Happy 2018!

Happy New Year! It's 2018! This is the year that I turn 50. I feel like I should mark the occasion somehow. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do the week of my birthday, but I'm not sure about the rest of the year.

Unlike in years past, I can't think of one big, new habit that I'm trying to establish. That one thing that I can use my calendar for to track how well I'm doing. Since I started doing this a few years ago, I've had successes (more biking) and failures (no sugar). I've found that I'll tend to be more successful if I make it about doing something instead of avoiding doing something. That makes sense. Focus on the positive and not the negative. What I want to do here is set up some process that I can follow and be done.

I recently read this book called Ikigai. I liked it a lot. Ikigai is basically about finding your purpose in life and how that leads to a long and healthy life. There were many things in the book that I agree with and some that I already do. The one thing that jumped out at me was that 100% of the people they talked to that lived to 100 had vegetable gardens. I love this because gardening is one of my latest obsessions. Additionally, my diet has never been the greatest because I'm not much of a cook, but I'm trying to improve. So I think my goal this year is to eat at least one vegetable a day. This might not sound like much, but I think it's a good habit for me. I can try to grow some stuff to get a variety and also try to learn different ways to cook vegetables. It's a positive goal. For people who grew up eating a lot of different vegetables, this might sound simple, but I never really cared much for vegetables, so I tended to avoid them and still do.

Now that I have my daily chart out of the way, what else. My new focus on the house is to get the lead water line changed. So I'm saving for that and if I'm lucky can get that replaced this summer.

I still ride my bike a lot, but not as much as a few years ago. I need to get back into the habit of biking to work. And I'd like to take my bike on the train to ride around other cities again. I like exploring cities that way, so I should do it more often.

More DIY projects. The more projects I do, the more skills I'll learn, thus enabling me to do even more projects. Plus, I really like making stuff. It's so satisfying. I have to get a better handle on using my welder this year. And I'd like to learn how to make different types of woodworking joints and get comfortable enough with them that I don't have to review how to make them each time before I try.

Now that I've been gardening for a few years, I want to get better at it. I want to rebuild my raised beds in a more organized manner. And set them up so that I can make a sort of greenhouse around them for next winter. I have some ideas about how to do this and it will require me to spend a little money. I think this will be a good investment, so I'm ok with that.

As I said before, I turn 50 this year. I've read a lot of books that are (like Ikigai) about living a good life, happiness, etc. And just about all of them say that the things in life you do in service for others are what are the most satisfying. Giving away time and/or money for a cause you believe in makes you feel more connected to those around you. In the past few years, I've found this to be absolutely true. And I've tried to make my actions follow my beliefs. I know that most of my actions are completely inconsequential in the larger universe, but I often tell myself to behave as though they are of the utmost consequence. If this year marks the beginning of the second half of my life (because I tell myself that I want to live to 100), I want to kick it off in a special way. I want to feel even more connected to people. So each month I want to do something beneficial to others. I haven't quite figured out what this will be, but it's an on-going project. This was the idea behind signing up for tutoring at my local literacy center. So that's how I'm starting. We'll see how the year goes.

Happy New Year!