Because, as always, it’s good to write them down.
A few months ago my mom brought me my last box of childhood stuff. Sifting through it with my daughters (who found the box fascinating – especially the many sketchpads full of drawings), a few thoughts really stood out.
- I really was a fine arts nerd. The box brimmed with poems, stories, theater awards, art projects, and letters.
- I started a lot of stories. Rarely finished them.
- I clearly had a thing for Rob Liefeld. I mean, I know people generally think of him as a proportionally challenged, but his comic book heroes must have been easy to copy. Liefeldesq superheroes littered all my papers. With a bit of Jim Lee thrown in as well.
- I had a sense of earnestness that makes me smile. I’d qualify that statement with “lack of experience”, but by my freshman year of college I had lived and bummed around South America a good bit. So while the stories and poems read pretty fresh, I don’t think them naive.
All of which is a round about way of saying I had a classic adult looking at younger self moment: What the hell happened to that guy?
That’s not to say I’m disappointed in my current stage of life. But in the last decade and a half I definitely became more analytically and, I guess, pragmatic. The fine arts nerd doesn’t come out to play as much. And that sort of bugs me.
So, just like every year, I’m setting a goal to write more. But not just reflective, blogging style posts. I’d like to tackle a story or two. Lord knows I have enough of them rolling around in my head.
Once a Month Dinner with Friends
This is a joint goal with my wife. Life is stupid busy. Work, church, gymnastics, and raising family. Engaging moments with friends – be they new or old – seem to get pushed to the side. Renee and I trend introvert, which is all the more reason we tend to let this slide. This is an area of life that feels unbalanced. Consequently, in 2015 we resolve to find at least one night of the month where we get a babysitter and meet up with other folk.
Walk, Every Day
I actually started this in 2014, but I’m looking to continue it in 2015. I have a job that is not physically demanding. Sometimes I feel the computer screen sucking away any remaining youthful vigor. Throw in the fact that the big 4 zero is just a few years away and I find myself increasingly aware of the need to exercise. Good for the body and good for the spirit. Plus the dogs think I’ve become the best pet owner ever.
I also plan to lift weights and do arm bands. A constant source of pain for me is my upper back, neck, and arms. Hopefully such activities will allow me to keep chipping away at goal number 1.
Model Better Behaviors for my Kids
Specifically, digital behaviors. I find myself taking my phone out at the table, checking news feeds, answering email, and generally putzing on my smartphone when I should be engaged in conversing with my children and wife. I think every parent has moments of guilt over this. I really do want to be more intentional about setting the gizmos aside. My oldest is quickly entering the teen years where, I’m told, any fatherly influence starts to tank. I really want my kids to become happy and caring adults. Part of that means paying attention to people around you.
Embrace (or at least be okay with) Uncertainty
I’m a planner. I like knowing what’s around the corner. I have to consciously calm myself in the face of uncertainty. This past year I got to deal with random, crazy bouts of vertigo (thank you BPPV). This next year I get a new boss. My kids are unpredictable. Life, by its nature, serves curve balls. I’m trying to learn how to handle such pitches with peace. Journaling helps, as does blogging, as does reading the Book of Common Prayer (The Hours). The goal is to fine tune the toolkit.
Those are the top 5 for 2015. They’re not necessarily professional goals (I’ve a good bit of them as well), but they’re important. Here’s hoping 2015 is wonder filled.
I love you. Can I say that on your blog? For everyone to see? You are a wonderful husband and father and son. Here’s to a great year!