New For 2014

The new year brings with it the tradition of making goals for oneself, and it’s a tradition I uphold.  I actually believe in setting goals for oneself perpetually, but some goals take a little more force to them or are designed to have a serious change to one’s personal narrative, and it often helps to add the boost of tradition to them.

So, without a ton of ado, here are my new goals for 2014…

  1. Focus on spending good time with my wife.  It’s been easy in 2013 for the two of us to get distracted and focus on work and other things, and I want to help make sure we’re also focusing on us.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, we can find a shared hobby we like.
  2. No more writing about Paganism, at least for 2014.  I haven’t done a ton of it in the past, but my two articles on being a Pagan and an atheist brought me a little bit too close to the fire of the Pagan blogosphere.  This has coincided with watching loved ones of mine stand even closer to that fire and for longer.  It drains them and it drains me, and I’ve seen nothing but unproductive drama come from it, and I thus have some complicated feelings about the Pagan blogosphere in general.  This kinda breaks my heart a bit, because I do receive emails from young Pagans who have been encouraged to be authentic in their atheism and skepticism through my writings, and I’m glad I could offer a missing voice of comfort.  But, ultimately, I can’t live a productive and authentic 2014 if I allow myself to be concerned at all with the empty drama of the Pagan blogosphere, so I have to do it for me.  If one of my writings on tea ends up in there somehow, though, I’ll support it, because of my next resolution…
  3. More writing here in general, though, especially about my tea ceremony studies.  Looking back, I never wrote a post discussing my first experiences switching from the furo (brazier / summer) season to the ro (hearth / winter) season.  There are some practical reasons why, but I’m sad that I missed it, so I should just write here more in general.  Things that deserve a long-form treatment in my life, especially things like my work in tech, my glass art, etc, these things all kinda have fallen through.  For a blog called “Engineer, Athlete, and Atheist Pagan,” I sure short on the “Engineer” and “Athlete” part.
  4. Build better data on my exercise regimen.  I recently acquired a heavy bag for my home gym as a way to get in make-up sessions when I missed time at the boxing gym.  Since then, I’ve been doing more home workouts and fewer gym workouts.  I’m starting to realize that quitting that gym would make my workday better, mean more home gym time with my wife, save money, and possibly leave room in the week for even more activity.  I need to be more flexible in general where my exercise is concerned, but I don’t know what ways my different activities contribute to my overall fitness.  So, I really need to start building better data.  This most likely means getting some sort of body monitor device.
  5. Take a selfie every day.  Yeah, go ahead and snicker, but this resolution actually was motivated by seeing this excellent video by Laci Green.  I’m not going to go over the top about the world-changing potential of selfies.  I will, however, say that I actually struggle a lot with self-image and self-worth issues and I often feel sad that I haven’t documented my life as well as I could.  Taking a selfie every day would probably make for an interesting journey.  And, why not?  This is what personal experimentation is for, and various pundits’ clever grumbling about a “culture of narcissism” don’t sway me much.
  6. Get back in the glass studio.  I’ve seriously slacked off since I finished the main series of classes.  Without a new class to motivate me, I’ve not kept up my skills like I should.  But, there’s a class for an advanced technique called incalmo coming up in the spring, so I need to email my teacher and get myself back in good order.
  7. Go surfing once a month.  I have two great boards, and I suck with both of them because I don’t make the time to go be in the ocean…and I love being in the ocean.  I’m always letting something get in the way, and I think a good step would be to just get myself out even once a month.

Yeah, it’s a pretty frivolous list, but some years just come out that way.  I don’t have a big financial or fitness goal, but I do have some quality of life work to take on.  That’s actually been in response to a very real summation of my 2013, which is that I have become pretty professionally developed, had fitness improvements, and had a healthy bottom line, but my week-by-week life has been grinding and I have put off a lot of “me things” so much that they got put off indefinitely.

And, hey, fun and productivity are connected as far as I’m concerned.