What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

01 January 2021

Hello, 2021 (please wipe your feet)

I thought it would be a good idea to bring in the new year by getting my digital life in order, or at least making a start at it. Now, an entire workday's time later, I'm taking a break from relentless unsubscribing.

Most years, there are two predictable sets of posts throughout the blogosphere to welcome the new calendar: the resolution posts, and the I-don't-make-resolutions posts. Both kinds are endearing in their own way, I suppose, but this year I would welcome them both as a harbinger of less-interesting times. Alas, our times remain interesting, and are likely to be so for some time to come.

I searched "goal" on free images, and got this. 1) They're not wrong; and 2) this is exactly the kind of metaphor I was looking for and didn't even know it. Photo by Julie Elliott-Abshire from FreeImages.

As for me, I am toying with a few goals for the year, but am in no hurry to get them set. (I'm waiting on results from a COVID test, anyway, so there's a chance I have some unexpected non-working days next week to think it over.) I'll probably land on doing monthly goals, which benefit from having a shorter time frame as a built-in anti-procrastination guard. I also like Gretchen Rubin's "21 for 21" idea, and have tossed that one into the hopper to see what comes out.

I've taken the odd moment over the last couple weeks to think over some things I used to do but don't now, and the reasons why I stopped. Two big life events seem to be the main culprits, and yet not the obvious one: when I went back to university in 2010, and when I dragged myself across 1000+ miles to start a new life in Cincinnati in 2016. Of course, 2020 itself bears some of the blame, since in the past few months it's been pretty easy to justify not doing anything extra. Some of the things I've lost along the way:

  • Watching basketball games on TV. I used to love watching basketball. This one got lost when I went to UT.
  • Watching NCIS and its many spinoffs. Ditto on losing this one to higher education.
  • Training well for half marathons. This one would be easy to blame on going to UT, and that is part of the reason, but the bigger problem lies in me jumping into a marathon too soon and never being able to find the spark since. And that's been a loooooong time. Don't get me wrong, I've continued to run half marathons at least once a year from 2008 up until 2020 shut everything down, but I haven't put in that same level of effort and intention, which I used to enjoy, in about a decade. I'm not sure I know how to fix this one.
  • Reading a lot. This one fizzled after I moved to Cincinnati, and the fizzling was compounded by 2020. Doomscrolling is way too convenient (and while the term is new, for me as for many, the practice is not).
  • Writing a lot. Another Cincinnati casualty, for some reason.

Is this a starting point for 2021 goals? Perhaps. I'm unlikely to return to watching a lot of TV, my fondness for Timothy McGee notwithstanding, but I can watch one or two Pacers games a week, methinks. Or perhaps it's time to acknowledge that I accidentally had that personality change that I always joke about having not had.

Whatever your choice for 2021--lots of resolutions, one or two goals, just hanging on tight to see what comes next--I wish you all the best for a year that goes your way more often than not. Indeed, I think that's the best we can all hope for.