Welcome to 2017, Part the Second

Look  I’m doing it!  I blogged two days in a row!  Yay!

(You laugh, but that will look like a major accomplishment in August when I haven’t posted anything since January.)

This post not about writing, though, so I will leave that there all alone and sad and move on to the topic of tonight’s post, which is “things that I want to do in 2017 that don’t involve writing.”

I guess it’s a New Year’s Resolutions post, but it’s not, really.  I’m not resolving to do these things in 2016, I’m just putting them out there and saying I’d like to do them if I can ever get around to finding the thought of motivating myself to do them.  As I do, now and then.

This is kinda inspired by Wil Wheaton’s ongoing effort to reboot his life.  It’s my own half-assed effort to do the same.  If I actually do these things I will certainly change my life in some major ways.  I look at these as more like big-picture signposts.  Things I would like to head toward and accomplish, if not this year, then further down the road.

1.  I want to write.  I talked about that last night.  Go read what I said.  I’m not going to go over it all again when I said it all so beautifully 22 hours ago.

2.  I want to read.  I had a Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 45 books in 2016.  I read 48 books, and listened to 31 audiobooks, for a grand total of 79 books read.  #nailedit  This year I set my goal at 60.

I have a very specific plan of what I want to read in 2017.  I am currently reading SK Dunstall’s very excellent Linesman trilogy.  After I finish that I am going to read James SA Corey’s Expanse series, currently at 6 novels (with #7 coming out later this year) and a few novellas/short stories.  I have never read the books, but I enjoyed the TV series last year and am looking forward to season 2 of that, as well.

After I finish that, I’m going to embark on a full-blown Brandon Sanderson re-read.  He is one of my favorite authors, and Elantris in particular had some very heavy influence on my own early writing efforts.  I want to re-read what I have read before and catch up on everything I haven’t.  That should manage to take me the rest of 2017, if not into 2018.  Sanderson has some doorstoppers.

There will be some Dan Wells in the mix too.  I think he has books coming out this year in two of his ongoing series.  On the audiobook front, I am currently hip-deep in a re-listen of the Wheel of Time.  Speaking of doorstoppers and Brandon Sanderson.  I see no reason that will not last until 2032 or so.

3.  Improve my physical well-being through a combination of diet, exercise, and sleep.  I do pretty well with my diet, but there are things I can improve on, like portion control.  Sometimes, I just eat too much.  I can do better.  I also have a major chicken minis addiction that probably needs to be controlled.

I also need to do better with my exercising.  I was running pretty regularly last year but just got out of the habit and, as with all things, once I stopped, I stopped.  I want to get back to running at least three days a week and maybe start doing other exercises as well.  If I thought I would go, I would join a gym, but I don’t trust myself to use it once I’ve paid for it.  I’m not making enough money to pay for a gym membership that I never use.

I’d like to be able to get more sleep.  More than a lot of other things on this list, this one is solely on me and my choices.  Since I was 15 years old, maybe longer, I have had the ability to get by on 4-5 hours of sleep a night.  That’s getting harder to do as I am getting older–and that’s a difficult admission to make–but I keep trying, to my increasing detriment.  I have to get up at 4:30 am for my job these days, and I usually go to bed at 11:30 or 12:00.  It’s hard, and it’s getting harder.  I am just so used to staying up late, though.  To get even six hours of sleep I’d have to get in bed by 10:00 to drift off by 10:30.  That seems impossible.  I’ve never gone to bed that early.  This one is going to take a lot of legit work and may not even be in the cards for this year.

My ultimate physical goals are to run a 5K in under 30 minutes, a 10K in less than an hour, and lose 40 pounds–and maintain that loss.  I’m not sure those things will come this year, but i can make a start towards them.  My long-term-secret-secret goal is to get in good enough shape to run a Spartan Race.  And my back says, yeah, right.

4.  Improve my psychological/emotional well-being.  I’ve been saying for years that I could benefit from counseling or therapy but I never make the effort to find a provider and go.  I have some deep-seated insecurities and self-esteem/self-confidence issues that go back to high school and even earlier.  My emotions atrophied when I was a teen and my emotional development was extremely stunted for a variety of reasons.  In some ways I have never recovered from the things that I put myself through back then.  It still affects my life on an almost daily basis.  I’ve never been diagnosed (easy to say, since I’ve never gone for evaluation), but I’m sure I have some depressive issues, probably some anxiety, and some aggressive social phobias as well.  I need to talk to someone and get myself straightened out.  No idea if medication is needed, but it would probably help to find out.  Maybe 2017 will be the year I finally get around to doing it.

5.  Do other stuff.  I have an old ukulele of my brother’s that’s been leaning against my desk for two years.  I want to learn how to play it.  I want to play more games with my wife and kids.  I want to spend less time on the internet (unless I’m writing in my blog!).  I want to have a fantasy football team that doesn’t suck when it gets to the playoffs and that has running backs that stay healthy.

6.  Rebuild my interpersonal networks.  I have good friends I haven’t seen in years, some of whom have kids I have never met.  I want to reconnect with my brother and his family.  I want to spend time with my dad when he comes back to town.  I want to be in the lives of the people I love again.  I want to be a better friend, a better brother, a better son, a better husband, a better dad, a better person.

You know, all the easy stuff.

It’s not going to be easy.  That’s a lot to throw out there and hope for.  I’m pretty sure it can’t all be done in one year.  I can plant a seed for 2018, though.  And 2019 as well.  And 2020, and beyond.  Some of those things will never stop needing to happen, so I can draw them onto my soul with permanent ink.  Hopefully it really will be permanent and they won’t fade away.

Some of this I just want to happen.  Some if it, I need to happen.  I’ll check back in from time to time and see what kind of progress I’m making.  Wish me luck.  It’s not going to be easy.  Happy New Year.