2For66

Traveling, Cooking, Reading, and Trains

Post Date: December 30, 2020

(Dare I say “Resolutions”?)

I can tell I come from the corporate world when thinking about these: first I thought where I wanted to be at the end of 2020; thenI organized those ideas in categories; then developed strategies for each category;  finally, I developed (kinda) measurable and achievable objectives to achieve those goals. 

Then I remembered I’m retired and it doesn’t have to be formal; but here we are.

Some Issues

Maybe it’s just me but after retiring I found it refreshing not to be constantly working toward resolution of projects and problems.  But that freedom led me to become lazy and fall into ruts. 

I don’t need to fill every minute with achieving some goal, but I think it is a good idea for me to put some structure around the things I’ve wanted to do. 

Health and  Wellbeing 

I’m too heavy (it says so right there on my annual physical report). I plan to work on two things in this area.

Goal: Lose 12 pounds (a simple 1 pound/month). Everyone’s New Year Resolution starts here, right?

Objectives

  1. Eat WAY less sugar. Sugar is my downfall. 
  2. Exercise at least 6 days each week. I practice yoga 3 days a week but need to force myself to get out those other days. Daily activities can include:
    1. Yoga (3 days a week)
    2. Walk a minimum of 45 minutes
    3. Swim 30 minutes. I gave up swimming a few years ago. Maybe it’s time to get back in the pool

Social

If you met me, you’d think I’m an extrovert; well, I think of myself an introvert caught in an extrovert’s body. I can easily spend a few days all on my own and can be uncomfortable in group settings if I’m not good friends with everyone. So I go into overdrive to overcome my discomfort. But really, human interaction is necessary for a happy and fulfilling life. My  objectives in this category are not as measurable as for the health category.

Goal: Be more social

Objectives:

  1. Say “Yes” more often to social activities. Too often I try to find an excuse (not a reason) to get out of an engagement. 
  2. Be open to more travel. We do travel a lot but often I think of reasons to avoid going.
  3. Engage in low-stakes relationships. I stole this from – I think – the New York Times. These are interactions with people who are not in my close group of friends; think the barista you see a few times a week. Smile, chat them up.

Challenging Myself – Activities

I have things I want to accomplish with my hobbies but my laziness leads to procrastination.

Goal: Cook more

I used to cook quite a bit. I loved being creative and combining it with my photography and my blogging. This past summer my son’s vegetarian family moved back home to be closer to family. They lived with us while their house sold and they bought a new one here. The five and three year old boys were not always fans of my efforts so I left a lot of the cooking to their mom. 

In addition, two of my big inspirations have waned over the past year. Mike Vrobel of Dad Cooks Dinner doesn’t seem to be posting as much and since Chris Kimball left America’s Test Kitchen I haven’t been as engaged in the TV shows and the Cook’s Country and Cooks Illustrated magazines

Objectives: 

  1. Cook more (Um, objectives are supposed to be more specific that goals. Oh well. 
  2. Explore other sources of inspiration for cooking. Add at least one new source of inspiration (e.g. YouTube, Blogs, Magazines)

Goal: Improve my photography

Objectives: 

  1. Get out there and take pictures; I don’t have to wait for a day to go photograph trains or take pictures on a trip. I need to just get out in the world with my camera.
  2. Take notes in order to learn what works, and what doesn’t. (I did this successfully a year ago on my train pictures and it worked out great).
  3. Look at the photos in post processing and figure out what works best in different circumstances.
  4. Finish the lessons I purchased from Matt Kloskowski and practice the techniques on my own photos.

Goal: Read.
I’ve hit a lull over the past few months.

Objective: Read 12 books in 2020. Normally my goal is 8 and so far I’ve always exceeded it.

Goal: Play my guitar

Objective: I don’t want to box (pun intended) myself in here. I like doodling when playing along with music I listen to. That said, last year I learned the 5 box patterns for the minor pentatonic scales and it was a big step in my enjoyment. I don’t see myself signing up for formal lessons.

Conclusion

I think many of these activities will feed each other. If I lose weight and become more active it will help me get out more. And, getting out taking pictures is an activity that will promote the health goals. Often when I cook we invite people over for dinner, which supports my socialization goal. In addition I usually take pictures when I cook which – if I work at it – will help me improve my photography.

Other goals are mutually exclusive. Reading and working on processing pictures are solitary activities which do not foster socializing. 

Now, if I was a real nerd I’d build a spreadsheet with the activities going down the left side and goals across the top then put “X” showing which goals the activities foster. I thought seriously about it, but nope.

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