Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello, 2013

I feel like my New Year began around mid-December with the start of my new job, but I'd started thinking about the dreaded "resolutions" even before then. I have a love/hate relationship with New Year's resolutions—I enjoy the exercise of self-improvement, but usually lack the desire/drive to pursue something throughout the year.

My first goal for 2013 is to get the Christmas decorations down by the end of January.

Yes, I want what most people want—lose weight, get fit, exercise more, eat healthier, go to bed/get up earlier. But, let's face it, I do not want to focus my energy on or obsess over these things, and if we're being honest, these are also the most frequently broken resolutions.

I've tried years of just not making New Year's resolutions, and while there's no disappointment when I break or don't achieve a resolution, there is a degree of disappointment in the fact that I didn't even try.

So this year, instead of trying to make sweeping changes to my behavior that I would need to maintain through the year, I focused on events.

In 2013, I want to get out and DO more and EXPERIENCE new things. So my New Year's resolution for 2013 is to do 4 things I've never done before. I am perfectly happy being a homebody, so I guess I am trying to alter a behavior, but my resolution feels like more fun than work.

Some possibilities:
  • travel somewhere new
  • take a gun safety or conceal & carry class
  • take a cooking class
  • go kayaking
  • go white-water rafting
  • go skydiving
  • take an archery class
  • take a self-defense class

When I first started thinking about my resolutions, I thought traveling to a new place would mean going to Charlotte, the Outer Banks, or the Smoky Mountains for a weekend, but now I know my new job will most certainly require me to travel—to some familiar places, like San Francisco, and to some new places, like New Delhi, India. I did consider turning down the job due to the intense amount of travel involved, but, it will get me out of my comfort zone and ensure I experience new things (not to mention keep a roof over our heads and the bills paid). Is it cheating to count a work requirement toward the fulfillment of my resolutions?

Actually, the new job has done a lot already to help me achieve some of those other behavioral changes too. I go to bed and get up earlier now since most of the co-workers on my team are in India and I have a lot of 7:00am phone calls. (It only took a week for me to start waking up at 6:00am without an alarm.) Knowing all the travel I'll be doing has spurred me to getting more regular exercise, since I know if I don't take better care of my body and overall health the travel will wear me down quickly. And even though it hasn't resulted in any significant weight loss, I can feel my body changing and stamina increasing.

As for the gun class, guns make me nervous, and living in North Carolina means living in a more gun-friendly culture than what I was used to in the Bay Area, for example, personal firearms were supposedly not even permitted in our city of Fremont (not that it prevented the guns from being there anyway). Given how many people in our circle of friends here have conceal & carry permits, I know I'm around guns even when I don't know I'm around guns. (?) Anyhow, I don't think it would be a bad thing to be more comfortable with guns.

I've fired guns before and while I'm something of an ace with a shotgun, I can't hit the broadside of a barn with a .45 or 9mm. And even though I know the basics of gun safety, like don't ever point it at anyone and clear the chamber, I don't know the first thing about maintaining a gun. And as I was always told, if you catch it, you clean it, or you've got to pay to play, which essentially means, you don't get to just do the fun stuff (shoot), you'll also have to do the work (maintenance).

As for the cooking class, there's a specialty grocery store not too far from us that has several cooking classes a week and it would be a good way to meet more people in the area. Some of the classes are more than a little frou-frou, but they also offer a lot of regional cooking classes (Low Country Cuisine), some basics (Southern Biscuits 101), and dressed up basics (Mac 'n Cheese Three Ways: Cheddar and Poblano Mac 'n Cheese, ComtĂ© and Bacon Mac 'n Cheese, Smoked Gouda, Fontina and Ham Mac 'n Cheese). Most of the hands-on cooking classes run $35–50 per person, but when you figure you're getting dinner (and sometimes wine) at the class, as well as learning something, it seems more reasonable.

Kayaking and white-water river rafting are just things I've always wanted to try and never did. I think I would really enjoy kayaking, and now that we live within 10 miles of a lake, I do really want to try it.

Just typing skydiving gives me the willies. I do really want to do it, I just don't know if I want to try it badly enough that I could step on a plane knowing I planned to jump out of it.

I've always thought archery was cool, but I remember trying to shoot my step-dad's compound hunting bow and I couldn't even pull the string back because of the tension and I never really tried again.

As for the self defense class, given the amount of solo traveling I'll be doing, this seemed like a good one to add to the list.

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