Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Anti-Resolution

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, since they seem to be another way to remind me of how much I suck when I’ve broken all of them by Valentines Day. And besides, for the past 10 years they’ve looked pretty much the same; lose weight, exercise more, finish something, be nicer to Andy & Dylan, blah blah blah. So, this year, instead of looking forward, I want to look back at a few things I’ve actually done in 2008.

#1 Produce less trash: Back in May we wanted to see if we could throw away one 32 gal trash container a month. Not only as a way to cut back on the expense of trash services, but because it seemed entirely possible and I just hate the idea of how much crap we toss out while living in the Western world. So, how did we do? With one exception, we managed to limit our debris to one can a month. Here’s what we threw out after our Christmas morning package opening frenzy.

Large bag is recycling, clear bag is trash.

#2 Write more: While I didn’t send much out to publishers and agents this year, I did add 48 posts to the blog since March, after I decided that even though we weren’t traveling a lot, there was still something to write about. Counting essays, blog postings and other writings, I increased my output by about 150 pages. Those hours spent writing are—according to Malcom Gladwell, author of Outliers—getting me further down the road towards having those 10,000 hours that are necessary to become a master craftsperson.

#3 Volunteer: Actually I’ve done a lot of this—forever it seems. But even though I swear to take that time for myself, I discover that by volunteering, I really am doing something for myself while helping out a cause I support. Obama & Arbor are where I spent most of my time in 2008. In 2009 I have some plans to do a more long-term gig helping recent immigrants adjust to Portland.
While I've yet to nab that nomination for a McArthur Genius Fellowship, perhaps promising to floss my teeth more will provide the motivation I need to make 2009 a banner year.


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