Nothing Special, Really

Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolute This!

After being away for almost 2 weeks, my apartment never looked so good, cat-vomit on the carpet and everything. I'm hesitant to call it a vacation but I feel a bit rejuvinated anyways. Now, back to your irregularly scheduled blog post.

New Year's Resolutions are dumb. 90% of them are about losing weight, and it's retarded to try to start losing weight at this time of the year. By this time, you're already in a pattern of eating like shit for 2 straight weeks, you probably don't live in a place where you can go outside to exercise, and you probably lack the motivation to travel in the cold to a gym. There's not really much more to do in January other than be lazy & eat. And regardless of all that, why wait until January to start making changes? You're probably already aware of how unhappy you are about your body, so why not start right away? Same thing with trying to quit smoking - if you know in November that you want to quit, then don't spend 2 months filling your lungs with more cancer just because you're waiting for the new year.

I made a comment to Wac sometime last week about how I thought that the quote "Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again yet expecting different results" was a stupid quote at first, but that I started seeing the truth of it more recently. New Year's Resolutions are a perfect example of that truth - many people commit to these resolutions without changing what's prevented them from making the change in the first place. You're not going to lose weight unless you commit to changing your diet & exercise. You're not going to quit smoking unless you stop your desire to smoke. You're not going to get out of debt unless you plan a budget & start sacrificing unnecessary expenses. I don't think there's anything wrong with starting new goals at the beginning of the year, but I just think it's silly to think that "this year is going to be different" when you're still doing the same thing.

With that said, I have 5 goals for 2008. Before you label me a hypocrite, I'd like to point out the following:

1. Many of these goals are continuations of actions that I've taken this year.
2. In most cases, I've already started making changes to reach these goals
3. I'm not calling these New Year's Resolutions

So here they are:

Maintain My Blood Sugar

Christmas was a disaster. We started off doing well on the AZ leg of the trip, even purchasing our own groceries, which saved us both calories & money. But I still splurged more than I should have (although it's tough to resist my mom's chicken & dumplings). California was even worse. Wac's parents were gracious enough to buy me sugar free candy & ice cream, but those hardly saw the light of day as they were surrounded by all things covered in chocolate. Breakfast was usually carbs, carbs & more carbs, and the coup de grace of it all was our final meal together at a Mexican restaurant that not only had unlimited chips & salsa but also unlimited freshly made tortillas. To their credit though, it wasn't like this was all pushed down my throat; I hardly put up anything resembling resistance.

Like any other life change I've made, I've been less focused on controlling my diabetes. I'm still doing well, and I can see that many of the changes I started making are still working. But I've still got room to improve, and there's not much else in my life that's more important to my health. All other goals are meaningless if I'm not healthy enough to enjoy them.

Pay Off Three Credit Cards

Next to my health, my finances are the biggest hinderance from allowing me to live the life that I'd like to. 2007 was less about reducing my debt than it was about learning to live within my means. I didn't quite fail at that, but I wasn't very successful either. However, I still made progress, especially in terms of planning. I've sketched out my budget through 2010, and I'm able to finally see when progress will be made, and it starts this year. My car will be paid off in August, giving me a little more flexibility. And although the sum of the three cards is less than $2000, I'll be able to rid myself of three credit card payments. Just being able to say that seriously gets me excited (and not in the way that you're probably thinking, you sicko).

Travel To Chicago

Wac wants to move there someday. I'm not too sure that I do, but I told her that I'd give it a fair chance. We were supposed to go there last year but we couldn't afford it. This year we're making it more of a priority, with plans to go there in August. We're committed to going there at least 3 times before we start making any plans - once when it's nice, once when it's hot, and once when it's cold. I'm not concerned about adapting to the weather as I am starting over in a new city - I'm where I want to be. Wac's not unhappy here either, but just I had spent most of my life in the same place, this is the only place that she's know since she started college, and I know about that desire to go somewhere else. So there's no harm in at least checking it out, and there's many more worse places that she'd want to live.

Rediscover The Concept Of Nightlife

This is a tough one. The biggest obstacle to this is the financial aspect - finding time to go out or figuring out what to do is much easier than trying to afford it. One of things I love about this city is the array of concerts we get up here, yet I can hardly afford many of them, and it's even harder to budget them when the tickets go on sale within days of the announcement. We live close to several great bars, but drinking is a drain on my wallet & works against my diabetes. My biggest hobby, poker, makes me anti-social & a recluse. And now, I have to battle my new addiction - Guitar Hero. Nevertheless, I want to put an emphasis on going out. Just not on Wednesday nights, since that's when Lost returns.

Improve My Relationships

When I first moved up here, I struggled with the effect that the physical distance between my friends & I had on our relationships. I was naive in thinking that I'd be able to keep my friendships the same living 1700+ miles away, and I underestimated the impact that proximity has on friendships in general. But after being back in AZ, I know that there's no reason to fret. If I can be gone for over a year, then come back & feel like I'm picking up where I left off, then I'll be OK.

But that doesn't mean that improvement isn't something I shouldn't strive for. I still feel disconnected from some friends, I've lost contact with many others, and I hardly make an attempt to visit friends even in my own city. I know I'm not a bad friend, but I'm not as good of a friend I used to be, regardless of how close or how far I live from them. I recently just got back in contact with a friend who I haven't seen in almost a year. She lives 4 miles away from me. We're both partially responsible for this, but there's no reason why that should happen between us, or between me & any of my friends.

As for family, that's something else. We're a disconnected family partially by design. In my case, I'm 11 years younger than my next youngest sibling, I have vastly differeny ideals & interests than most of my family, and we all have our own relationships and\or families that we're trying to manage as well. I can wish & hope & even try to make a stronger connection with my family, but it's more difficult with them because there's less to connect on - in some cases, our relation is really the only thing we share in common.

Again, though, that doesn't mean it's not worth trying, which is something I can't really say that I've done very well. My calls to them are less & less frequent, to the point that they're hardly made outside of birthdays. I still don't even know when my nieces' & nephew's birthdays are. But, above all, I just need to have a better attitude towards our relationships. For years, I never connected with my family because I focused on our differences. It's time to move past that & focus on what makes us the same - the fact that we are family. There doesn't need to be any other reason than that. I'm not naive enough to expect perfection - I know that'll never be the case. But I don't need to wait until one of them has a birthday to call them - I can call them just because they're my family.

Happy New Year to everyone. I'll have another post up later this week.


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