So set aside the things I struggle with and let’s look at the things I might have a shot at doing something about in 2020 while the world burns down around me. It all boils down to trying to take some control over the things I can control in my life, since so many other things aren’t (or at least certainly weren’t in 2019). More to the point, these are modest and achievable goals, of a sort that will make my life better for having accomplished them.
So to put myself on the record:
– Clean out the garage. It’s kind of a disaster area, and I could make it a lot more palatable than it is if I would only take the time to rearrange and stack things properly, and get rid of some stuff like the four-year-old unopened home brewing set that I’m never ever going to actually use. Along those lines, look at some of the stuff I’ve accumulated and see if some of it might not be better off given away where somebody else can make better use of it.
– Start running again. I got a bit of a start earlier and then got myself off track (ha) but every single health professional I have says that my life will be improved by running. Weight loss, cardio health, quality of sleep, quality of mood – running is apparently the silver bullet for everything, and I have to give it another shot. Might have to wait until it gets warm in (checks calendar) February though.
– Visit the local library. This was on the list for 2019 and was a glaring example of things I didn’t manage to do. I did manage to break the seal on trying the local downtown as a pub night option, and the increasing frequency of light rail service will open up a wider area for exploration, but I need to seek out transit-able things that aren’t just a place to get a drink, and the library is something I’ve ignored for far far too long. Speaking of:
– Use the transit. The rejiggered VTA system has fewer lines but run more frequently. I need to avail myself of that, give the nearest local drinking establishments another chance, take light rail to the farmers’ market, walk to the new bus and make it a one-shot commute in the morning. Avail myself of what I can do on foot and not rely on someone else to drive my drunk ass home, and keep trying to dig out the Northern California that lies beneath the slimy surface of Silly Con Valley.
– Use the apps. Duolingo for German, Soundly for my apnea, Headspace for mindful meditation. Every day. I can get out of my own head and improve myself a little with just the earbuds and this thing in my pocket, and I need to do just that. It’s a lot easier to improve yourself than to wait for the world to improve.
– This is a big one: I have to stop buying things from Amazon. We recycle way too much cardboard and way too much fuel was burned to get it to me. If I can walk to CVS on the way home, or pick it up at REI on a Costco run, or actually visit a store, better to do that. And hopefully, after the ridiculous spending binge of 2019, I’m done buying things for a long time. Looking back at paper notes from 2008 or so, nearly everything on the old “Friv-o-List” has long since been purchased or gifted, and it’s starting to feel like I’m looking for things to fill the holes elsewhere. Soooo…
– This might be the biggest one: I have to find a way to reconnect with actual people that doesn’t depend on social media. Facebook is a no-go area already. Twitter will probably become so very soon. I’m still going to need to feel like I have other human beings in my life, and all the literature says that once you hit my age, the best way to make friends is to reach out to the ones you already have. And it’s not easy. By the time you’ve skipped going to the dentist for two years, it’s easier to make it three than to bite the bullet and do it, and next thing you know, you have nineteen teeth left.
– Live deliberately. The things, places and friends you enjoy aren’t going to be around forever. Tied House is closed for good. The pubs in San Jose are now two trains away, not one. Every friend I had in my own town has moved away, whether over the hill or around the world. My iPad mini isn’t getting upgrades any more and may not get updates much longer. Brexitcast is ending soon. The Junks can’t go on indefinitely. Keep trying to get better. Make the extra effort to do the things that make you happy. Stop doing things that make you unhappy. It’s not hard to figure out.
After all, this is the Year of the Rat. Last time that came round, I said “my year, baby!” and ended up with everything I wanted by the end of it. I’d give an awful lot to have that happen again.