NOTE: Posting has been lagging lately due to the fact that most of my time spent “doing stuff” has been done indoors. There is no real creative joy in posting daily updates about crap three-mile runs on the treadmill. Hopefully I get outside soon. Crap or not, after a week of running/lumbering nearly 20 miles to nowhere I had time to think about the direction that I want to take my life. I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, or at least not very good at keeping them, but I am one to make a list of things that I will “try to do.” Not so much because it’s a new year, but just because. This is a long one, so I have split it into two posts.
This is Part II, and written for me more than anything else, so feel no need to read it, but this is the sort of stuff that goes through my mind as I run staring at a blank wall in front of me.
Ride More and Ride My Mountain Bike More(er)
Yes, that goes with Exercise More, but this is more focused on the warm weather seasons, rather than the winter. Two years ago I was feeling really good on the bike and was putting together a few multiple 200+ mile weeks. I even went so far as to buy a new “race” bike in the hopes of doing some racing in 2016. That was until my back and hip starting hurting on every ride in the spring of 2016 and most of my spring and summer was spent getting MRIs, and going to physical therapy or the chiropractor. In the end it seems that stretching, rest, and correcting some muscle imbalances with other forms of exercise helped more than anything. Wish I had all those co-pays back! Sadly all that not riding and failed plans pushed me to drink more, eat worse, and pack on more pounds.
I still rode a lot in 2016 but most rides were between 20 and 35 miles and nearly all on dirt roads. I can count on one hand the amount of time I rode singletrack in 2016. Sad. I hope that 2017 will allow more time in the woods. There is nothing like riding your bike in the woods.
Additionally I want ride in other places more–explore gravel routes in other parts of the state, take my bike back to PA when visiting more, and take some cycling related road trips.
Take More and Better Photos
I’ve grown to love photography and each year I tend to get a bit more serious about it. I want to continue growing as a photographer as well as do more with my photos. Print more of them, share more of them, and create more photo books and zines for myself, and maybe some others if they dig them.
I know I need to find employment, not so much because we need the money, but because I thrive on routine. The extra money would be great, especially since we need to start saving more seriously for B’s college, but we won’t starve or miss a house payment if I don’t. With Wifey’s job requiring longer hours, and traveling more than a few times a year, it actually benefits our family in many ways that I am available. I actually can’t believe I just typed that, because early in our marriage, there were times that checks bounced and entire paychecks were utilized to make payments. The thing is, all I can do is apply to jobs, then it’s out of my control. What I can control is my happiness (at least for the most part, the other part is fixed via some overpriced doctor prescribed medicine), I am most happy when I am creating things so I will keep doing that, and photography and this blog do that.
2016 was a rough year. Our country now finds itself more divided than ever and about to be taken charge of by a man who acts more like a fat shaming 16-year-old bully with a cell phone and a Twitter account than the man about to lead the free world. I can’t even look a news feed anymore without utter disappointment and fear of the 4 to 8 years. Add in to the mix that my wife works her ass off for one of the agencies on the GOP’s shit list, that increases the angst even more.
In the past year I have found Facebook and Twitter unbearable at times. Admittedly I have joined in with Tweets, re-Tweets, and unneeded Facebook posts. That’s over. I’ve enjoyed social media for goofing off, catching up with friends and family, following race results, footy scores, and bulldog pics, but that has waned in a big way. I don’t need to be “friends” with a kid I let make fun of me for four years of high school. We all know that much of Facebook is a sham. That girl you went to grade school with who you’re “friends” with again is probably not living the happy marriage that she portrays on Facebook. She’s probably in an abusive relationship, hates her kids, and is addicted to pain pills. But she posts photos of her family living it up on their annual family trip to the Outer Banks, and making cow eyes at her husband who is sleeping with his secretary unbeknownst to her. Yet we see photos like this and say “Gosh, I wish we could be more like Betty and her family.”
I also find it pathetic that our President Elect is obsessed with relentlessly Tweeting his hate and stupidity. I really don’t think I want to use the same social media platform that is abused by such an asshole. I’m so no Presidential enough.
All that made me thing of the scene from Seinfeld below. I can’t be “out there” (on Twitter), knowing that someone I have so little respect for gets off on using it.
Love My Wife
I love my wife, but sometimes have a funny way of showing it. I need to get better at that. We also often find it hard to find time to go out by ourselves and just talk and connect, that also needs to change. This summer we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, and that is something that I am extremely proud of and want to make sure that we someday celebrate a 50th! We’ve had our ups and downs over our almost 20 years, and there were times that each of us thought we wouldn’t get through it, but have managed to keep loving each other, stay together and raise an amazing kid.
I of course could go on and on about the changes and things I want to improve, but these are the things that I am most focused on right now.