Last year was a rough one. But it was also a good one. Personally, I was inconvenienced by the pandemic, but it didn’t upend or destroy my life. In fact, I got a new job, one that I am more passionate about, and it pays better and has better benefits, and is in many ways just a better job for me. And while all that happened meant I didn’t go to the theater and see movies like I would have otherwise, ultimately, except for the not going out to eat occasionally or meeting up with friends now and then, the year was, on a completely personal level, more or less, normal.

I can’t say the same for the world at large, however. 2020 was a disaster in so many ways, and much of them were perfectly avoidable or manageable if not for the pigheadedness of the current administration and their supporters. There is just so much dumb going on, and it has cost this country hundreds of thousands of lives.

But a new administration is coming, and voter-turnout willing they’ll get a Congress they can work with when Georgia flips further blue. An administration that is ready to believe in science and facts, and to care about human lives again, regardless of their wealth. It can, in my humble opinion, only get better. I hope I never see a worse administration than 45’s, because if there is one I don’t think this nation would survive it.

A vaccine is here. Several of them in fact. And hopefully that means in six months, when it is wide spread, life can get back to normal. Though, to be honest, I might keep wearing masks and taking some other precautions. Since March, when I started working from home and avoiding crowds and contact, I haven’t gotten sick. No flu. No colds. I’ve had headaches, but those are stress induced. I rather enjoyed not losing a week of my life to illness in the November/December timeframe.

So things are looking up for the world. And I think they’ll only get better for me as well.

This being the first post of the year, I guess this is where I put my stake in the ground about what I plan to do for the rest of the year. I’ve done resolutions before, and I’ve railed against resolutions before. My opinion on them is ever evolving.

Looking back at last year, January was chaos. I bought a house, I sold a house, I moved out of a house and into a new one. There was one week from when I took ownership of the new house to when I had to be completely out of the old one. Paid movers did a lot of it, but there was a mad dash at the end, literally getting the last load and locking the doors behind us at 5 AM on the day we were to be out by mid-morning. But we live downtown now, and I couldn’t have asked for a better home to be locked down in for a pandemic. My old house wasn’t bad – it did have an 85″ TV in a theater room and was big a spacious. But the new house, while not as spacious, has all the space we need and a huge covered front porch. The spring, the summer, and the fall all saw lots of use of that porch. We put a table on it and ate outside. We had friends over for socially distant meals in the open air. It has been absolutely wonderful.

And moving also solved one of my other issues: it was a drain on my mood to have to drive past the house my parents lived in, that my mother died in, that their dog Brisco died in, that my father never made it back to from post operative care. I knew it was a problem. I’d recognized the depression is caused. But I hadn’t fully understood what simply not seeing the house every single day would change. And now it’s gone. Like a weight lifted off my life.

On the job front, I mentioned earlier that I got a new job. The old one was okay, but I never really understood the domain, or their company structure, and working for a place where most of the people were in Denmark was difficult. It was remote working, but terrible remote working. Due to the pandemic, my new job has been entirely remote, but the company environment is like night and day. The old job was so desperately focused on billable hours and cash flows, and I really hate that part of the business. I’m not sure why I ever thought I could do a consulting style job. I guess I just wanted the non-contract job and benefits. Looking back, it was a misstep. But now I have a new job, and so far it is wonderful. And it should be even better if I ever get to actually go into the office and work around people again.

I think I’m rambling… let’s go back to resolutions. My opinion on them these days is that I understand why people (myself included) need them. It’s nice to have a day, a mark on the calendar, to say “This is where it begins.” But I understand now that the resolution is an idea, a goal, an endpoint or an ill-defined pointer in some direction. Having them is fine, but you’ll do better with a plan.

My usual resolutions are pretty much my new resolutions. Read more, write more, play guitar, make stuff, etc. If you dig through this blog you’ll find a whole slew of resolution posts from previous years (I’ve been blogging off and on for 23 years!) so you can see for yourself. But what are my plans?

I plan to read more books. To accomplish this, on weeknights, I’m going to make an effort to go to bed earlier so that I can have at least thirty minutes of reading time before I go to sleep. I also started in the couple of weeks before Christmas to get up and do some reading in the morning. I was reading fiction at night, and self-help in the morning. I limited the morning reading to about 10-15 minutes, because frankly self-help books often make me want to scream so I can only take them in small doses, and it worked pretty well. I haven’t done it much in the last week or so because I’ve been on vacation. Monday I’m back, and so is reading.

I plan to write more. As with the reading, I was, before Christmas, doing some writing every morning as part of my waking up routine. I liked this, and will probably continue, but I also need to carve out some dedicated time to write. Possibly on the weekends. I haven’t settled this yet, but I will before I get back to work on Monday.

I plan to play guitar more. I bought myself a subscription to yousician in August last year, and I played with it some and really enjoyed it, but I really overdid it and hurt my fingertips, so I had to take a break, and then I didn’t go back. I’m going to start up again. On weekends. Tomorrow (Today?) will be my first day, and then we’ll keep it going.

I plan to create more stuff. This is kind of open, but I need to make things. I’ve decided the first things I’ll be making are “art”. I bought an iPad back near the start of the pandemic, April I think, and I’ve used it a lot. It’s become my couch-PC, the thing I do internet stuff on when my phone isn’t big enough. I bought the pencil too, because I was looking for a replacement for my Surface which has started acting wonky (it’s dead now). I bought Procreate, because if you have an iPad and a Pencil you should buy Procreate. And I fooled around with it a little, but never really learned it. So I’ve committed myself to Bardot Brush’s Making Art Everyday challenge, where they have a daily prompt and you do it. I did one for the first, and I’m going to keep going. 364 prompts to go.

I plan to get in better shape. Back up above, I mentioned I bought a new house? It happens to be in a pretty nice and very walkable neighborhood. And with the pandemic and everything, and because we don’t have a fenced in yard, I’ve been taking the dog for a walk every day. We’ve also been eating better, because we’ve been cooking more, since we can’t go out to restaurants. I’ve also got weights I occasionally lift. And I bought a Pelaton. It arrives on January 16th. I like bikes. I want to get a real one again eventually, and maybe even use it to ride to work (my new job is not too terribly far from my new house). So I’m going to keep walking every day, and keep eating better, and going to start pedaling.

I think that’s all of the plans I have for now. Well, I do have some plans to fix up some things in the house, but those are more of a To Do List than a resolution. I view resolutions as new habits I need to form.

Here’s hoping that 2021 goes a lot better than 2020. For everyone.

To 2018 and Beyond

This is where I would complain about writing the wrong year on my checks for the next few months, but since this is 2018 I don’t write checks for anything anymore. Well, that’s not entirely true. I write exactly one check per year, because my HOA doesn’t accept their dues any other way.

So… resolutions.

I made my first resolutions post back in 2002, where I proudly stated that I didn’t need resolutions. I then followed that by making resolutions posts every year until 2014. 2015, 2016, and 2017 I missed, because in the last three years I was more apt to post about why I wasn’t posting than to post anything of any real substance. Over the years I see that I tend to make the same resolutions over and over. I suspect a lot of people do.

I usually resolve to exercise more or eat better, or both, with a goal of not getting fat or to stop being fat, and since I am fat I clearly have failed at this for 16 years. And when I say I am fat, this isn’t an anti-body-positivity thing. I would be perfectly happy being fat if I was happy and also fat. But as I have gotten heavier and out of shape, I have become less happy. I am uncomfortable sitting sometimes. I have trouble tying my shoes because of the density of my gut. Moving around is exhausting. And as I get older, my weight is probably contributing to other health issues that are cropping up. So I will once again resolve to eat better and move more, to lose weight and be healthier.

I also often resolve to read more. Oddly, I’ve been reading more, especially since my company moved to Buckhead and I have a 90 minute commute, one way. I take the bus because I hate driving in traffic, and this lets me read. I still have a backlog of literally hundreds of books. I wish I was a speed reader, but I am not. Progress though. I am reading.

And I usually resolve to write more, which I am resolving again, because I miss it. I miss emptying my brain on to the internet where no one reads it. I’m not even going to share this stuff on social media. This is for me… and the poor unfortunates who stumble upon it.

There were also years where I declared I was done with PC games, followed by years where I declared I was back to PC games. Now, I just want to play games, on any platform – PC, console, tabletop – just more games.

So that’s where 2018 begins. Resolving the same resolutions of the past, and resolving to resolve them better this time. And this year I’ll be employing one of these in an effort to plan and document my progress.

Let’s make this year a good one.

2014, or the Year Fink Beats the Stomach


A tradition since 2002, here are my resolutions for the year…

  1. Fitness: this is the big one. I’m going to be 40 in October, and I want to be able to take one of those “this is what 40 looks like” photos that make people jealous. I’ve got a spare tire around my gut that I’m weary of carrying. To that end, I resolve to…
    • walk/jog/run the neighborhood, every street, 3 times a week
    • go to the gym at least 1 time a week, I get up at 6am every weekday but don’t go to work until at least 8, so I figure I should be able to fit a gym visit in there somewhere, especially since I’m already paying for it, and when I don’t go to the gym I will be doing the 5BX, I bought the book last year and figure it is time to do it, I’d like to make it a habit
    • do 10 pushups, 10 situps and 10 squats for every TV show I watch, either I will watch less TV or exercise more, so it’s win-win
    • do random exercises while working, I already stand for 8 hours a day, so throwing in the occasional set of squats or dropping down for a few pushups should be easy to incorporate
    • eat better … I loath nebulous goals like this, it just isn’t S.M.A.R.T. but after a bout of buying veggies from the farmer’s market, I know it is something that can be done but can also waste a lot, so I need to spend some time educating myself on diet and figure out how best to change in a way that doesn’t result in so much compost
  2. Writing: I think I resolve this every year, but I don’t actually follow my own advice and make a plan that is capable of being followed, so this year I resolve to…
    • write in the mornings, I get up at 6am every weekday but don’t go to work until at least 8, so I figure on days that I don’t go to the gym I should be able to fit some writing time in there
    • blog about the fitness stuff, this is a good excuse to write, so as I walk and hit the gym and eat better I will write here about it, something I should be doing anyway
    • start using my phone, or buy a special device, to record things I think about in terms of writing, lots of times I have ideas when I am not in a position to write it down, and I need to solve that

I think that’s a good set of things to resolve to do. I wanted to include something about publishing a piece of writing, but I really need to just get down the habit of writing first. Perhaps at the mid-year 4th of July update on my progress and course correction I will feel like adding it in.

I resolve.

ResolveThe title is to be read with the punctuation.

I wasn’t going to write a kick-off Happy New Year post, but then I thought about the fact that I’ve done one every year since 2002, so I couldn’t just let it go. I was looking back at last year’s post. I don’t think I was terribly far off for predictions of how the political arena would turn out. While I am thrilled at some of the people who got turned out on the street, I also think the people replacing them are still politicians and have no interest in actually making things better for everyone.

I was also completely wrong. There was an Apocalypse in 2012, but it was a personal one, and it happened just after Thanksgiving with my father’s passing. I never imagined I would be 38 and parentless.

That combined with a number of other things is why my resolutions will be so simple this year. There are two.

First, I resolve to write every day. It is so generic and simple. I am giving myself every possible chance to succeed.

Second, I resolve. Like the title of this post, that is meant to be read with the punctuation, “I resolve, period”. I’m going to work on planning things less and doing things more. The problem with planning is that you can feel accomplishment when you plan. You finish the plan, it feels good and then… you never get started. So, less planning, more starting.

And that starts today… see you later… I’ve got stuff to write.