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Looking back; looking forward

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Day is, in some ways, the last day of the old year. Yes, there is another week left of the year, but it is a fallow time in which we finish up the last bits of the dying year and begin to look at and plan for the coming year. Some say that there is no good reason for this divide, that one day is just the same as another. I don't think that's true. Our lives are marked out by meetings and partings, by ritual and expectation, and I think the new year is one of those marks by which we measure and in which we can find inspiration.

The last year was on the whole successful for me. I lost 50 pounds, biked over 2000 miles, and began taking the first steps toward running right at the end of the year. I made a lot of delicious bread and other food, I spent quality time with family and friends, and I did some good fundraising for an excellent cause.

There were some parts of the year that weren't as successful. I spent way too much time on the computer and didn't read nearly enough books. I let my yard and garden run to wild. I didn't get a single quilt or piece of jewelry made. I feel like I handled the basics but let a lot of time slip by me around the edges that could have been put to much more fruitful use.

So my biggest resolution for the coming year is to take back my life from the computer. It's a wonderful tool, and I don't intend to abandon social networking and all the support it's given me. The reality, however, is that I haven't even been using this tool very well. I've barely journaled at all. I mostly sit refreshing Facebook and Spark People and not actually accomplishing much. There are too many evening hours spent just frittering away my time, time I could be making something creative and beautiful, or tending to my garden, or just reading a book.

I've known this was an issue for a while, and I've tried to change it without much success. This time I need to take it more seriously. I need to set a timer to limit my social networking, and when it goes off I need to get off the computer and on to something more productive. I'm going to have to experiment a bit with determining how much time I should spend online.

And then I have to get offline. My life doesn't need to be lived electronically. I have better things to do with it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I would say that losing 50 lbs is an amazing accomplilshment in one year! You can do this, get away from the computer. I socialize in the morning and check off and on through the day but that is about it. I cherishs the last week of the month. I sew enjoy the week after Christmas as my business winds down for the year and I finish up final jobs, etc. I've been sewing up a storm. Why don't you commit to one sewing project a month? You can do it!
    1909 days ago
    I wish you well on limiting your online time. Maybe you can use social networking as a reward for something like drinking 8 glasses of water, or putting in at least 10 minutes of exercise each day, or getting outside every day.
    1911 days ago
    I am right there with you! I am always saying I don't have enough time after work, but so much of my time goes to SparkPeople ~ and no small amount to Spider Solitaire! At 61, I feel like I need to be living more than just a virtual life, and reading your blog today has really brought that home to me. When was the last time I tried a new recipe instead of the old tried and true? When did I last write any fiction? When was the last time I walked outdoors instead of doing an exercise video online? When did I like take out my sketchbook...and use it? SparkPeople has some wonderful features, but I need to get more balance between my screen time and truly living!

    Good luck to you as your keep seeking out ways to enrich your already full and marvelous life!
    1911 days ago
    The computer truly does manage to suck us in for longer times than we plan - longer than we would spend playing solitaire with a deck of cards or calling and chatting with friends. Good luck finding that balance between online and offline.
    1911 days ago
    Keep Sparkin'!!
    1911 days ago
    Well said. I've never thought of the week between Christmas and New Year as a fallow time, but you are spot on. Looking back and looking forward...

    I am almost the same when it comes to computer time. When I make my list of goals for this year, limiting computer time will most certainly be somewhere on it. And reading time...I don't make much time for it during the day, but I do read too late at night and need to limit my time there -- and read more quality books, as I've been slipping into too much "fluff" over the past year.

    Glad we're all here to cheer each other on to greatness!
    1911 days ago
    emoticon Enjoy your offline life!!
    1912 days ago
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