Nothing Special, Really

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wish List

My life is good. There isn't much that I want that I don't already have. I've got a wonderful girlfriend, an incredible apartment, a well-paying job, a sweet car, an adorable kitten, a group of great friends, and a hot body. OK, most of that is true. My car is only average, at best.

But the trade-off is that, while my life now is quite good, I'm not in a position to maintain this great life for a long time. There are things that I will need to change pretty soon if I want to keep living the good life. So, here's my wish list of things that I want to change (no order of importance):

1. Eating habits.

I am overweight. I have been for most of my life. Eating has been one of my favorite activities, and it ranks up there with sleeping and not being very active. I'm your typical overweight American, but I really don't care how anyone else feels about this.

But one thing that I have been thinking a lot about lately is the fact that I am at a great risk of getting Diabetes. It runs in my family, and I'm almost certain that if I continue down this path, I will get it myself.

I need to improve my eating habits, but that's so difficult when I've made a habit of eating unhealthy for so much of my life. If the possibility of getting a life-threatening disease isn't enough to help me change my ways, then I'm probably a lost cause. I'm fine with being fat for the rest of my life as long as I'm relatively healthy. But what once was an aesthetic concern is now a physical health concern, and I need to start doing something about that.

2. Hobbies

I spend a lot of time online doing random things, but none more often than playing online poker. This became an issue last summer as I blew through a lot of money playing poker, which put me into a bad spot financially, a spot that I am still working my way out of. You'd think that the logical answer would be to stop playing poker. But I haven't stopped. I've limited how much I spend when I play, but I've been playing often for the past couple of months now.

I've been hosting poker games at the apartment on a monthly basis, and quite frankly I've had more fun at those games than I ever have playing online. I do believe that I have an ability to become very good at poker, but the fact is, I'm not at a point where I can invest the time or the resources to improve my poker skills significantly.

Furthermore, my online poker hobby takes away from time I can spend doing so many other things; reading one of the 8 books I've bought in the past year, going outside (when the weather is nice), catching up with overdue phone calls to friends and family.

I've made many declarations that I'll stop playing online poker, but I think it is best for my to make an honest attempt to put online poker on a hiatus. I'll play out the rest of the money that I have in my account until it's gone, or until I win X amount of money, whichever comes first. As much as I really enjoy it, I need to realize that it's not the best way to spend my time right now.

3. Personal Hygiene

This isn't about showering, I shower daily. Well, almost daily. I use deodorant, I keep my fingernails clean. I'm not some slob. But after what the dentist told me today, I need to start taking better care of my teeth.

Within the next couple of months, I will need to have the following procedures done: four wisdom teeth pulled, a filling put on another tooth, and cleanings so extensive that they will require anesthetics. I know, it's gross, but oral hygiene was never really prioritized when I was younger, and like my eating habits, it's not really anything I think about until I notice the affects it has on my health.

So going forward, I'll be flossing MORE often than I masturbate.

4. Finances

For a number of reasons (poker, DUI, excessive spending) I have dug myself quite the financial hole. I've got dreams of buying a house and planning for retirement someday, but I'm probably looking at a minimum of 5 years before I can even begin to start saving for that. My DUI will be paid off next month, and my car has less than a year and a half left, so that will give me some wiggle room. But then I'll have to start paying on my student loans again, so it's not going to be much.

There's a couple of ways that I can cut down on expenses. I'm driving A LOT less these days, so I'm probably spending about $20 a month on gas. I'm getting a sweet deal on cable, but once the special is over I'll be canceling that and probably moving to DSL cable. But I can cut down even more if I start getting in the habit of bringing my lunch to work and cooking meals at home. We eat out more often than we should, and it's mostly due to getting so caught up in other things that we don't make it a priority to plan our meals and actually cook them. And we're good cooks too, so it's not like we're forcing ourselves to eat ramen noodles and mac'n'cheese everyday.

So, consider this a list of New Year's resolutions, albeit a couple months late. Except this isn't about just trying to accomplish a goal, it's about making significant lifestyle changes. As happy as I am with my life right now, I could be happier; more importantly, I can't guarantee that this happiness will last. Not unless I start making some wishes come true.


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