I’m not a huge believer in New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly their impact on my life comes from all the people who show up at the gym in January because they resolved that this is the year they are going to get in shape. So, for a while the rest of us have a longer wait to use machines. Of course, it’s generally not the year, and the resolved go away by February.
I made some general resolutions a few years back that have served me well and I continue to work toward those goals – read more, continue to work out, pursue writing, and somewhere along the line I added an effort to improve my diet. The last one has essentially equated to drinking more water, mostly because my diet isn’t over-the-top healthy but it’s really not that bad either.
Anyway, those core resolutions seem to be just about all I need. They’re solid, realistic ambitions that don’t come with success or failure. They’re not about the immediate result. If I slack off, I just have to hit a point where I realize it and “get back on the horse.” But not much has changed in my life in the last few years, at least not in the ways I wanted, and I fell short of a couple specific goals in 2012 that I wanted to accomplish. So, aside from continuing the efforts mentioned above, I have some 2013-specific resolutions:
· Publish I’m Not Here to Inspire You, my book of essays on experiences living with a disability. I spent a lot of time trying to get it published this year, and received some good feedback from a couple of trusted sources that I hope will lead to having it out in the new year.
· Finish writing the novel I’ve been writing on-and-off for a couple years tentatively titled No One to Trust. I’ve been making it more and more of a priority, but came up short of finishing a rough draft this year. Accomplishing this goal may include less or no more blogging and tweeting. It just eats up too much of my time and energy for writing and doesn’t accomplish enough if anything. I also want to make my blogging, tweeting, and other social media efforts, more directly about promoting my writing. Coupled with the fact that I’ve already given up regular sports blogging, making the “Page 2” reference outdated, I may be making some adjustments to my blogs and Twitter accounts.
· Stop wasting time on Facebook. It’s a good idea that has gone horribly wrong. Even my thought (read: my excuse to keep using the site after swearing it off in the past) that it could be useful as a news aggregator didn’t hold up. Also, engaging commenters on links to blog posts has generally provided more evidence that people feel empowered by the lack of actual human interaction on Facebook to say obnoxious and idiotic things often without even reading what I’ve written. Political debates on the site never lead to worthwhile discussion and are just another waste of time and energy. As I mentioned I will still use “social media,” including Facebook, to promote my writing and hopefully my book. I just need to stop engaging in nonsense and reading the 10 meaningful, life-changing sayings that people have liked or shared on a given day. And I don’t need to know the intimate details of the life of people I went to high school with and barely knew back then. And I’m sure they don’t need to know details about me. This is not about being anti-social. I’ve changed my settings on Facebook to receive actual messages from friends via e-mail. (Remember e-mail? Where people communicate directly to each other?)
· Expand my boundaries on the trike. I did this a little bit last year and, due to the width of my bike, doing it as much as I’d like is not always in my control. However, there were at least a couple of opportunities that were under my control that I failed to take advantage of in 2012. This resolution includes becoming a stronger cyclist, and possibly doing the MS Ride 2013.
· Create a regular “pickup game” of wheelchair hockey once a week or once a month to have some fun, get a little exercise, and just have another activity to enjoy. Years ago I stated another goal of creating a rec center geared toward people with disabilities. It was always intended as a long-term goal and remains just that. I figure I will need to have a historic run in Vegas some day or make the best-seller list for it happen. As an interim goal or resolution with some of the same ideals in mind, I’ve been asking around if anyone would be interested in playing manual wheelchair hockey. If I can get a few people interested, I hope to ask the Y or maybe a local college if they could help us out with space to play. Obviously, considering the realities of living with a disability, it will have to be more organized than a true pickup game, but I want it to be a casual, fun thing to do without making it a major commitment for people to show up every game. I’ve been aware of the Philadelphia PowerPlay for some time, but that seems to be strictly for power chair users. I’m also aware of the sled hockey team of the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports program, but I don’t have the upper body control to play on that level. I was thinking of something for those of us who fall in the middle of those ability ranges.
Five steps to a better me? Worth a shot.