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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Welcome to the Rest of Your Life

It's gonna be 2013 soon and the world didn't end. For some, this is a revelation but for me it basically reaffirms what I was already thinking: that the rest of my life will continue on and the so will the world.

With that in mind and the new year nearly upon us, I'm feeling pretty good about things. Better than I was this time last year. Why? Well, I made some goals last year that I have met, for the most part. Let's take a look back at last year's post on New Years.

"So, I'm going to make an effort to shut my mouth if I want to complain. I don't have a right to do it. No one does.

I'm going to make an effort to continue to eat right and work out. I'm going to do my best to encourage others to do the same.

I'm going to make an effort to be a better person than I am right now. I know I can be. I know I should be. I'm going to do my best to be a better person. Less stupidity, more common sense; less arrogance, more humbleness. I need a remodel. I've started the outside's time to work on the inside stuff."

Well, I think I had some pretty good success since last New Year. I don't complain nearly as much as I used to, I have continued to eat right and workout, but I'm still a bit too prideful/arrogant for my own good. I'm working on that one.

But that was last year. In that time I've blogged a lot, made some progress, and gotten some things done. But there's still a lot for me to do. I'll be the first to admit that I have problems that need to be addressed and this year I'm going to take a hard look at those problems.

The remodel of the outside of me is pretty much done. The remodel of the inside of me is still a work in progress, but it's a work that's on its way to getting done. Here's a list of the top five goals I have for this year. Success is not guaranteed or mandatory ... all I require of myself is that I put forth my best effort.

5. Be Less of a Control Freak

I'll admit, I have issues with this. I want to be in control of everything. I hate not knowing what to expect and not being able to control things. I can't control other people (though I try) and I can't control how people react to things. I want to, badly, but that's wrong.

We were given free will -- everyone has it -- and as human beings we routinely use that. I want to play God sometimes though and make people do things.

Which I shouldn't do. As a major control freak, I need to step back and let people make their own choices and not force my will upon them. This year I'm going to endeavor to be less of a control freak for the good of others and myself.

4. Read the Bible More

I used to be quite the avid reader of the Bible.

Then I went to college and fell out of the habit of it. I need to start reading it again. It provides such wisdom and reenforces a lot of good points my friends and family make to me. Of course, I'm stubborn, so these points must be made to me multiple times and usually the Bible helps in getting me to the point where I actually listen.

3. Be More Vocal About My Beliefs

"Yeah, right," a lot of you say.

But take a moment and listen. I am pretty blunt about a lot of things. My hatred of ketchup. My love of cheesecake. My undying loyalty to the Florida Gators.

How often do I step up to the plate and voice my religious beliefs? How often do I voice my political ones?

Not very often. I've found that those two things are incredibly divisive and I've lost friends because of those things in the past (See Bush/Kerry 2004). But I'm tired of keeping things bottled up. I have thoughts on these things, thoughts that I want to discuss -- I repeat, discuss -- and not bash people over the head with.

I don't want things to turn into a flame war, let me emphasize that, but I want to discuss things. I don't expect an understanding to be reached between myself and others on certain issues, but I'd like to be able to have an intelligent discussion about things without it turning into one side trying to kill the other.

We can't really do that in our country today. We're too busy digging trenches, lobbing grenades, and slaughtering anyone who stands in our way. We don't want to discuss anything, we want to be right and we want everyone else to feel how we feel.

That's just not gonna happen. It's not historically accurate for this country or the human race. People will always have differing opinions and beliefs. The difference between coexisting peacefully and becoming a divided, broken, people is whether or not one can have an intelligent discussion about things.

Our country is on it's way to becoming a divided, broken, people (if it isn't already one yet). I'd like to engage some people in some discussions, express my beliefs, and air out some things. It's going to be difficult, but I feel like I need to do it.

2. Finish Some Stories

I have a lot of stories. A lot. I commonly start them, get a ways into them, and then leave them for something that interests me more. I have writer ADD. I need help with that. It's why I always have three or four projects going at once, so if I get bored on one I can switch to another.

But I'm tired of it and the people that read my stuff are tired of it. I want to start a story and finish it. This year I am going to try, really hard, to do that. I have a number of unfinished stories that deserve a conclusion and conclude them I will try to do.

This is not going to be easy but a lot of people have invested time and effort in my stories and letting them sit there, unfinished, is just so crappy of me. I don't want to do that to people. It's probably too late to make it up to them at this point but I owe them an ending.

1. Be More Social

This is the big one. This is the Goliath goal and I feel very much like David staring up at it.

I'm not even sure if I have a slingshot. I may be stuck with a Dollar Tree knockoff Nerf gun.

But I need to be more social. I need to get out more. I need to find a social life.

And I'm going to do my best to do so this year. A social life, as we all know, is a serious investment. More than anything a social life requires investments on a number of different fronts ... from time, to money, to emotions, a social life can either bolster you or weaken you.

My lack of one weakens me. I was never a social creature before but now I have few decent excuses left. I'm not huge or fat anymore. I'm not woefully out of shape. I can break into a run at any moment.

I'm not such a lightweight drinker anymore, which means I can have fun without paying a huge price the next day.

I need to risk something to get something. Socially, I lack any courage, I'll admit that. I've been told for over a year now that I need to get out more by many, many, trusted friends from all walks out life.

I'm 24 and I haven't had a date in nearly five years. Take a moment and shake your head with me.


Awesome, now with that out of the way, let me lay out my tentative plan of action. The town I live in doesn't exactly have a swinging singles scene, but I live near a few towns with some. Said towns are like an hour away though, so I can't be doing this every week.

But I can do it once a month. I can put some gas in my car, roll into a town, and find somewhere to hang for a Friday/Saturday afternoon or night ... a place where there are people my age and doing things I kinda don't hate. People have suggested a whole host of things and I'm going to investigate them: among said things are a Frisbee league, a bar, church functions, clubs ...

I beg you, give me as many suggestions as you want. I need the help.

Remember, I'm a social coward, so accountability will be huge for me. Pressure me. Seriously. Pressure me and I will get pissed and go, because that's how my flawed mind works.

Anyways, that's my tentative gameplan. 

Out of all the goals here, I want this one to really succeed.

Thanks for reading, and have a great New Year folks. 

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