Monday, July 1, 2013

New (Half) Year’s Resolutions


I can’t believe that we are half way through the year already. Many changes have occurred (some good, some bad) but the fact that I can’t seem to grasp the hours of each day still frustrates me. Every day there is something that gets carried over to the next making my “to do” list more of a living compilation of tasks rather than something I can simply check off and throw away.

Some people set goals in the beginning of the year but I like to be a little different and put greater emphasis on the second half of the year. Of course, there are a few certain things that are achieved in the first six months but, in the end, it’s all about how you finish the game not about how it begins. Therefore, it is now time to outline my list of goals, in no particular order, for the second half of the year.   

1.      Improve my health – isn’t this something that is, in one shape or form, on everyone’s list? For me, it really comes down to two very simple things, stop smoking and lose about 60 pounds (I have struggled with both over the years). There is an entire subset of things I could list in order to accomplish this but, again, those are the common things that everyone jots down. What is different than most is that I have to make sure to schedule regular checkups with my doctors just to keep an open line of communication and make sure I am doing things the right way.
2.      Write a blog every dayI made it through last month with only a few delays. I still got a blog out every day in June but some of them were barely under the wire. I have a blog schedule which, so far, would take me to the end of October but that is the easy part… the “hard” part is taking the time every day to write and post. To this point, I have accomplished a staggering amount of growth in a single month and I greatly appreciate the support. Thank you all for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, etc.
3.      Find a place to live – Such a basic thing to have on a list at first glance. However, there is a greater underlying factor to this which is why I have chosen to list it. We have an apartment which has served us well and we live in an area that is very familiar but we are both looking for home. We have been looking for this for a long time now and in many locations and while we have been comfortable and thought we had found it a few times it just didn’t hold up against the clock and calendar. Hopefully, we find home this year.
4.      Find a new job – Minor detail. As was posted previously, I have been seeking a new position for some time now. While it has been difficult at times I am still confident that not just a job but a career is waiting for me because it just takes one to make it happen. As the great SNL philosopher Stuart Smalley (not to be confused with the pull your hair out quote from Senator Franken) said, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me."
5.      Full year of RotaryAs was posted last week I am now the President Elect for the Rotary Club of Bala Cynywd – Narberth and there are certain things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year. I am not going to go over the whole list again in this post but, suffice to say, there are many things that I need to work on to truly make my first full year as a Rotarian a success in my eyes.  
6.      Full year as a Mason – I have only been a member of the fraternity since April and I have already gotten a tremendous amount out of Freemasonry. There are a number of personal things that I would like to achieve in this first full year and many goals that I have set for myself in this category including, just to name a few, completion of the Master Builder Award and Lodge of Research requirements as well as becoming a member of Scottish Rite. It’s going to be a busy Masonic year.
7.      Sons of American Revolution Application – This project has been put aside since the fall and it is time to “git-r-done”. Given the time of year it is especially poignant to get this done soon. I am proud of my family heritage and for me this is a great way to show it. I will be sure to write more about this process and my family’s Revolutionary past in a future post so stay tuned.  
8.      Publishing and Readings (one is already booked for November 16th in Collegeville, Pennsylvania) – If I remember correctly, it has been almost eight years since I last actively sought publication of my work. It is a very trying and tiring process that I am not particularly fond of but it’s an addiction that never leaves you so I guess it’s time to do some lines and chase the dragon once again. So, keep in mind that I may be creatively and poetically medicated moving forward. The long layoff from giving readings coincided with my vacation from publishing. If I am going to publish I have to read as well. I always enjoyed the performance side of writing because that is where you find out if a poem or story works. You feed off of the reaction, good or bad, which helps you to improve and pushes you to challenge yourself and your audience. Words on the page are just ink and paper, the experience defines the creation.  
9.     Continue to explore my faithMany changes have occurred in the past couple of months with regard to our observance but our faith has remained steadfast. The means by which we express and embrace our faith has evolved over time to something that suits us both as individuals and as a family rather than subscribing to the black and white outline of a particular branch of Judaism. While it is not for everyone it is how we connect with G-d and I look forward to exploring our faith and deepening that connection through His words and his creation.
10. Travel - I am looking forward to continuing our weekly excursions both as a way to spend time with my wife and also to explore the beauty of creation that surrounds usWe have weekly day trips planned out to last the summer and into fall but, like anything else, it is flexible and I am sure it is going to change. This is also a means to feed content to this blog and share with you some of the wonderful places that surround me in my own Commonwealth. I hope that it will encourage some of you to do the same and explore and appreciate the places that are near to you but you never took the time to visit (this is especially important for those of you who may have children).

That is my list. It may change, in fact I am certain it will, but this is a starting point in recommitting to the process of improving myself throughout this year. This is the foundation of change and the map which I can fall back on to keep myself moving forward (ING is of no use with the above goals). What are the things that you would like to work on or accomplish in the second half of 2013?