It’s 2013, when did that happen?

Happy New Year to my readers; you know who you are. I appreciate every one of you for stopping by.

I am not normally someone who makes new year’s resolutions. It seems arbitrary and artificial to do that in association with the calendar flip; and given my tendency to wander off task after a few weeks, the making of formal resolutions is largely an exercise in guilt tripping straight over to the Vortex of Inadequacy and taking a long swim. I don’t need to be encouraged to do that sort of thing.

That having been said, there are some things I hope to address in the next 12 months, and this is as good a place to list them as any:

  • Formalize my status as a student. It is my hope that by this time a year from now I will be enrolled in an MDiv program and working toward a degree. One of the necessary steps between here and there is getting my application(s) in on time. One of the steps that requires is writing and polishing the application essay I’ve been stressing about; another requirement is, of course, asking for letters of recommendation, and I’ve been stressing about that too. That’s where I’ve been stuck the last couple of months; I need to get moving but am not there yet.
  • Engage people. This is a piece of the above. I want to make connections with people, develop the relationships I have, and strengthen my interconnections to community. I am going to need this; I need to invest some time and energy here. A part of this is learning not to hold myself back, and not to assume I’m going to be rejected as soon as I need something. It’s a challenge, because the way to build trust is to take risks, but without much trust in the first place the taking of risks is that much harder. Not sure how I am going to do this.
  • Address some of my deep insecurity issues. This is a new one that’s come up in the context of the above: a lot of old baggage, some of it going back twenty or thirty years. I suspect this particular demon has reared its head at this time because this time around, I’ve actually got some emotional engagement with what I’m doing, and when you have hope, you have room for fear also. Plan of action on this includes reflection, prayer, and maybe eventually seeking professional guidance on this if I can’t get to a comfortable place in a useful amount of time.
  • Get back on the fitness bandwagon. I’d lost a bunch of weight last year; now I need to keep it off, and that means getting back into the gym more than once every other week. I’d like to drop another size or size and a half, which would force action on the wardrobe replacement front. (I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clothes that were too big, but most of what I have is still too big, and I’ve been reluctant to buy things the size I am now in case I lose more weight – or gain it back.) It also means being mindful of what I eat, and paying attention to the difference between “hungry” and “thirsty,” “exhausted,” or “inadequate air flow” so I can address the real problem of the moment.
  • Make more music. I took up my flute again last year; I’m hoping I find reasons to continue it. I also hope to do more of my own composition and arrangement as well as stuff for other people, which I’m finding I enjoy as well.
  • And art. Didn’t sell any art this year, though I did sell some tie dye, but I get pleasure and satisfaction from creative expression and I need to make time to pursue it regularly, rather than fitting it in at the last minute before a show deadline. Both this and the music (and, really, the gym) fall into the category of “making time for the stuff that sustains me, even when it means putting off stuff for other people.”
  • And on a purely frivolous level, I really would like to get the garden in this year. Haven’t done it for the last couple of seasons and I would very much like to have a nice mess of green beans come August, even if that does mean taking an afternoon off in April or May to put the thing in…

Not a bad start to the year. I think there will be additions and adjustments to this list as time goes on, but for the time being it seems ambitious enough.

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