Saturday, January 01, 2011

And So It Begins....

I just thought I would start the year off with a photo of Bryce I took last fall. This is such an amazing place. I hope that they do not succeed in getting approval for the coal mine 10 miles west of Bryce. Shots like this one may not be possible in the future if it is approved, and that would be incredibly sad.

As promised, here is my list of goals for 2011.

What I Plan, Or Hope, To Accomplish, The 2011 Edition

1. Exercise regularly. Merilee and I have a plan in place that begins on Monday morning. We figure if we work on this one together, it is more likely to happen.

2. Write in my journal at least once a week. I have never been good at keeping a journal, so this is a big deal for me.

3. Finish my Arches book. The photos are almost collected, so I just need to take the time to complete the text and layout. Then I have to have the money to have a copy printed.

4. Write creatively. And I mean it this time. Compared to last year, this one will be a success as long as I do it even once, but I am shooting for more than that. I already have a first line; "It all began on a Thursday."

5. Save enough money for a new computer. It doesn't have to be fresh out of the box, just new to me. I got the complete National Geographic (I love National Geographic!) on DVD-ROM for Christmas, but I have to have a Mac with an Intel Duo Core Processor running at at least 1.83 GHz in order to use it. I have an iBook G4.

6. Pay my tithing. I did better this year, but better is not good enough. This has always been difficult for me.

7. If we make it to Zion this year, hike Angel's Landing.

8. Become involved in the community. I'm not quite sure what form this will take, but it is something I have thought about doing.

9. Spend less time playing games on Facebook. I have already taken the first step on this one by quitting all of them. Aside from the fact that they were getting to be more frustrating than fun because they are so slow on my computer, I was wasting waaaaay too much time on them.

10. Enter at least one photo in the state fair. I have threatened to do this for at least the last 10 years. Now that I have officially made it part of my goals, maybe I'll really do it this year.

11. Continue to improve my photography. I figure I have to add one that will be easy for me to accomplish.

12. Plant and maintain a garden. We have planted each of the last two years, but I have been poor at maintaining (also known as weeding), so things have not been as good as they could have been. I want peas and carrots this year, which means more work earlier. It also means figuring out a way to fix the hole in the fence so certain individuals do not trample everything.

13. Visit someplace new here in Utah. I can think of any number of places I have yet to see that I would love to visit. This one shouldn't be very hard either.

14. Be a better friend, husband, and father. I know these are repeats, but I really feel like I could have done better, so they are back on this year's list.

OK, I think that is about enough. I certainly hope this year will be better than the last. I'll try to put last year where it belongs (in the past) and focus on the future. We'll see how it all goes.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Farewell To The Century's First Decade

As 2010 draws it's last gasping breaths (and because there has been nothing but dead silence on my blog for much too long), I thought it would be a good idea to look over what I had hoped to accomplish this year. The list...complete with results...follows:

What I Plan (Hope) To Accomplish In 2010
1. Post something to my blog weekly. Not quite. I haven't really checked, but I think once a month may be stretching it.

2. Add something new to my Flickr site at least monthly. I came close on this one. I ran into some limits that I have since overcome by purchasing a professional level account on Flickr. Now I can upload to my heart's content. Now if only the account name were descriptive of reality........

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

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. Again, abject failure here. Not a line of original text. Something about dealing with angry people five days a week for eight hours a day tends to dry up my creative juices.

5. Complete and (self) publish my book on Arches. That means using Blurb or some other site (suggestions welcome). I started gathering photos, but stalled on this one.

6. Improve my photography skills. This one I think I accomplished; at least I think I have learned a thing or two, if only regarding the way my camera operates.

7. Sell a photo. Not sure how I will go about this one, but I think it is a worthy goal. This is one of my fondest wishes...which means it never happened. Maybe 2011 will be the charm.

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. For the year overall, in the greatly reduce category, this one was a success. For the last two months, not so much.

9. Eat better and lose weight. I have to face it, for me these go hand in hand. In light of the failure with exercise, it is not surprising that the weight remains an issue.

10. Be a better friend. I'm afraid this one didn't work out so well either.

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. I was 100 percent on the reading right up until September when I missed a day (the day we went down to Capitol Reef). All totaled, I missed 10 days. Not at all shabby, but not a complete success either. The best thing here is that I read the Book of Mormon twice. I continue to work on saying my prayers and I did better with tithing this year than I have done in a long time, but still have a ways to go.

12. Try harder to see the positive things in my life. After last year, that one may be a lot harder than it sounds. As I suspected, this was a tough one. I try to look for, and focus on, the good things, but it can be so very hard to get past all the negative things that keep cropping up.

13. Be a better father. I would like to think I did a better job this year, but you would have to ask my kids.

14. Be a better husband. Again, I would like to think I did OK on this one, but you would have to ask Merilee.

OK, that about wraps up the last year of the first decade of the 21st century. All in all, not really a passing grade, but the mere fact that I have done this is a big step in a new direction for me.

What are my thoughts about 2011? You'll just have to check back tomorrow for those. I need to get past these last few minutes of 2010 before I can seriously consider what I plan on working on next year. A couple are in place, but I'll tackle the next list when the year is new.