Resolutions

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is a wonderful time for family. Sometimes too much family. Okay, I did really enjoy the chance to see my parents and my brother (one brother couldn’t make it home due to being in a foreign country). I do enjoy spending time with my family, even my dad.

A contemplative man.

Pictured: a real father

My father always comes up with these things that he loves to talk about without finding a resolution to. For him, the question tends to hold more importance than the resolution, even the idea that there might be an answer or resolution isn’t always a positive thing, since the question is something we can discuss, well, for forever. One of my favorite things he ever told me is that The Bible is a book of questions. This last week, we talked at length about motivation.

My motivation is sapped by being able to do easy things. If I’m stressed out, going to work is awesome, because it gives me the chance to solve several tiny problems that don’t matter much in the long run, but I’m still the go-to-can-do guy. Two people in my department of almost ten people have seniority over me, and I’ve only worked at this store since August. I like to think that I’m good at what I do – customer service, learning about products, even the organic healthy kind, isn’t too bad. Most of the people who come in are so friendly that it feels more like being part of a community than actually working some days. Then there’s Netflix.

Can't get up. Netflix and television, for me, are basically easy reading. And I love to read. Some days I’ll just sit and never stop, only getting up if I need to use the bathroom, and then I’ll bring the book with me. But Netflix takes thinking and imagination out of the picture, which is nice when you just settle down and relax for a while. To become a vegetable. But then you’re trapped, staring into the void, and it is difficult to un-veg.

For me, both of these things constitute small measures of gratification that can make important things, like writing, reading, going out and being with friends, even blogging, not seem as pressing. I mean, I already got my culture for the day, right? It allows these things, that for me are important, to fall back into an unimportant place. With all that in mind, things are sort of coming to a head for me, motivationally speaking, at a convenient time, since it’s almost the New Year and life is ripe for resolutions.

Needing Better, Getting Better

Let’s get it started then! One of the concepts behind NaNoWriMo is that you tell everyone you’re doing it so that the general public keeps you honest. Won’t blogging about current goals do the same thing?

One. Blogging. I plan to blog once a week. I know that’s a huge goal, especially since I sometimes have trouble blogging once a month, so I’m going to allow a little wiggle room, but not write down how much. Why lower expectations?

Two. Edit. People keep sending me their work to edit, and I’ve officially missed one of them (sorry Emily), and still haven’t started someone else’s…eight? No, seven poems. I just counted. Now, these are things I do out of the kindness of my heart, but they also are excellent practice, a good thing to do for friends, and shit, most of my friends are good writers, so it’s a pleasure to edit them. The subsection of this is I need to keep editing my own work. I’ve finally started entrusting my favorite novel to the writing group I attend and their feedback has been excellent. At this rate, I will have my novel fully edited in one year, which is a bit too much time for me. My plan is to extrapolate from the notes my group gives me, and then start submitting exclusively the chapters that really need work. Until then, they go in order.

Best friends seventeen years laterThree. Socialize. This is going to be the most difficult one for me, but I have a ton of friends, and not many of them can pretend to be an extrovert like me. That means that neither of us picks up the phone to call the other and I want that to change. Since I think it would be rude to make someone call me, I better damn well call them. I’ve had a bunch of friends leave Bellingham recently, and I want to enjoy spending as much time with the ones who are still here as I can.

Four. Dancing. I’m including work out in this one, because part of what makes a good dancer is having a strong body that can be in control of its movements. Of course that would mean also regularly practicing, organizing music, and in general set myself on the path to becoming a tango guru.

Five. Dream. While I was in Argentina my friend, Pummy, came down on her way to dance in Antarctica. Also, while in Argentina, I realized how much I loved the culture, the tango, the country and desperately wanted to learn more. I realized how little I felt like I knew my own country. So, I decided that I wanted to begin saving money to take a trip across the United States and dance tango in all the states. I figure, eventually it would make a great books, since I always have trouble finding a plethora of great tango books that look at the culture and effect that the dance has on the people. Most of the books I’ve perused seem to get caught up in the passion and romance, which the dance definitely has, but it wouldn’t be the same without the people.

I Wish You All the Luck in the World

And that’s the wrap for 2013. A ramble about motivation that ends in resolutions! I’m setting up a sticky note brigade to remind me of all the things I ought to do, and to keep a record of blog post ideas as they come to me. See you all in the future!

Sticky Notes!