Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Another Resolution Post: What Are The Odds That I Complete This List?

Back on July 1st I made a few half year resolutions. Some have been checked off the list, a few have been amended, and others have yet to be achieved. So now is both and obvious and a perfect time to go through that list again and make those changes and/or recommitments. So, here we go. First will be listed the original resolution (A) which will be followed by the current incarnation or update (B).

1A. 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.

1B. Thus far, no improvement has been made. While I am getting more sleep and staying active, my weight has stayed the same and my horrible habits have remained. Now that a few things have fallen into place and a new, healthier routine has been established it is time to recommit. Thankfully, I am not alone in this journey and I will now join my wife (who is much better off than I am at this point) in making the necessary changes so that she is stuck with me for a good long time.

2A. 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.

2B. I have been able to keep this resolution to this very day and I have every intention of carrying it through 2014 and beyond. While time consuming, this rigid schedule has forced me to keep writing and not fall into silence like I have in the past. It has also been nice to be able to look back and see all that has happened and all the experiences that I’ve had during the year (well, at least since late May).   

3A. 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.
3B. This hasn’t happened yet. We are still in the same apartment but we have shortened our lease to 6 months so, hopefully by June, you will be reading about the hassles of moving and looking at pictures of our new dwelling. Stay tuned.

4A. 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."
4B. Done. While the journey to my new position started around the time this blog was birthed, it finally became a reality in October. It’s safe to say that I will not be renewing this exact resolution in 2014. However, finding a good side writing job would be nice. Maybe something involving this blog. Who knows but I will work on a few angles and keep you posted on the progress.

5B. Yes, I made it through my first full year as a Rotarian back in August. However, as had been discussed may times, there have been a number of changes in my Rotary involvement. Thankfully, my club has stood by me and supported me every step of the way which has given me the luxury of time to figure out what my new role should be. This is something that is requiring a great deal of thought and planning and will, I am certain, result in a course of action that will be both fair and beneficial to all concerned. Again, a work in progress (notice the pattern yet).

6A. 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.
6B. Well, check all of the above goals off the list. Of course, there have been a few other things added. With my new duties and responsibilities it is definitely going to be a challenging and interesting year. As they say, sometime the best way to learn is by doing and I am going to do as much as possible including: earning Academy of Masonic Knowledge Credits (I want to AT LEAST reach level three by the end of the year), Royal Arch, work with the Worshipful Master on new lodge programs, and be the first line signer on at least two blue lodge petitions and 3 Scottish Rite petitions. The new goals have now been set!

7A. 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.  
7B. Definitely a work in progress. At this point it is more a matter of organization and time rather than information. I have the lines outlined and all the supporting documents, it is simply a matter of presenting it in such a way that it can be easily understood so the process can be streamlined as much as possible. I will keep you all up to date as to when I hear anything back. However, this resolution comes with a rather large expansion in that other applications that I would like to submit this year include The German Society of Pennsylvania, The Irish Society, and Monacan Indian Tribe Application (just to name a few). Updates will also be provided for each as well as the potential for trips and events which may make it into posts.
8A. 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.  
8B. While I have continued to write and present in other formats, the reading never took place. Finding the time to submit to publications has been nearly impossible but something that I will have to make the time for over the next year. Whether it will be in the poetry genre is uncertain as it looks, at this point, that much of it will be research based and possibly some reviews, opinions, and reporting (photography is also a possibility). I will occasionally provide updates of current and pending publications.

9A. 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.
9B. This will always be a journey of exploration without end. So all that can really be done is to recommit to this resolution on an annual basis so that is exactly what I am doing right now.

10A. 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).
10B. My wife and I were able to travel to and explore many great places last summer and I continue to travel in the coming year. While there are a few tentative trips planned for 2014, nothing as of yet is set in stone. The basic goal for the year is to go to 10 new places (places that I have never been to before not just new to this blog). While most will be personal trips with my wife, some may be work related while others may be the result of my Masonic travels. Hopefully it will be another year of exploration and discovery which will far surpass 2013.

So, those are both the results of my midyear resolutions and my edits thereof to be applied to 2014. All are reasonable commitments to make for a twelve month period and things that can easily be accomplished so long as I remain focused and committed to their fulfillment. Keep reading every day to see if I am making progress and let me know if you may want to assist me in completing this list. Now that I have posted my resolutions, what does your 2014 list look like?