It’s a new year, so that means I’m supposed to come up with a bunch of resolutions to change my life for the better. I’m a contrarian though, I’ve always thought it made me look more intelligent to not buy into these kinds of rituals. Anyone can follow a crowd right? So naturally every year when the new year rolls around I start my usual rants about how “You shouldn’t strive to change yourself once a year, it should be an ongoing process, blah blah blah.” It totally makes me sound smart. Here is the thing, if I’m really as contrarian as I believe myself to be I should actually be joining the crowd at some point. Why follow all the other contrarians right? Why do the same thing every year, why talk the same talk over and over I can be the hipster of the overthinking world. So I’ve decided to do some fun new things this year as a way to invest in myself and possibly end 2017 better than I started. Here is the short list of things I’d like to do, or have already begun.
- Writing – I used to write all the time. Blogs, reviews (that never went anywhere), short stories, etc. I have so much free time with my insane commute, I should be utilizing some of it to reconnect with something that, while I may not be all that adept at it, brings me joy and fulfillment. The great thing about all of the things I’m going to try to do with my year is that I should have plenty about which to write!
- Boxing – I wrestled a lot in high school and beyond. I wasn’t half bad at it either. There was something about a competition that was not reliant on a team, where in I couldn’t hide my deficiencies behind someone else’s talent. I’ve always loved boxing for the same reason, and it’s a killer work out. I’ve already signed up for a membership at a local boxing gym. I’m going two nights a week on those rare weeks when I’m not traveling for one reason or another.
- Fencing – Fencing has always been something I’ve wanted to try. I had friends back in high school who were on a fencing team, and they seemed to have such a blast with it. Getting to fight each other with swords for fun! Yeah, it’s not what you are going to see in Lord of the Rings, or a Samurai flick, but it’s still something I feel is worth learning. I’ve signed up for 6 initial lessons for the start of the year, and we will see if I enjoy it enough for it to stick!
- Piano Lessons – I took lessons back in college, thought I never got all that good at it. I was never one to practice much, there was always something way more fun to do in the dorms, or out of the dorms for that matter. I received a new keyboard from my family for Christmas this year, and I’m looking forward to signing up for some lessons. Let’s hope I have learned the value of practicing at some point in the last 20 years.
- Work Life Balance – I’ve never been good at this one, and living in the Bay Area doesn’t help. The culture here is often one of unlimited access by your employer and sacrificial weekends. I often work way more than I should, and this often leads to me being irritable, depressed, and just plain no fun. This year I am working on doing less work. I know that means I might not be as successful at what I do, since it means I’m not getting those extra 20 hours of work done every week. But my hope is that the quality of my work will improve as my enjoyment of life improves, and this will offset the lack of extra hours. I’m going to work hard to make sure my personal time stays personal, and my work time is used for work.
- Videos – I’ve decided to create a couple video projects for 2017. I am always coming up with new concepts for something fun to create for Youtube, or where ever it would live. This year, since I’m going to being trying to not be working in my off hours, is the right year to attempt my first video project. I’m finally going to get that internet fame I’ve craved my entire life.
- Personal Projects – The world is full of things I want to try, and now I’m going to. Starting with Home automation. I’m fascinated by the idea of technology integrating into the most personal space we humans inhabit, the home. Home integration of technology such as Amazon Echo, and Google Home, offer so many fun innovations, and bring us one step closer to living in the star ship Enterprise. We can enter our houses without a key, and issue voice commands to turn on lights, turn up the heat, and order a new 2-gallon jug of milk. But these awesome advances in technology and convenience come at a yet undisclosed price. No, I don’t mean the $150 price tag for the Google Home, or the crazy $65 you will pay for new wireless light switches, but the price that we pay in the way of what we will be giving up to the major corporations that we will be inviting to share our homes with us. We will be giving large companies a place so near us in our homes, that this level of personal life integration with something that could be used for evangelizing products and thought that has not been seen since the introduction of television into the masses. I decided to pick up both a Google Home, and Amazon Echo enabled device to weigh the value of integration vs the cost. It should be fun to write about for a while.
That about does it for my new year. If I can do a quarter of these things I’ll have plenty to write about this year, especially if I throw on a few PAX events, E3, Gencon, and other various work and gaming related topics. Let’s see if 2017 can be the year I return to blogging.