Archive for January, 2013

Right, then…

First, Happy New Year!  Though, as I’ve said in an earlier post, there is nothing astronomical that actually happened last night.  Time is simply a construct that man uses to understand nature; nature itself does not know anything about time.  Case in point:  You never see a Giraffe wearing a watch. 

That said we like to use this point to review the prior year and set some sort of plan for next year.  Well, not all of us, I’m sure.  I’d reckon some folks think they are living at the zenith of their existence I (“zenith” as in the highest point, not the TV set, though I’m sure there are some folks for which that would hold true, as well). 

With the upcoming year plans, folks tend to go overboard with what they want to do.  The year starts with lofty goals:  Lose 60 lbs, get a college degree, start building a boat, save $500/month, get over the ex, write that novel, feed the hungry and find a cure for the common cold.  12 months later, none of which has even been started, save for $1.67 that has been socked away for a rainy day.  This, of course, leads to an even longer list the following year.  The past couple of years, I’ve been sticking to less than 5 goals for the upcoming year.   Last year, it was 3:

  1. Continue on the path that I started in 2011.  This will include meditation, healthier eating and exercise via the 17 thousand million activities that I participate in.
  2. Hike Half Dome.  This was attempted in 2011, but was thwarted by (ironically) the only snowstorm to hit the region.
  3. Let myself off the hook more.  This involves both personal and professional flubs – as yes, they happen.  I’ve gotten better at this in the recent years, but there are still improvements to be made.  The important thing that needs to be focused on is the lesson in each failure; beating oneself up incessantly is not going to do an inch of good.


So first, a year-end review:

#1 was moderately successful.  Overall, I eat better than I did, but I still have my forays into the unhealthy, but oh so good, foods.  Exercise was taken off step due to an illness that knocked me out of commission for 3 months.  Combined with holidays, birthdays and travel, I’ve lost some ground.  I think I meditated maybe 20 times.

#2 did not happen.  I realized too late that access to Half Dome now has an added step:  Now, not only do you have to buy permits 2 months in advance, you now how to register for a lottery to buy the permits. 

#3 is what I’ve been the most successful at.  I still have had my moments when I’d let my head get wound up about things only to realize that I was wound up about effectively nothing.  But I can say that the frequency and magnitude was a lot less in 2012, so that’s a big win, I’d say.

So, what about 2013?  An interesting question as I’m entering 2013 in a state of flux.   For the past 9 months, I’ve been working at a temporary spot at a local biotech company.  Well, temporary jobs are…well…temporary, meaning that assignment ended yesterday.  The good news is that I’ll be working on a project tomorrow, with another one in queue.  I’ve also have had a phone interview with one of my customers that I’ve done work for in the past – seems that they need an EH&S guy.  If that works out, it will lead to a big change (which is good).  If not, I hear of a couple of potential spots opening up in the near future.  Also, I know that there will always be more project work.  So now it’s a matter of taking a Buddhist approach and going with the flow and not fighting what I cannot control.  Or, as renowned Buddhist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once said:  “All energy flows according to the whims of the great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him.”

So, considering that, here’s the list for 2013:

  1. Regain the health/fitness ground that was lost at the end of 2012.  I understand that this was partially my doing and partially due to uncontrollable factors, but the fix is all up to me.
  2. Improve on eating habits.  Not just work on eating more mindfully, but continue to focus on vegetables.  I’m even considering a [short] juice fast (I’ve heard they’re good to do every now and again).
  3. Be more focused about the gym, specifically weight training.  This is going to be a challenge because I’d much prefer to run than anything else.  That said, since I’ve turned 40, I’ve been told that weight training is more important in preventing all sorts of structural collapse in the later years. 
    1. As a very specific part of this, I need to work on chin-ups.  While I’m embarrassed to admit this, I’m woefully behind on this.  I can do a couple of pull-ups (underhand grip), but the chin-ups escape me. 
  4. Meditate.  For the life of me, I do not know why I don’t meditate more.  It’s not painful and I feel better after I do it, but for some reason, I have a problem with getting myself to sit quiet for 15 minutes a day. 
  5. Backpack more.  I only got out once in 2012.  A 33-mile trip, mind you, but still.  There are enough open weekends that I can haul off and go somewhere local.

…and that’s it.  In review these focus on health, wellness and fitness – not bad goals.  Not bad at all.

Happy New Year.


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