Saturday, January 15, 2011

A year in the life

Wow, I haven't posted here in a year? Seriously? It doesn't seem that long, but when I look back and read what I was writing a year ago, it's funny because I seem to be back in that write-it-out mood again. I'm attributing it to the time of year, and the fact that, once again, we're snowed in. In fact, we just got our mail delivered yesterday for the first time in a week.

So, looking back at my New Year's "Revolutions" from last year, I have to chuckle a bit. I don't usually like going back and reading what I've previously written, because it often feels like a different person's writings. But I'll make an exception in this case.

1. Giving Vegetarianism another try. Yeah, that didn't work out so well, but I am still on a health food kick. And by health food, I mean I only drink water or 100% juice and I'm cutting way down on sugar in foods. The Xmas goodies were a minor set-back, but I'm moving forward.

2. I won't let people get to me as much. Well, I think I have made improvements here. I can at least sleep at night when someone makes personal insults at me in a comment, but I don't think I'll ever fully get past this. I'm working on it though. That balance between loving my job and not caring about what people make up in their minds is difficult, but there's a bigger problem here. I just need to keep my mouth shut about how it bothers me. We'll cover that later in this post when I tell my 2011 resolutions.

3. More networking. Yeah, I've certainly done this and I'm happy with it. I'm moonlighting as a columnist at a tech website and I have some interesting prospects for side jobs this year. So I'm excited about that. It will be nice to not deal with one topic 24/7.

4. Less stuff for 2010. I held on to this one fairly well, too. We got a storage unit while our house is on the market and we've discovered that everything in that storage unit is not really needed. We gave a TON away, sold some at flea markets, and will probably give even more away once the weather gets nice again. So this is an ongoing project.

5. MOVE! Yeaaaaah, see the thing is... We have our houses listed for sale, so I'm certainly trying. It's just that it's been 4 months now and no one's buying it. I live in a really bad neighborhood though and one neighbor's house is condemned and another across the street is abandoned and falling down. My new plan involves renting this house out, if I can get approved for another mortgage.


So there you go. Win some, lose some. Now for this year, the goals are similar, but refined:

1. First and foremost, I'm going to try to be more positive. Especially in public, where I often regret my little dramatic tantrums, I need to remember that I have much to be thankful for. Despite my ex-wife's insanity with trying to take my kids away and the negative feedback I get every day about my job, I have my health, I'm newly engaged to the most wonderful woman and I have two amazing daughters whose well-being is my main focus. I shouldn't care that a few dozen people think I do a poor job running a website.

2. Eat healthy. I'm working on it! One of the main reasons I want to move away from the ghetto and into a more rural area is to grow my own food and get away from preservatives and chemicals. So this is a long-term goal that may take much longer than I'd originally hoped.

3. MOVE! Yep, still a goal for this year. At least now the house is ready to go. But even if I have to rent it out, I'm going to move into another house (that *I* get to pick out this time).

4. Establish a stronger relationship with God. I was raised Christian and consider myself very religious. There was a bit of time there when I was confused about all of the details and differences between the many sects, but I've come to realize that I can't let things like that distance me from having a core belief and turning to God more when I have problem (or when everything's fine).

5. Focus on getting one of my novel ideas outlined and started. I know I won't finish a novel in a year, but I have a few ideas that I think are pretty good, and I'd like to see them fleshed out a bit.


And that's really it. 2010 was a really great year for me. I left the country for the first time. I lived in a tent on a farm for a week. I completely rebuilt my kitchen. I've done a lot of things that I've been meaning to do for years and years. So far, I've started out 2011 on the right foot by become engaged to Sarah. So let's hope 2011 sees even more growth in Shawn Schuster -- spiritually and mentally.

Going along with the "more positivity", I plan to write more here, especially when I'm feeling down. I can use this blog as a way to focus on the good things in my life my writing them down. Wish me luck!