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First month of 2012

Christmas is a distant speck in my rear-view mirror, and we are already most of a month into 2012.  I wouldn’t really say I have any “resolutions” for the New Year, but I do have some goals.  It is odd how the completely arbitrary change over of a calendar causes me to re-examine my life, but I will take advantage of it.  It is time to give some thought to what I want to focus on in the next year.

 

Things I intend to do in 2012

  • Spend 25% less money:  2010 and 2011 were incredibly expensive years for Irene and I.  It wasn’t all just big things like motorbikes and new roofs, either.  I have to stop treating my depression with expenditure: both Irene and I want to at least have the option of retiring before 65, and unless we decrease our current burn rate significantly, Freedom 95 starts to look optimistic.  It is important to note that I don’t say “spend no money”- Irene and I want to still enjoy our lives.  Interestingly, I said something very similar last New Years, but this time I’m going to make it stick
  • Get lots of motorcycle riding in: I had a ton of fun and experienced a fair amount of personal growth as a result of my motorcycle rides last year.  During 2011, I put nearly 24,000 km on my motorbike.  I intend to keep that up: not necessarily the same mileage, but lots of trips.  However, I’ll be looking for ways to minimize what my longer rides cost- I’ll probably be buying a tent and a sleeping bag, for example, and stopping in campgrounds instead of hotels at least part of the time
  • Be prepared for unpleasant work changes: My career is jeopardy.  My employer doesn’t have much room for technologists who don’t want to travel 50% of their time, and even less for technologists from North America who make substantially more than their Indian counterparts. I don’t expect my job to be the same, or possibly even exist, within the next year.  Irene and I need to be ready for a substantial reduction in our circumstances
  • Find ways to be more at peace: I might lose my job, or reach the point where I can’t tolerate staying.  If that happens, Irene and I will have to give up a great deal, most likely including our house.  And that’s just the “small” stuff- life is happening all around, and much of it isn’t pleasant.  The problem isn’t all of this “stuff” that is happening- the problem is that I dwell too much on eventualities I can’t be certain of and frankly have little to no control over, and not enough on the good fortune I have already
  • Write regularly in my personal journal:  I’ve found over the last few years that problems, aggravations, and worries lose their power when I write them down in my journal.  The process of writing the thoughts down causes me to formalize my concerns, and it put problems in a different perspective.  And maybe writing things down forms a kind of “resolution” or closure, allowing me to put some issues to rest that otherwise reside perpetually in my  mind.  I usually write regularly for a couple of months, then get out of the habit, picking it up again months or  years later.  I will do better this year
  • Keep on struggling with my weight: I’d like to find a healthy balance of sorts, but I definitely haven’t yet.  I managed to get my weight down to about 180 pounds by May of 2011.  By August, I was over 190.  As of January 2012, I am 200 pounds: 10 pounds heavier than New Years of 2011.  I know why: I don’t like exercise, and I eat for comfort.  l don’t expect any great changes this year, but I don’t want to give up the fight

I’d also like to say that I’ll communicate more with my friends and family, or that I’ll spend some time making new friends and acquaintances: such thoughts are inspiring, but I know they are a struggle against the deepest parts of my nature.  I need to pick my battles: that’s what the list above is intended to document.

    2 comments to First month of 2012

    • Shane

      That was a nice read Unc…I think a lot of your goals, are very similar to a lot of other folks. Spend less, eat less, exercise more. All of which are incredibly hard to do.

      And speaking from personally experience, downsizing isn’t so bad, it’s a little rough at first, but a year or so later, you forget about it, and life goes on 🙂

      We “downsized” for over a decade, and If anything, it made the tiny accomplishments, that much more rewarding.

      Besides, as long as you have your bike on the road, who cares if you live under an overpass? ;P

    • Thanks for commenting, Shane! Yeah, nothing amazing in my annual list, rather similar (with the exception of the work stuff) to my previous lists, and likely pretty much the same next year, and the year after 😉 I like to think I make some progress each year, if not specific to my goals, then at least in a positive direction.

      This year will be harder than most. My work / career is really up in the air, and no matter what happens it will be stressful. I can’t really change that, but I can change how I react to it. I’ve been reading a few books on dealing with depression and on mental health strategies like mindful meditation. And I’ve observed direct evidence that light exercise improves my mood. Maybe I can leverage these things this year?

      I’ve been sizing up a really nice shipping crate, with a view of a rail yard. I’m pretty sure I can make the downpayment, but the strata fees will likely put it out of reach 😉

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