I don't mean the made-up ones. I mean telling my own stories in general conversation. I've noticed that especially here in the south people connect by telling little stories about their experiences, and they always have one ready. It makes things more interesting.
- Continue learning other languages. At some point over the last few years I have started or continued Spanish, French, German, Latin, Greek, and Italian (in approximate order of effort). I should keep going on these.
- Get a frickin' passport already. What's the point of the languages if I can't use them?
- Community service. I used to do this a lot more and kinda miss it. I've looked into a few opportunities here, but the ones I'm interested in don't usually fit with my schedule. I need to work some in.
- Be more organized. In a lot of ways, including electronically, but also in my writing, in my closet, and at work. I'm not bad at this. But there's always room for improvement.
- Be vulnerable. Watch this. Seriously, watch it. My good friend Dan Stahl sent that to me. I have a tendency to avoid situations in which I am vulnerable. My mantra/goal for the last few years has been to strike out from a place of strength. It is a big part of the reason why I moved to NC, not NYC. It doesn't mean being stupid, but it means taking more risks.