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Looking back; looking forward [Dec. 28th, 2012|09:56 pm]
Christmas Day is, in some ways, the last day of the old year. Yes, there is another week left of the year, but it is a fallow time in which we finish up the last bits of the dying year and begin to look at and plan for the coming year. Some say that there is no good reason for this divide, that one day is just the same as another. I don't think that's true. Our lives are marked out by meetings and partings, by ritual and expectation, and I think the new year is one of those marks by which we measure and in which we can find inspiration. Over the last few days, I've found myself reflecting.

The last year was on the whole successful for me. I lost 50 pounds, biked over 2000 miles, and began taking the first steps toward running right at the end of the year. I made a lot of delicious bread and other food, I spent quality time with family and friends, and I did some good fundraising for an excellent cause.

There were some parts of the year that weren't as successful. There were people I love with whom I didn't get spend nearly enough time. I spent way too much time on the computer and didn't read nearly enough books. I let my yard and garden run to wild. I didn't get a single quilt or piece of jewelry made. I barely practiced juggling, or spinning poi, both skills I want to learn/improve. I feel like I handled the basics but let a lot of time slip by me around the edges that could have been put to much more fruitful use.

So my biggest resolution for the coming year is to take back my life from the computer. It's a wonderful tool, and I don't intend to abandon social networking and all the support it's given me. The reality, however, is that I haven't even been using this tool very well. I've barely LJed at all, one of the things I seriously regret. I mostly sit refreshing Facebook and Spark People and not actually accomplishing much. There are too many evening hours spent just frittering away my time, time I could be making something creative and beautiful, or tending to my garden, or practicing, or reading a book.

I've known this was an issue for a while, and I've tried to change it without much success. This time I need to take it more seriously. I need to set a timer to limit my social networking, and when it goes off I need to get off the computer and on to something more productive. I'm going to have to experiment a bit with determining how much time I should spend online.

And then I have to get offline. My life doesn't need to be lived electronically. I have better things to do with it.

[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2012-12-29 03:08 am (UTC)
I think this is my resolution for the new year, as well.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2012-12-29 04:16 am (UTC)
I've been hanging out with some tres young folks recently and it is incredible how glued they are to their mobiles while trying to maintain a conversation IRL. I just want to say "and breathe" a few times and EM pulse their phones.

..except they really are quite cool to hang out with. Friends can't choose their friends, they can only bask in the enjoyment of being together.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 05:52 am (UTC)
I have serious problems with this. When I am out with people, I want them to be present.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2012-12-29 06:08 am (UTC)
I don't mind in groups or as occasional interruptions, but in one on one meetings I do want to be a serious focal point. Makes me wonder what kids will be like ten years from now.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2012-12-29 07:00 am (UTC)
I am SO with you on this...But I do have to say that social networking is good when the battery is low. The bad part is that I get sucked in and 2 hrs are gone with nothing to show for it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 09:52 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I get a lot out of it, but I have to optimize the time so that I get that boost without falling into the detrimental parts.
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[User Picture]From: labelleizzy
2012-12-29 08:51 am (UTC)
Interesting! I share your goals, down to the spinning poi. Add "find a job" and make more art and date more, and there is my list.

Looking forward to hearing about you controlling social media time, & I hope we can collectively encourage one another...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 09:50 pm (UTC)
I am definitely looking for support. We can do this together.
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[User Picture]From: blessed_oak
2012-12-29 11:50 am (UTC)
A thousand times yes!

Regarding the internet, I realise I am wasting so much time looking for something that isn't there. It is also effortless, and, frankly, I'm tired. But I intend to replace much of that with art and home weight training (the one exercise,other than casual strolling, that feels good to me).

You've had a very fruitful year, and I admire what you accomplished. Here's to both of us getting even better. A very happy New Year to you!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 09:49 pm (UTC)
"Looking for something that isn't there" is such an accurate way of putting it. I want to go looking for things in the right places.

Of course having just flown across the country after getting up at 3am, I'm giving myself permission to just sit here today.
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From: anonymousalex
2012-12-29 02:42 pm (UTC)
If it helps, there's like a gazillion timer programs out there that can let you know when your allotted computer time is up right on your screen.

Looking forward to more LJing from you in 2013!

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[User Picture]From: alexmegami
2012-12-29 08:58 pm (UTC)
Or even extensions for Firefox that will forcibly disallow you from internetting for more than a certain amount of time per hour.

(...that one didn't work for me, though, I spent the time that should have been working fretfully waiting for the internet to come back.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 09:17 pm (UTC)
And I have to use the Internet to work....
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 09:42 pm (UTC)
I have one already; I just need to use it!

I miss the interaction of LJing regularly.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2012-12-29 09:34 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear that last year was so successful. Wow, you had some great accomplishments!

This is the pot calling the kettle black, but I would love to see more LJ posts in the year ahead. I love reading what's going on with you. Miss you!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 09:39 pm (UTC)
Miss you like crazy! I am really going to try and get more writing done this year.
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