New Year’s Resolutions? No.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, never really have and probably never will. I don’t wait around for the end of the year to roll around when I feel a change needs to be made in my life, I do it when the time presents itself as the “right” time to do it. New Year’s resolutions are generally just an excuse for people to promise to make changes they know they need to make but aren’t willing to put forth the effort to achieve them, and when they inevitably break them it can be written off as just another broken resolution. Little more than a convenient scapegoat.

That said, I do frequently use the new year as a chance to reflect back on whatever goals or changes I’ve set. Analyze the progress of the ones I’m working on, appreciate the success of the ones I’ve recently achieved, and re-evaluate the timetables for the ones I’ve yet to start on. This year’s analysis is below the fold, so click the link below to read on if you’re interested.

First and foremost, I began a complete personal makeover this year, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

On the physical side, I decided to get myself in better shape and take much better care of my body. I’ve lost 30 of the 40 pounds I set out to lose, and have modified my diet and completely removed the fast food, sweets, and other unhealthy crap. Additionally, I’m making a more concerted effort to lean towards organic foods when possible. I haven’t settled into any kind of exercise routine like I’d hoped, but as I get closer to completing the weight loss part the exercise part becomes more and more on my mind. Additionally, I’ve been wanting to get to the dentist to fix the several teeth that have gotten chipped or damaged over recent years. I’ve been far too lax in getting them taken care of, but money is a concern there as I have no dental insurance and it’s likely to be pretty expensive at this point. Finally, I’m also wanting to get to a dermatologist and get my skin looked at. I have major problems with painfully dry skin all over my body (especially during the winter months) as well as the occasional acne, and at 36 it’s time to be done with it. Again, the financial side has kept me from it more than anything.

Spiritually, I’m coming along nicely as well. I’ve spent a lot of time studying Buddhism and Taoism and gotten into a meditation habit that’s admittedly still to infrequent. It’s helping out a lot with my mental focus and general outlook on life, so I really need to keep working on this. I’m spending less time fretting over things I can’t change, ruminating over every little decision, lusting after material objects that don’t really matter, and so on. I’ll never throw myself completely into one belief system, and I’m still as agnostic as ever, but it’s been a pursuit worth taking and continuing to take.

Emotionally, I have managed to pull myself out of the biggest funk I’ve been in for a long time. Mind you, I’ve only managed to raise myself to where I usually am at the bottom of my downswings, so I’ve still got a long way to go to get completely out of this hole, but it’s a start. Meditation has helped out a lot, as has meeting the right people (or person, specifically) but there’s still a lot of work to be done here. Ups and downs are a natural part of life, but downs as far down as I was just a couple months ago are not.

Beyond the makeover, I’ve been pushing myself creatively a lot lately. I managed to finish a few new songs finally, after a very long dry period. I’ve fallen into another dry spell, but I hope to make this one much shorter. I got myself drawing again, even if only a tiny little bit. It’s a start, but I need to keep focused on it and not let that slip away again. I also want to get back into writing a bit more often, and blogging more frequently is a start, but I haven’t put much effort into it (other than some really bad poetry/lyrics hidden in a couple of recent songs.)

I also want to get back into DJing a bit more, both the more traditional style using Traktor and the loop-based style using Ableton Live. I’ve started putting together a loop library in Live, but it’s a huge amount of effort and very time consuming, so that’s still a bit off. I’ve got a copy of Traktor 3 I need to install and play with one of these days, but the loop stuff has been more my focus.

I also want to take some music theory courses and perhaps even singing lessons. I don’t really want to start singing or anything, but it would help with things like writing melodies and having better pitch perception overall. I’ve started reading up on theory a bit online, and have been putting more thought towards it in my recent tracks, but some more formal training would be ideal at some point.

A career re-focusing as been on the table for quite a while now. Part of me want to throw myself fully into the design side of things, another part of me wants to move more into development. I think the decision will eventually come down to whatever field I can find work in. The design side would fulfill my creative yearnings, but the development side would fulfill my problem-solving desires and fuller pocketbook desires, so it’s all good either way I suppose.

I’m still itching to move away from Cleveland, even though I don’t talk about it as much lately. I’m still just not sure where I want to go to, and I’m not in a huge rush to make the move (wouldn’t want to make some rash decision and end up regretting it!) I’m trusting the universe to lay it out before me at some point, something (or someone) will come along that clearly points my path out to me. Until then, I can bide my time and sit tight.

At the end of all that, there’s also been an itch lately to get out and meet someone new and hopefully get myself in some kind of relationship for the first time in years. For the longest time I’ve been completely okay with being alone (at least in that regard) but over the last year or so it’s kinda bugged me again. Still, it’s really not a priority right now. Gotta finish up the makeover, solidify the career, and figure out where the hell I’m gonna live before I start adding that extra layer of complication to the equations. :-)

Okay, that’s enough reflection and analyzing. Hopefully it wasn’t too random or disjointed, it was fairly stream-of-consciousness.