Tuesday, January 01, 2008

200 Posts, But Not That Many Resolutions

This marks my centennial post on the blog, and somehow it seems fitting that it would come on the first day of the new year. Today, I'd like to share some of my resolutions for the coming year (at the end of the year -- or next week -- I'll give an update on how well I'm doing with them).

Keep on watching, enjoying, teaching, and learning from my two little ones. The youngest is almost to the point where she can start walking and talking, and the oldest is far enough along that she's starting to ask questions about everything -- chiefly "Why?" During the past month, a lot of the why questions have dealt with the infant Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the angels, and she's also been curious about a lot of things going on in the world around her. It's a fun phase in which to see them both, but it's going to get more and more challenging; case in point, I had to try and explain to MB for the first time today about when people die and go to Heaven. I think I botched it to a large extent, mostly because I'm used to taking complex issues and boiling them down for folks involved in business and government -- I don't even feel remotely ready to take complex issues and boil them down for a child. Maybe there's a book on answering your kids questions out there somewhere...

Blog more. This blog is very therapeutic for me -- it gives me further practice and honing my writing skills, and also allows me to throw out ideas and thoughts that I have and try to flesh them out. 200 posts in two years isn't nearly enough, though, and so I want to get into the habit of much more writing and reflection (a hope that also applies to my off-line journal that I've been keeping for 26 years!).

Read more diversely. I tend to read in the same genres, and the same authors, all the time. This past year, I started to branch out into a few new areas for me, and I want to expand it this year. My big goal is to get through much of the writing of Yukio Mishima, Abe Kobo, and several other giants in the world of Japanese literature (in the English translations, of course). I also want to spend more time reading theological works, and learn more about other religions and denominations. I'm recognizing that my little insular Episcopal world doesn't answer all of my questions anymore -- but I'm not going anywhere; I think I can be a better Episcopalian -- and Christian -- by bringing more of a global understanding into my pew each Sunday.

Do more volunteer work. This in some ways ties into the global understanding aspect of the previous resolution. Our church, and many of our friends, are involved in a lot of different areas of volunteerism -- working at an overnight shelter for the homeless, teach English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, running a clothing bank for those looking for jobs, etc. And while A. and I provide financial support in a few areas, there hasn't been much at all in the way of direct, hands-on work. If I'm going to get more of a worldview, I need to spend more time out in the world. There are incredible numbers of organizations here in the D.C. and Northern Virginia area that are very deserving, and in great need of financial and practical assistance. I just need to find a way to get involved in them.

Be a more patient husband. I've been quick in the last year to point out to A. that she is sometimes too quick to lose her patience with our oldest -- but isn't my pointing that out to her a sign that I'm too quick to lose my patience with her? She said on her blog that she needs to work on patience; I don't think it's such a bad thing for me to work on as well.

And now, a few more crazy resolutions:
  • Going with my sister on an overnight tour of the Waverly Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, one of the most haunted spots in the county.
  • Breaking a score of 100 in golf -- and that would be breaking it below 100; I've got the above 100 mastered.
  • Get so far ahead in our housework that it only takes 20 minutes a day to tidy everything up (or is that even possible???).

Happy New Year!


Dad said...

Don’t worry about “botching” the explanations to the little ones – they will ask again. Each time the answers will become clearer to them – and to you, perhaps! Then, one day, they will discover that you don’t know it all and that you are not perfect. I remember those days when you and your siblings discovered that I wasn’t perfect. Just try to answer their questions as best you can, as simple as you can. Isn’t that the way God is with us? We want answers to life’s problems and He sends explanations in various ways, some of which we will never fully understand. But He still wants us to know that He loves us beyond measure – just like you love your girls.

I’m so glad you are growing in your faith! You have discovered a great truth – “my little insular Episcopal world doesn't answer all of my questions anymore.” Isn’t it interesting that you have questions, just like your girls!

Housework CAN be done in 15 minutes a day! Imagine that! Here’s the secret – it has to be 15 minutes EACH day. Just set a timer for 15 minutes, then start cleaning – perhaps at one side of a room. When the timer stops, you stop the cleaning. Next day, start where you left off – again with only 15 minutes set aside. It works! Even with those massive bookshelves you must have, just start cleaning.

One of my goals for this year is to try to get more of those “little stories” of my family and my childhood written down for you and your siblings. I have lots and lots of “ideas” for stories, but finding the time to write them down seems to be a problem. Hey, here’s a thought – if I can spend 15 minutes a day cleaning, why can’t I spend another 15 minutes a day writing? What a “novel” idea!

I do hope you accomplish your goals for this year – yes, even golf! I might even set a goal just to watch a golf game on TV! Just try not to spread yourself too thin. Remember the sequence – God first, family second, everything else third (or fourth or fifth). I wish you well in your quest.

rdl said...

Like your resolutions; cept the clean the house in 20 min. one - get real man, you're living with 2 lil children. :D

Sarah R. said...

We must not chicken out on the Waverly Hills trip. Although...I may need a shot of liquid courage before we go in there for 8 hours!!