Monday, January 02, 2006

Greeting the New Year

January 2. I wondered briefly about the nearly total lack of traffic on the interstate this morning, until I realized that the only people in the universe that were expected to work today were the employees of the company I work for. I actually wasn't all that upset about it, considering the sheer amount of work that needs to be done this week (our deadline week), but still, if today would have been a holiday, I wouldn't have been upset in the least.

As it was, the time passed pretty quickly. I had plenty of work to keep me occupied, and I found out as the morning progressed that I can expect my load to increase as I've been given another responsibility. Up until now, the only thing that has not fallen under my jurisdiction as proofreader was the weekly newsletter; now that is mine as well. While I did not lobby for this task, I can't deny that I wanted to take it as my own, and I feel that it only makes sense for me to do it. Now I can ensure consistency in all of our printed materials. I still haven't been set loose on the website, but I'm hopeful that I will be at some point--I pointed out the wisdom of this to my new boss recently, and she was quite receptive to the idea. I think I can expect a considerable expansion of all my roles now that she's in charge, actually. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out in terms of getting everything done in the time allotted to me each week, but I'm looking forward to doing my best.

At any rate, it turned out that we got to leave early today. Never underestimate the power of Ohio State football. Our new boss told our department we could leave at 2:30 today after she realized how many people were leaving early anyway in order to watch Ohio State play Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. I took advantage of that. Kickoff wasn't until 4:30, so I used the extra time wisely. I made a trip to the bookstore, which I've been wanting to do for a while, and then I came home and finished listening to the audiobook version of Beach Music. I wanted to finish everything I was reading before the New Year so I could start with a clean slate, and at least I was close. I can't remember the last time I wasn't actively reading something. Honestly, I don't know if I've been able to say that since I gained the ability to read independently. I've got plenty of possibilities, though, so I'm sure I'll tear into something new within the next day or two.

I also spent some time this evening clearing up my DVD and reading pages so I can start new logs for 2006. I noticed that I saw plenty of movies in 2005, but I'm disappointed with how many books I read. I don't think it'll be a problem, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to do better in that regard this coming year.

With all of that, here are some things I'd like to keep in mind for this coming year. I don't like to call them "resolutions," because New Year's resolutions are soon forgotten and rarely accomplished, for me as well as for just about everyone. These are just some things I'd like to strive for.

1. As I say every year, I'd like to dedicate more time to my writing craft in all its various forms--fiction, poetry (?), blogging, my journal, e-mail, etc. I'll let you know if I come up with a way of measuring this without actually setting down rules, schedules, and structure, under which I generally don't operate well.

2. I want to read a whole lot more than I did last year. By my count, I read just nine books last year that I hadn't read before. By way of contrast, I had ten new books on my list for 2004, and I didn't even start keeping that list until June. I'm going to aim for at least fifteen new ones in 2006, on top of the various re-readings that I know I'll do as well. If I exceed that number, fantastic, but I'll be extremely disappointed in myself if I don't at least meet it.

3. I did pretty well with movies in 2005, seeing twenty-two new ones. That's nearly two per month, which I'd say is respectable. I'll aim for twenty-five this year. Again, if I beat that number, great. I don't think reaching it will be too much trouble, given that I can bring movies home from work for free and also that I like going to the theater.

4. I want to keep working out, with an eye toward flattening my gut in addition to strengthening and toning my muscles. That part of my routine is going well and producing at least decent results. In order to trim down the gut, though, I need to add more cardio exercise into my routine, not to mention eliminating some of the empty calories from my diet. I'm thinking mainly of the pop and candy I consume while I'm at work--not a ton, but more than I should--plus anything else I can reasonably eliminate. I'm not going to become a diet Nazi or anything because the main reason I work out is so I can continue to eat the way I do, to a certain extent, but it wouldn't hurt to keep moderation in mind in addition to adding a new element to my workout routines.

I may add to this list as things occur to me over the next couple of days, but those are the big things that I knew I wanted to think about. This is definitely going to be an interesting year.

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