Begin with the insights of Marcus Aurelius:
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore guard accordingly.”
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question, what fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize.”
Quality thinking. And Humility. The main goals for 2020.
But now on to some specifics! In no particular order.
Write More. And Better.
2019 featured a considerable amount of writing. That said, I doubt the quality of such writing. Part of this lack of quality is the nature of the gig. To some extent, expediency is favored over judiciousness. My goal is to use edlightenment as a means for more depth.
Start and Build “The Aphorism Project”
I have this habit of reading and rereading Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists. It’s becoming dogeared, with random notes written in the margins. I’ve wanted to start an aphorism project for some time. Not just underlining and quick thoughts, but more qualitative thoughts on the aphorisms. Perhaps even memorize some of them.
An excellent goal to supplement “write more and better.”
Focus on our Marriage
2020 will bring our 19th year of marriage. I love my wife deeply (and really can’t imagine a life without her). We are in this odd moment of life where our (very challenging) children are becoming moderately self-sufficient. We can leave them at home and they can manage. They don’t necessarily need constant supervision.
I love my children. But raising children is hard. Raising adoptive children, with their chasms of hurt, is particularly hard.
I cannot imagine making such a journey without a partner to share the joys and the sorrows. To face such a life, we need more dates.
Thus my goal for 2020 is to have many dates with my favorite person in the world.
Be a Goofy Father. Laugh more with my Children.
I need to improve in this area, especially with my son. Diego is in the most awkward of ages (middle school boy to manhood) and requires patience. The prefrontal cortex isn’t developed yet. This is a normal stage of life.
Better to laugh at it then get frustrated.
This means everything from eating better (keep pushing the slow march to a vegetarian diet), exercise (running and core – no dad body for me come 2021!), and growing the habit of meditation.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I actually feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Not suffering the effects of celiac disease (because I know I have it!), having time to get frequent exercise, and living in a city blessed with many parks is great way to feel good.
Give Thoughtfully. Give More.
I’ve spent some time recently reading and listening to Pete Singer and the ideas of Effective Altruism. I want 2020 to be a year where we examine our giving (how much we do and don’t do, who or what do we give to).
Grow Meaningful Friendships
This is an area of life I will likely always want to improve. The seasonality of our lives (young man, college, first jobs, fatherhood, moving, job changes, and on and on) creates opportunity for growing relationships. But I almost feel that we as a society are a little bit stunted in knowing how to do this, especially given how we fill our lives with the many distractions of modernity. Perhaps that’s just me.
Listen Better. Engage in Challenging Conversations. Work Towards an Understanding of a Common Good.
I believe civics (in the broadest sense of the word) is facing a pretty shitty uphill climb for the near future. I could, have, and will write many an article on why this is the case, but suffice to say we can’t create a “more perfect society” unless we talk to each other in ways that affect outcomes for the good.
Grow Abre. Specifically, the Education/Open-Source Roots.
We’re well into year 3 of Abre and continue to work hard at growing our impact in the education market. When you’re young, growth is key (and the focus). My goal for this year is to spend a bit more quality time on the “community” aspect of Abre.
Cheers to a wonderful 2020!