Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year, New Beginnings

Just thought I would include a bit of colour with this post. This was early autumn up the south fork of Provo canyon.

I decided that this year it might help if I put my 'resolutions' for the year in a more public place to help remind myself that I actually did make them at some point in time. That said, I am not actually calling these resolutions. These are more like goals I have for the coming year. I'll check back on them periodically and see how I am doing. This will also allow me to do a personal progress check right before 2011. Anyway, here goes.

What I Plan (Hope) To Accomplish In 2010
1. Post something to my blog weekly.

2. Add something new to my Flickr site at least monthly.

3. Exercise each weekday (at least). This will be walking, at least at first. I have to be in hiking shape for this summer.

4. Write creatively at least once a week. This is something I have not done in a long time that I need to do more of.

5. Complete and (self) publish my book on Arches. That means using Blurb or some other site (suggestions welcome).

6. Improve my photography skills.

7. Sell a photo. Not sure how I will go about this one, but I think it is a worthy goal.

8. Eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) drinking soda. Who needs to drink their calories? Not me. I say at least greatly reduce because I know this is one of my great weaknesses and I don't want to beat myself up if I stumble on occasion. The goal is elimination.

9. Eat better and lose weight. I have to face it, for me these go hand in hand.

10. Be a better friend.

11. Read scriptures and pray daily. I recognize the need for me to be more valiant in my beliefs. I also need to pay my tithing, something I have always struggled with.

12. Try harder to see the positive things in my life. After last year, that one may be a lot harder than it sounds.

13. Be a better father.

14. Be a better husband.

I think I will let those stand for now. I know I will come up with more, but I don't want to be overwhelmed right now. At least the year has started off well. Merilee and I had a fun day getting our grocery shopping done and we got to have lunch at In-N-Out Burger. I know that isn't exactly healthy, but it sure was good. I was afraid that I had over-hyped the pace with Merilee, but she really liked it too. We may even go again if we can catch it while the crowds are down. We watched some X-Files episodes on DVD, and then finished the evening off with The DaVinci Code. It was a fun day and an auspicious beginning for 2010. We'll see how it goes from here.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Year......

It has been another long break on the blog for me. That is mostly due to the fact that I finally found a job that has occupied me since October. It's not what I would have liked, but it is a job and at least I am finally working again. I'm afraid that an entire summer off made me rather jealous of my free time now. As with so many things, I fear I failed to truly understand just what I had when I had it. Well, that is not entirely true.

As 2009 draws to a close, I can honestly say I am not at all sad to see it go. In fact, this is one year I am quite glad to see the backside of. I'm not saying the year was entirely without it's good moments, but they seemed rather few sometimes compared to the bad ones. I started the year making a decent salary at a job I had a love-hate relationship with, went through an extended period of unemployment, and ended the year with a job I am not thrilled with, but we survive. Can I just say that at times I am so tired of just surviving? When 2009 started, we had a good shot at a house and life looked like it was definitely on the upswing for me and Merilee. It was not even a quarter of the way gone when that all came crashing down when that love-hate job became a previous employer. Because of that, I missed seeing my kids this summer and we were forced to remain mainly at home as we had just enough to make ends almost touch, though not quite meet. We have been without TV since May (something that both amazes and bothers me) and may never have another chance at a home of our own. We made it through, however, so I am thinking there is hope for 2010.

The year was not entirely without it's moments, as I mentioned. I actually won something with my photography...a first for me...and had my photos displayed at the Provo Library. Merilee and I were able to go camping in Zion and Capital Reef, though our 'engagement anniversary' trip to Arches did not happen this year. We celebrated our first year married and were able to spend a lot of time together. I am now working from home full time, eliminating the almost three hours a day I spent commuting, as well as saving us about $25 a week on bus fare and gas. There have been many small acts of kindness that have been unexpected and most gratefully received, particularly from Merilee's mom, my parents, and a few members of our ward.

Overall, it has been a year to forget. Not surprisingly, it has ended much the way it has gone...with bad news. It turns out that our car failed its safety inspection due to bad windshield wipers. Even worse, the part to fix the problem is almost $300 and has to be ordered. It just couldn't be an easy fix; not in 2009. Nothing has been easy this year. That has been part of its frustration.

With that I intend to put the year behind me and try to look forward without letting the gloom from 2009 overshadow the possibilities of 2010. If all works well, Graeme and Kayleigh will be out this summer and we'll make our regular trip up to Yellowstone, possibly heading up to Glacier as well; if not Glacier, then we'll spend time in the Tetons. My child support payments will be cut in half after May (Graeme will be 18...hard for me to believe sometimes) and the car will be paid off by year's end. Will this be the year I finally sell some of my photographic work? Time will tell. The point is, I am trying will everything I have left to have a positive outlook for 2010. That includes a goal to write here at least once a week. It's good for me to do this, even if the audience is small enough to count on one hand.

So here's to 2010! May it be as great as 2009 was frustrating, as wonderful as 2009 was bewildering, and as magical as 2009 was mundane! Happy New Year!