Friday, January 27, 2012

The Sun

I've been out most of the afternoon running errands and catching a movie, after having spent several hours this morning working virtually. It's a beautiful day here. The sky is a soft blue, there are some wispy clouds, then is a light breeze and the sun has warmed the day to the mid-sixties.

I saw "One For The Money" with Katherine Heigl and Joe O'Mara. It was a pretty entertaining adaption of the fictional character Stephanie Plum. I have no idea how close it was to the novels, but it roused my interest in them, so they've gone onto the reading list.

From there, I stopped at REI, Office Max, CVS and my haircut place for an overdue trim. I now look quite presentable. Now, I'm sitting in the parking lot at Holder's Country Inn about to grab dinner. Now.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Winds of Change

I am coming to the conclusion that 2012 is already shaping up to be a year of changes and transformation for me, some planned, some unplanned, some intentional, some unintentional, some under my influence and some beyond the edges of my influence. For my part I am just going to try and embody this spirit:

Be in stillness like a mirror,
and in motion like the sea.

It's probably not going to be easy, but it is going to be a growing experience.  (Growing experience may be code for "hold still, this is going to hurt".)  Those changes were embodied in my day today.

I slept fairly well last night.  If I dreamed, I don't know what I dreamed.  I woke around 5:00 AM and ran through my usual morning routine. Unfortunately, I discovered I was out of coffee!  Once the initial shock and trauma wore off, I substituted a cup of tea and was more or less content. I exchanged text with T.R. and attempted to sneak a quick call in but missed the connection, so I left a voice-mail.  From there I saddled up and went into the office.

Today was a momentous day at work. Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting with my boss regarding the organizational changes that are going to be formally announced Monday morning in a directorate wide staff meeting. As part of the organization the remnant of my department, my three analysts, are going to be transferred under another manager. 

The intention is to split the department along traditional lines - one portion is going to be focused on projects, new systems development, and change management. The other portion will be responsible for operations and maintenance and the user support activities. This is the traditional split of many IT groups.  We were, for a long time, the exception, in that we were a full cycle organization - from idea to inception to implementation to full production support.  Technically and operationally it was a good work experience, but like all things, it comes to an end.

My analysts are going with the operational portion of the directorate, and I will be going with the project portion of the directorate, as a Staff Analyst.  I'm ambivalent but curious about the outcome of the change. I am well aware that part of me is in simple change resistance. It is quite possible that, six months from now, I will look on the split and change as having been a very good thing. 

One of the most difficult aspects of my soon to be former position was that split - project work requires the ability to concentrate for long periods of time on a specific task or set of tasks, operational support requires a great deal of agility and the ability to move from one task to another quickly, in short fast cycles.  So, in some ways, I have been moved to right when I want to be, work-wise.  But, at the same time, that isn't going to stop me from being change resistance.

So, today I went into the office and spent the first two hours talking with my team and discussing the changes. We simply sat in the conference room with the door closed and I told them what I knew and what I thought. It was a good discussion and I think that, though there may be some rough spots ahead, I suspect the transition will go smoothly enough.  I have good people and they are professionals and will rapidly adapt to the new circumstances.

There is definitely a feeling of loss though. We've been together as a department, with me as the manager, for about seven years I think.  That is a long time in dog years.  I've had a stable, highly functional department for most of that period of time. It hurts to let it go.  So, I spent most of the day in meetings and when I wasn't in the meetings, I did the best I could to move smoothly through the day and start down the path of getting ready for the transition.  The next couple of weeks will be all about transition.

So, layer on top of the changes in my professional life the changes in my personal life and it's going to be a year of changes. It will be interesting to see where I am sitting at the end of the year, once I've been through the cycle. I honestly don't know, but I am looking forward to it.  Part of the change resistance within me comes from the challenges of transformation on a personal level.  It is going to be an interesting journey. I am going to look forward to see where the winds of change take me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oscar Wilde - Lady Windemere's Fan

But there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely — or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.
Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan

I happen to really like this novel and I think this quote sums up the heart of it very well.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

An Ordinary Monday Unfolds

It's been an ordinary Monday.  I woke up about 5:00 AM, took a shower, shaved, and had a light breakfast of Special K and Almond Milk, chased with a cup of black coffee. I had a morning conversation with T.R., then drove into the office listening to NPR.  Once at the office, I went through my email, checked the calendar, and starting working on the variety of items on my plate.  The morning was split pretty evenly between time to work and time to go to meetings.  Lunch was a bowl of potato and bacon soup with a side of cottage cheese and a cookie.  Then, back to the office.  The first hour of the afternoon was spent working on a new project that just arose.  The second hour has been spent on email. I have a window of about an hour and half up next, which should give me a little space for project related work, then a 2:30 PM one on one with my manager.  In short, an ordinary Monday.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Aftermath of Lunch

An Apt Dream

I am starting a pleasant Sunday morning here, following a good night of sleep, a strange dream, and a morning spent with T.R.. I've now run through the shower - with some emergency repairs in the middle of the shower.  I put a new shower head on last night and it sprung a leak this morning, so I took it off and took a look at it and discovered that the threading on the new shower head was wrong, the original has a finer threading.  So, I quickly improvised and put the original back on, long enough to take a shower.  I'll do a more durable repair a little later in the day.

I had a dream last night that, on waking, I thought was entirely apt for work.  I dreamed that I was at work, that it was a weekend or holiday and the plant was mostly empty, and I was driving to another building to pick something up.  Only, we drove about half way to the other building and then parked and set out to walk. There was absolutely no reason to park where we parked, which was in the middle of a big empty lot, far from our destination. On waking I thought it was a pretty apt description of the work experience - pointless and empty wandering and choices made for no apparent reason.  It was amusing.

So now, I am getting ready to start the day, sitting in the living room, drinking a cup of coffee and watching a DVD of Jewel singing songs from her "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland" tour.  She is quite a talented lady, so I've been enjoying the DVD.  I spent several hours yesterday (while doing other things) loading CD's into iTunes so I can move them over to the iPod. My intention is to simply load my entire CD collection into iTunes and get it all onto the Classic iPod I use.  I am kind of looking forward to having all my music at my finger tips.  I've had numerous iPod's over the years, but I never bothered to load all of my CD's up. 

As I was going through the process yesterday, I discovered some CD's that I am not sure are mine (Big & Rich - really? Have I ever listened to Big & Rich?) as well as some slants to the collection that I wasn't awareness.  I would have told you that I not a big jazz fan, in fact, yet as I was loading I think about a third of my collection is jazz and that kind of surprised me.

My plan today is a simple breakfast, then my friend Tony wants to see Haywire (with Gina Carano) and I am kind of curious about it.  Though it is normally the type of movie that is low on my viewing list, I was surprised to see that several prominent critics gave it good marks, so I am curious about why.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Unexpected Day of Underworld: Awakening

Today was an example of the best laid plans going awry.  My friends and I were supposed to get together later in the day and spend some time socializing and playing games, but B., who was hosting, came down with a sore throat and another friend T., had other things rise up that he needed to do.  So, the rest of us met for breakfast at the Hickory Pit and then, from there, we went out and saw "Underworld: Awakening", the new action movie with Kate Beckinsale - and I have to say it was better then I expected.

Oh, there are not any Oscar's in its future, but for what it was it was a pretty straightforward simple piece of action-adventure, with the added bonus of the always beautiful Kate Beckinsale in spandex and a leather bustier. On the shallow side of the pond, how the heck can you go wrong with that?  Well, you can of course, but in this case they didn't.  Set the expectations low and enjoy the sights and sounds.  Really, isn't that what most action adventures are supposed to be like?  Turn off the intellect and watch the pretty people blow things up?

After the movie, a stop at the market to pick up odds and ends, then home for a quiet afternoon. I may, a little later in the day, run out and shoot some pool for an hour or so, but I haven't made that decision yet.  For right now, I am settled in and doing incidental things around the house - and watching an older action movie - Relic.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dreams Touch Old Places

Last night I dreamed about a house I lived in during the 1980's. In the dream the house was being rented to a new tenant (oddly enough it was the actor Hugh Jackman) and I needed to clean some old stuff out.

There wasn't much there - a few boxes, some books on the bookshelves, and a few odds and ends. I was planning on boxing the stuff up and storing it in an old chicken coop on the property, on the far side of the stand alone garage. The chicken coop was dusty and filled with cobwebs.

That was basically the extent of the dream. That old house is long gone. It was torn down in the 90's to make room for a newer house on that particular piece of property, so it exists now only in memory, only in dreams. It was kind of nice to visit it. I have found memories from that time and place.
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Why I don't live in Montana. (Picture courtesy of my brother.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Years Resolutions - A Quick Assessment

I thought that this year, as a different approach, I would periodically assess my performance toward my New Years Resolutions.  So, here is the first assessment:

-Be Deliberate:  Far from perfect, but doing a better job as measured by the sense of presence and the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment during certain times and things.  Still struggling at other times, still wrestling with the monkey mind, but all in all moving in the right direction.

-Read, Read, Read: Not as far as I would like to go, but moving in the right direction as well.  Still a tendency to burn blocks of time doing nothing, however I have managed to fill a few of those blocks with some quality reading.

-Write a Novel: 11,000 words in, so moving smoothly there.  Still feel the need to dedicate certain blocks of time to writing, certain blocks of time on certain days.

-Ride the Bicycle: So far, a dismal failure.  I will have to work to move this one closer to front and center.

So, all in all, I would grade myself at about a B, with a need to pick it up to an A.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Subtle and Unexpected

I snapped this with my Blackberry while in the parking lot of a Chinese buffet in Sunnyvale. A cool car - and I love the pattern cast on the pavement from the sun's reflection on the chrome rims. Subtle and unexpected.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Video Games Killed My Friends

I actually had the Ruggles song running through my brain (Video Killed The Radio Star) and I thought it would be an appropriate title for this entry.  I mentioned in an early entry that I had a bit of insight over the weekend.  It was a sudden flash of insight based on a very short conversation. 

I'd driven across town and picked up one of my friends for breakfast.  My friend noticed that I was distracted and asked why.  I told them that I was very contemplative and that my mind was whirring around certain things - one of them was the quote from Mary Oliver:

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life."

My friend responded instantly and defensively.  "When someone asks me that question I respond "I'm living it, what are you doing?"  The vehemance of the response caught me off guard. (I wasn't asking the question of my friend, but rather I was commenting on how it was the question that I was asking myself.)  I let it slide by and went on to enjoy breakfast, but I kept thinking about it.

There was a time when most of my friends were actively engaged in life.  They routinely "went places, met people and did things".  But, and I partly blame aging, over the last couple of years that level of engagement has fallen away.  For some of it, I actually blame video games. Now, this isn't an anti-video game screed by any means.  I play the occasional video game and I enjoy them. (I am currently playing Skyrim when I am in the mood.)  I play far fewer hours than my friends - perhaps two to four hours a week, if that.

Most of my friend play, conservatively, in excess of 12 hours a week, some of them a lot more.  In essence, they play an entire day or two of video games. My hat has always been off to the inventors of video games - if you think about it from a pyschological standpoint, through the use of flashing lights and moving figures and imaginary micro-rewards and accomplishments, they've managed to convince millions of people to spend millions and millions of hours to sit in front of a computer screen and press buttons.  Not only that, but they have convinced people to pay them for the privilege.  Wow.  (Hahahaha - pun intended.)

Somehow, I don't think that when we get to the end of our one wild and precious life, we're going to lament that we won't be able to play anymore video games.  Or watch any more T.V..  Maybe it's just me.  Maybe it is just a reflection of who I am and where I am going in my life but, there are plenty of other things I would rather be doing with my one wild and precious life.  In the end, it's all a judgement call.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Attack the Block - Movie Review

I have been waiting for a while to watch this movie.  I heard about it last summer when I was down at Comic Con, it passed through the theaters near me without my being able to make over, and I picked it up on DVD the other weekend.  Today, I had a bit of quiet time so I watched it.

It is pretty good - it is an entertaining little take on the alien invasion theme. In this case, the aliens invade a tough London neighbor where they run up against a bunch of local kids - who precede to kick alien butt through the movie.  No Oscar's here, but definitely great light entertainment.  I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to spend a pleasant pair of hours.

I've settled in for the evening, after a dinner of honey walnut prawns and Tsing Tao rice from Tsing Tao in Campbell, and I am watching the Golden Globe awards - which is a pleasant way to spin the weekend down.  I had some insights today, but I am letting them stir around in there before I write about them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Any Ordinary Saturday

A quiet, cold, and beautiful Saturday morning unfolding here in California. I stood in the bedroom for a while and watched the sun rise start.  It looks like it is going to be a clear and blue day, with a brilliant sun.

Comcast came in yesterday morning and installed my cable modem (and phone).  The installation went smoothly, though I ran into some problems trying to get my wireless-N router to work (it was a D-Link). Finally, after two hours of careful trouble-shooting, I narrowed the problem down to a hardware problem with the device itself, so it will be going back to the electronics store today.  I popped down and picked up a Linksys and it was up and running within about twenty minutes.

The cable modem is nice.  The speeds are pretty impressive, and I spent part of yesterday watching a variety of streaming videos simply because they streamed so nicely.

Last night I dreamed of house cleaning and computer cleaning, so I  am going to take that as a sign to do neither today!  (Gee, isn't it nice when signs are so convenient!).  Seriously though, I have done a lot of house cleaning and a lot of computer futzing in the last couple of days, and I think my subconscious last night was telling me to set that aside for a while.

So, my plan today is pretty straight-forward.  I am going to meet some of "the guys" for breakfast at the Hickory Pit in Campbell, then I am going to stop at Fry's and return the back D-Link modem. Then, from there, I may do a bit of wandering. If the day turns out as nice as I suspect it is going to be, I am going to try and spend a little time doing some park wandering, basic "get out and go" kind of stuff.  Then, I may shoot some pool. I was also thinking about catching a movie, but I am not really sure if there is anything playing this weekend that is interesting to me.  In short, I am hoping to have a very ordinary day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


So, I was driving to work this morning and I turned the corner at Baylands Park and drove right into the wonderful cloud of...skunk!  I must have missed the actual spraying by minutes as it was a powerful scent.  I drove through it, trying my best to hold my breath.  Then, I went to work.

We had a few challenges today, mostly technical, so that occupied most of the day.  Other than that, it was a fairly productive day, a handful of meetings, a spot of work. some productive analysis related stuff.  Then, when the day wound up, I walked out to the Saturn, jumped in and...skunk! 

It wasn't very bad, but it was present and...well...present.  I drove all the way home with the windows rolled down, then hit the inside of the car with some Ozium to kill whatever scent the skunk had left behind.  It did remind of an event in my youth.

My family had a small hayfield just outside of town, right on the edge of town, and during lunch, myself and two of my friends left the school grounds and went over to the hayfield to wander around.  While wandering we encountered a skunk.  More importantly, we surprised the skunk.  Never, ever, surprise a skunk.  The skunk let go and nailed two of us (my other friend was far enough away he didn't take the brunt of it).

We headed back to school and were immediately excused from class.  We were sent to the playground to wait for the bus home.  When the time came to catch the bus, the driver put the two of us all the way in the back of the bus, with all the windows open, and all of the other students (about thirty) crammed into the front of the bus, as far away from us as they could possibly get.  When we finally arrived home the driver made us get out of the back of the bus, through the emergency exit.

The moral of the remembered story is pretty simple.  Never, ever surprise a skunk.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Different Day

Today was a different day.  Work was pleasant, moved smoothly and was mostly productive. After the opening of the morning, rich with anxiety, I made the choices to settle the work day down and best I could and let the change anxiety wash away from me.  The trick worked and I enjoyed the day at work.  I had gone in early of course, given the early hour I'd woken up at, and consequently, a full day of work brought the day to an early end.

I came home, had a simple dinner, spoke with my parents on the phone, watched an episode of Castle on the DVR, and next I am going to take a nice hot bath and settle into a quiet evening.  T.R. is traveling, so that portion where we talk in the night will be empty. I am sure I will spend it thinking of her.  Otherwise, I plan on spending a bit of the night watching the DVR and just relaxing. Strange what a difference a different day makes.

The Challenges of Change - Part 1

I've mentioned earlier that we're going through a period of high change at work and that it is stress inducing.  The change continues - we're still in a holding mode waiting for formal announcements. I'm swinging back in forth in my moods. Yesterday was a classic example.

I was meeting with my manager who asked how I was feeling about the change.  I have a certain curse that I cannot overcome, so I told her the truth.  I told her that I was in neutral, in a wait and see mode, hoping that the changes would be changes for the better, but that I was terribly disappointed in the way the whole thing was handled. It has been very top down and it has invoked a feeling a helplessness, a feeling that I am unable to influence the change - rather than it being something I am doing and embracing, it is something that is being inflicted upon me.

Though it wasn't my bosses intention (I have a very high regard for my immediate manager and a tremendous amount of personal and professional respect), all the conversation did was get me ratcheted back up again. I accept the need for change. I accept that, as an individual, I can't always influence the change, but when you try and pretend to have a collaborative environment, but don't - that just gets me fired up all over again. For me, one of the great tragedies of the whole thing has been that, through six other directors over the course of twelve plus years, we've actually had a collaborative environment and we've gone through some tough changes.  It has only been with the advent of this current director that the environment of trust and collaboration has been ruined.

I think it is a cautionary tale for management everywhere - a bad manager (or in this case a director) can destroy relationships that took years to build pretty quickly.  Then the question becomes, can those relationships be rebuild after the damage is done?  Who can say, but I definitely am on that journey right now.

As a result of the turmoil at work and a spot of inner turmoil in my personal life, I ended up spending a restless night.  I went to sleep shortly after nine p.m. and managed to sleep about seven hours, but I woke up about four A.M. and laid in bed, tossing and turning for a while as I worked my way through the stress.

I think, when it comes to "bad changes", I am an advocate of the "rip the band-aid off" approach.  Determine the reason for the change. Determine the specifics of the change. Communicate the change and the reasons for the change. Implement the change.  Allow opportunities for honest feedback. Focus on building the "new relationships".  Once we know what the change is going to be, we can react to it and make our decisions accordingly. It is the state of uncertainty that is so stressful.

As I am sitting here preparing to re-enter the working world for the day, I have a handle on the oncoming change again. Unintentionally, my boss send me cascading through the emotions associated with change by wanting to talk about it.  Lets just get it over with.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Very Modern Frustration With Comcast Service

I thought I would take a few moments this morning, in the aftermath of my frustration, to comment on my very modern frustration with Comcast this morning.  I took a vacation day so they could come through and install new internet and telephone service.  Last week, they called to confirm the appointment.  Sunday, they called to confirm the appointment.  This morning, about fifteen minutes before the appointment window (8:00 - 10:00 AM) they called to confirm that I would be here.  Then, about 8:15 the technician calls and cancels the appointment because they don't have the equipment (the modem) to do the installation AND that I need to re-call and re-schedule the appointment.  Needless to say, I was a bit vexed.

Now, this isn't the fault of any of the individuals I dealt with - big corporations are impersonal and the people who work inside those corporations tend to be good and decent folks who are just trying to make ends meet, like the rest of us.  This was not a person failure, but a process failure.  They needed to have, built into their process, a step that confirms the necessary equipment is available prior to confirming the appointment. Much of my frustration would have been lightened if they had simply called 24 hours in advance to cancel the appointment and reschedule it.  That they didn't is a failure of their logistics and customer service processes.

It irks me, since I currently manage a customer service desk, when a foreseeable failure of process (the presence or absence of a piece of equipment in the supply chain), isn't properly logged. With the power of modern computers it is pretty straightforward to simply a.) confirm the order, b.) confirm and tag the equipment, and c.) deliver and install the equipment.  There are computers.  There is no reason to match up the equipment to the order the day of the order delivery.  That is just bad process.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Curse of the Wolf Girl - Martin Millar

It was a beautiful day here in California yesterday.  The weather was very nice for a winter day, blue skies and warm enough to be comfortable.  I did my best to ease through the day - a lazy morning, lingering in bed, a hot shower, breakfast with friends at the Hickory Pit, a walk through at Fry's Electronics, a stop at the market, then over to Bob's to socialize and game through the day. After a pleasant and entertaining afternoon a quick dinner of potato pancakes and then home, for a bit of time online, then a good conversation with T.R..  I sometimes think conversation is a lost art form, the ability to talk about a wide variety of subjects intelligently.  After the conversation, it was time to slip into bed and read a bit, then drift off to sleep.

That was the day, simple and enjoyable.  I went to sleep about nine p.m., so I woke up this morning a little after five a.m.. I tossed texts back and forth with the brother and sister, then fired up the DVR to watch "Devil" by M. Night Shyamalan.  I've had it on the DVR for a couple of weeks now by have never gotten around to watching it.  This morning seemed like a good day.

I've got a stack of non-fiction books that I want to read through in the next couple of days and weeks, but, since I like to end the day with fiction, I had to buy "Curse of the Wolf Girl" by Martin Millar, the sequel to the most excellent "Lonely Werewolf Girl" that I had just finished.  In fiction, once I get through with his one, I am going to switch to the last two books in the Hunger Games trilogy.  Thinking about it, I do have some enjoyable fiction set up in front of me.

I haven't got any major plans today - breakfast, then a quick trip up to the Fry's in Sunnyvale (my friend Tony wants to get a movie that is on sale and of course, browse the wonderful electronic toys).  As far as electronics are concerned, I think I am pretty well set for entering the coming year.  After the run to Fry's (and probably this morning, even before I get started) I am going to spend some time writing the first draft of another chapter. I may do a load or two of laundry, but that is sort of an optional behavior. So, whoever you are and wherever you are, I hope you're having a good day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lonely Werewolf Girl - Martin MIllar

I finished an excellent book today, Martin Millar's "Lonely Werewolf Girl".  All I can say is the whole cast of characters is deeply engrained in my heart - but Kalix and Vex are the best! It's a wonderful little tale, rivaling "The Good Fairies of New York", another Millar book.  If you're looking for an entertaining and endearing story, I can wholeheartedly recommend both books.  Give them a try.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Pleasure of Virtual Work

I'm working from home today, waiting for the arrival of a package and a visit from the maintenance folks here at the complex.  Still on the early subject of changing the energy of my days, working virtually today was a nice energy shift. I was pretty productive this morning and, overall, my mood was good.  I am going to give some credit to the simple fact that my living room is a nicer place to work than my office.  It is clean, it is modern, it is visually pleasing, and it is quiet.  My equipment here is state of the art, modern and attractive.  I think that makes a big difference.

Another thing that impacts the energy is, when working virtually, there is no need to go through the hassles of getting to work.  No packing stuff.  No commute, no hassles getting into the place, no interruptions and no intrusions.  It all makes for a far more pleasant work day.  As we go through this period of change at work, the reorganization, one of the possible positives for me is if I land in a position that allows me to work virtually more often. That would definitely land in the plus column.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


As I start the new year it's pretty clear to me that I need to make some changes and then consistently and persistently follow through with them. Oh, make no mistake of it - I've got a good life. I'd like to make the changes to make it better. In order to do this, I am going to need to start doing certain things - but I will also have to stop doing other things. It is going to require active awareness and engagement, it's going to require the shift to another energy level, and that is rarely easy.

There are two areas where I feel this need for change. The first, and perhaps largest, area is the work environment. I've mentioned before that I am very ambivalent about work as I enter the new year. Well, that ambivalence is quite present today, sort of an exclamation point on the previous observation. I am fairly certain that I cannot sustain the current course I am on. So, part of this awareness is an awareness that part of the challenge is me. I need to do things differently. I need to change those things that are within my power to change at work. Shift the energy level up and start changing.

The other area where I find a great desire to change is in how I am spending my recreational time. I'm simply not feeling satisfied with it. I am spending the coins of time, but I'm not getting the pay off I would like to have. Again, I simply need to shift the energy level and start changing.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

The New Year Dawning

View from the bedroom window, New Years Day, 2012.

2012 New Years Resolutions

After contemplation and discussion, I've finalized my 2012 New Years Resolutions - and here they are, short, simple, and sweet:

1. Be Deliberate.
2. Read. Read. Read.
3. Write a Novel.
4. Ride the Bicycle.

After a discussion with T.R. I dropped two of them off - I dropped being present and I dropped continuing on my journey of simplification.  I dropped being present because, all in all, it is contained within being deliberate.  I dropped continue on my journey of simplification because I didn't really need to make that a resolution - that is a journey, a set of choices, a lifestyle decision that I am continuing on whether or not I have a resolution, so no resolution is necessary.

So, whoever you are, wherever you are, I hope you have a year of love, compassion, and joy ahead of you.

Happy New Year