The left brain tells me it’s totally stupid to give a crap that the year is over and a new one’s begun. I mean, what’s a year? Just a measure of time invented by us hairless monkeys to make it possible to plan all of our stuff. Is the first of January any different than the twenty-third of July (if you’d been to a big fat party on the twenty-second)? Other than the temperature and when it gets dark, not really. This may all be logical, but the right brain (or maybe it’s the little sweaty lizard brain back there in the dark) says, “shut the hell up, it’s a new year! Woohoo!”
So, accepting that it’s a new year and that this does in fact mean something to me, how was 2007 and where do I want to go with 2008?
More Focus, Less Work
I worked a hell of a lot last year. As far as position, money and recognition goes, the effort was worth it. But my relationships, health and personal projects suffered just as much as my career advanced. No matter how I look at that equation, it’s a bad deal. But being someone who believes that almost everything — if not actually every last thing — which you experience, good and bad, is your own fault, I can’t really say “damn clients!” or “damn colleagues!” and not even “damn boss!” There’s only “damn Matt!”
What to do? Staying more organised and focussed — let’s call it disciplined — is my plan for 2008. Look ahead, plan what’s next and what’s after next, keep an overview, and identify my procrastination tricks and develop antidotes. My theory is that all of this leads to less work and less stress. I’ll let you know next January.
Live in Meatspace
I’ve said for years that I could do my job just as good, if not better, if I were a brain in a jar wired to a computer. I still believe that (more or less) but as shown above, I’m not my job. I have a body and I need to do something with it.
Last night I took my first Aikido course. Today my shoulders and knees are four big bruises, my legs are pissed off with me and I can’t remember the last time I sweated so much in any single hour. And every bit of it feels good. Without getting too proud, I’ve got to say I’m pretty damned happy with myself, and plan to stick with it.
Ass + Cushion
I’ve been a Buddhist since 1997. Buddhism is a way and a goal that’s bigger than just about anything, so it’s also more important to me than just about anything. But self-honesty goes hand in hand with looking backwards and forwards at the beginning of a new year, so the truth I have to admit is that I’ve become a lip-service Buddhi. I can think and talk about it all day long, but when it comes down to the work — getting my ass on the cushion and meditating — I’ve always got a reason why I can’t. But there is no reason why I can’t, and many very good reasons why I should. This year I’ll be thinking less, talking less, and sitting more.
I hope you’ve also had some time to think about your year gone, and that you’ve got a few ideas how to enjoy, grow and learn more in the one we’ve just started. Have an excellent 2008.
What Did I Forget?
Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to buy me one of these this year. Probably even this week.