2010

At the beginning of every year, many of us take the time to step back, take a look at ourselves and make resolutions to be better. While it can be argued that we could do that at any point during the year, the change of the calendar makes a convenient time to make an attempt at changes.

From what I’ve seen from my contacts on social media, last year was a difficult year. For us it was no different. It wasn’t horrible with grave or life changing events, but it was tough. Part of that was our own doing including allowing ourselves to overpack our schedule. Overtime, poor vacation planning, too many extracurricular activities, and preparing for major exams ran us into the ground. My wife is actually currently on a leave of absence from work trying to recover from it all.

After a year like that, and possibly due to a mid-life crisis, resolutions seem to take on more importance as a way to recover and recalibrate areas that may have been slipping. Over the past few years I’ve been working at striking balance in life. Readjusting to both life as a parent and to the move to Montreal seems to have put me back on my heels on many parts of my life. I’ve been taking care things as they come to me, but not proactively doing what should be done. I kind of wonder if I may have burned myself out even before becoming a parent and moving here back when we were living in Chicago. Over the past few years it seems that I sought out distractions more often than I should have. Or even taking a bit too much ‘me’ time. Both as a means of evasion. It is time to get over that and take charge again of many aspects of my life.

Of course many of us make seem to make an annual resolution to shed some weight. I have done it almost every year and this one is no different. Though every year I usually try something different in order to achieve that goal. I’ve tried a variety of diets with a few of them mentioned on this blog over the years. Some worked and some didn’t, but all did not last. But it has been many years since I’ve committed to any sort of exercise regime. I’ve always blamed a lack of time (and sleep) as the reason for not recommiting to exercise. This year, we bought a Wii in order to be at least a bit more active while at home. We also decided to try the Wii Fit to see if would get us off our butts. I’ll talk more about our experience with it in a future post after we’ve had more time with it. But my goal with this is not only to lose weight, but also to gain back the strength, balance, and flexibility that I’ve lost over the past few years. No special diet this time. Just exercise and eating right.

During these past couple months that my wife has been on leave, I have been helping out more with the kids. I’ve usually been more concentrated on getting the heavy lifting things done around the house or the finances. Helping more with the kids has shown me that I’ve not been doing all that I could toward their enrichment but also that I really must give up my remaining inhibitions toward what is left of a language barrier when dealing with people involved with my kids. Education and enrichment of our kids has been one of my primary reasons for becoming a parent. So it is time to actively apply myself more toward their growth. And yes, it is easier now that their world is less about princess and more about discovering the world around them.

One thing that is not a resolution but an ongoing quest is to become a better person. Get a better understanding of humanity. Be present. Communicate better. Be a better father. Be a better husband. Be a better family member. Be a better friend. Get organized. The time is now.

Another annual resolution that we’ve taken on this year is better attention to finances. We’ve always lived beyond our means despite continued efforts to rectify it. We’ve been lucky that chance has allowed us to keep bringing our debt back to zero, but we can’t keep relying on those. So in addition to keeping track of our spending we will also cut down on unnecessary expenses. Our drive to spend on certain items will likely be the topic of another post someday.

At the office, I’ve got a good amount of work ahead of me. As I mentioned earlier I’ve been back on my heels. I recently had the only negative review in my dozen years of working. Some of that has been due to learning new codes, new system of units (metric), and getting comfortable with the language. But it’s really more a problem of letting the work come to me instead of going after it. On that front it is really time to take charge and get the job done.

And lastly in a bit of contrast to all that I’ve mentioned that needs to get done above, we’ve got to allow time to relax and recover. Over the past year our life was non-stop from May to December with it particularly tough from September to November. There was very little break during that time. Or at least the length and quality of the breaks was not sufficient. And really this brings it back to the resolutions of the past few years of having balance among the many aspects of our lives. The difference is that this time around I need to pay more attention to items at hand.

It has only been a few weeks so far, but these resolutions are still strong and they are making a difference. I’m hesitant to say that they will hold and continue to be a part of our lives because I’ve felt that before in previous years about this same time. Usually something comes up that knocks us off our routine and we don’t get back to it until the next year. But then if we don’t keep trying, we’re not going to succeed.

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~ by Frank on February 2, 2010.

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