Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolutions 2013

Each year at the end of December I sit down and ponder a set of New Year's resolutions. While this may label me cliché, my considerations in this area have served me well. Reflections on who we are, where we have been, and where we are going, I think are necessary to give us some direction so that we don't move through life following Brownian motion. While some may be satisfied ping-ponging around in a random fashion from season to season, I find my best strategy is to define a set of goals or boundary conditions before I set out. I want to recognize what I want and what areas of my life need my time and attention.

It is only natural that as I plot my course for the upcoming year, I take a hard look back at the preceeding year to see how well I achieved the goals that I laid out. Today I share with you my findings. Certainly baring myself in this manner will allow you to see into me more deeply than I am comfortable, but maybe someone will get something out of this that will make this worthwhile. You will note that I tend to trip and fall more than I succeed. That does not necessarily indicate defeat. If I give my best or even a reasonable effort and fail, I can still live with that failure. It is the failures due to my own laziness or ineptness that frustrate me and pull me down. Anyway, here is my list of 2013 resolutions with a brief commentary for each item.
  • To go out on at least two dates - Once again it was a date-less year. However, I did take a friend's advice and planted a few seeds. Who knows what will germinate and bloom in the future?
  • To exercise the whole year - I did very well with my exercising throughout the year. The only days I missed were due to sickness and when my machine broke and I had to wait for replacement parts.
  • To consistently take smaller portions on my dinner plate - I failed completely on this and I lacked discipline from start to finish.
  • To make several new friends - I was feeling like this had been a complete failure until my pastor started inviting me pretty regularly to meet over coffee. Also I am working to develop a friendship with a couple at my church and had them over to dinner late in the year.
  • To grow closer to my daughter - I do not feel like I was especially successful here. Part of the issue as our children age is that they are, by design, growing more and more independent. I always feel like I am struggling to let go of the young child that I knew. Also it does not help that she lives only part of the time with me. Being apart so often does not lead to depth in a relationship.
  • To embrace adventure and living to a higher degree - I would say that I failed almost completely in this area. As I get older, I find that I am becoming more and more satisfied to hide out at home after work.
  • To find some degree of happiness and peace - I think that I healed a bit this year in part due to the passage of time when the emotions and the memories naturally dissipate, but also due to a more concerted effort of focusing less on myself. I still have a long way to go before I can claim anything sustainable, but maybe there has been some progress.
Now I will prepare my list of resolutions for 2014 and plan to give my best effort to be successful on each. Win, lose, or draw, the key is to keep trying.