Rob in San Francisco and link to album
When I was a smoker it occurred to me that quitting smoking was the most perfect New Year’s resolution to make and and I made it every year. I think we can be naive about how hard it is to start or change habits. So every time I tried to quit I failed. After many attempts I remembered advice from a family member that was simple; “Cold Turkey is the only way that works”, alas that was always followed by the advice; “no you need meds, nicotine gum and of course counseling.” One day, no resolution required, no grand announcements required and at no particular time I simply quit.
So, as I look at 2012 I think it is important to define what New Year’s Resolutions are to me. I have adopted the method of making a list for everything. I am unsure if it comes from being a trained engineer or if it is something I received from a friend at some point but it is what I practice. Additionally – a big focus of mine is making things part of me.
What does this mean you may ask? Simply put, we are surrounded with information; we can know so much without really understanding anything. I always think of a travel commercial that stated; “You wouldn’t search Bing for Pictures and have them printed and put them in a scrap book. – Would you?” This speaks to the simple truth that you can read and learn about something, but it is never part of you until you truly understand it by actually experiencing it. Just think of reading about a job or a book or a game; you may truly learn the rules, requirements and have knowledge of it but until you actually go and participate you will never know if it is for you nor will you understand its true nature.
My resolutions are divided into parts as always and for Travel:
- I would like to understand North America beyond reading and pictures and having said this it is my goal to try to go to as many major cities and minor ones by train, plane or car as possible. I will also try to reach out on-line via different avenues to further understanding.
- I would like to do one of two treks; “leave it all behind on the mountain” a Kilimanjaro trek or Pick a route and trek to El Camino de Santiago (the way of St. James.)
- I would like to go to Mexico City and get a feel for the capitol and travel to other Cities in Mexico.
- The explorer in me is demanding new adventure and as I approach my departure for Antarctica, I am thinking that it is time to get to know my inner fish better and take up scuba. By thinking of – I mean it is time to do it! As you may know it is true that man has explored more of the surface of the moon than it has the ocean.
And for health:
- I have been blessed with good health and strength since I died, however, nothing is guaranteed. As we age it is harder – not easier to keep our health. Understanding this I will work to keep and exceed my current health and strength: 50% more weights, run at least 3 days a week in the new tear, at least 20 miles a week on my treadmill.
- I will eliminate all toxic items that I can from my diet – not that I have tons to eliminate.
And for art:
- I will paint more, as I come closer to developing my own style and this is important, I will try to paint and sketch a few days a week, giving; at least 1 painting or sketch a month.
- I will finish the my new Novella
And in general:
- In all other areas I will endeavor to improve myself; spiritually, physically, and in general knowledge of all things.
- I will source all my products food, electronics, and general to assure that I do not support, via my purchase, slavery or exploitation anywhere in the world.
- I will increase my charitable contributions
This may seem like much but they are actually minimal goals and I generally exceed my minimal goals. The trick for me is writing it down because then I have a measure. I have left out material things as I have made the mistake of doing something once in my life for material gain only. In doing this I learned, success aside, if your goal is simply monetary gain you will receive just this. I have found that if you love what you are doing all kinds of successes will follow so I never focus on things like money. This list does not include professional goals as I always hold them separate from personal goals Life is much fuller if you keep these things separate. I hope that all my friends and family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
One of the last refuges from my connected world was on airplanes while above 4000 feet (Commercial) and the loss of connectivity was a cool and refreshing silence. Today however, I am on a US Domestic Flight with WIFI. I have sent seven (7) mails so far – two Facebook posts and now I am working on this blog post.. There is some comfort to it, I did:
- Help a customer with a config question
- Ask a friend what they were doing for Easter
- Send a few mails asking for status updates
- Checked amazon to see if packages were delivered
- Texted a friend to see if he would be available for dinner in Buenos Aires as I trek through on my way to Antarctica
- Ordered Dramamine for the Drake Passage (Ad on Airplane tray table worked)
- Emailed Spain regarding great stuff with SIDAR.ORG
- Made a credit card payment
- Moved Money so I would have it available when I land in Vegas
What did I lose?
Not much, I guess connected with our concerns is better than disconnected. Regardless, I do feel like I lost something.
Cheers & Merry Christmas,
It is a catholic (meaning universal) tradition for us to do something to take our mind off of everything and to reset our minds – to get ones head on right and then go off into the world and get it done. This is perhaps more important than food. This is because just like the lack of food or drink will give us hunger (trust me that is not a good feeling) the lack of filling ourselves with basic things will lead us to being empty. Now, to do this is not that easy because we are bombarded with information of all types, sensory overload and hungers that rarely leave us in a state that can be considered empty. Another way to look at it is to imagine a dog, throw him a ball, and he will bring it back and wait for it to be thrown again. This is the type of rut that can fill our lives and leave us in a state of imbalance.
So, in the Catholic (Big C – meaning the religion) tradition we see a Sunday Mass or solitary prayer as a way to center ourselves in our beliefs and then we are ready to go back out into the community and of course we are prepared to take part in the same. The connection with our community is important and as you can imagine more people do this type of thing than Catholics and Catholics are not limited to only a Mass or Prayer to reset their direction. Today, in Madrid and I did something that I always do when in Madrid, I went to the Prado.
There is nothing like; goya, el bosco, titian and any other masters artwork to allow us to remember that we are not so separate to what is the universe and that our story has not only been going on for a long time but many of the themes are repeating themselves and while it seems there is a small amount of progress it still is progress and our story is being written, painted, sculpted, and told every day and in every moment.
Perhaps, I also belong to one of the groups that try very hard not to allow thoughts like this to get into our heads – being a man of science I try my hardest to be objective and in my reasoning I look to empirical evidence and logic. The hard part is to realize that this so limits us from a wider vision and does indeed separate us from our universe and what we are observing or doing. Those working with science need to understand that life is not just an observation it is to be lived.
A recent genetic test that I had performed indicated my maternal hap group was related to the peoples in Iberia that produced the first cave art. When I stood in the Prado and looked at the cave art I did not try to do analysis of the primitive artwork – I just enjoyed it.
So, after the Prado a walk in the park was just perfect. From puppet shows to musicians, I was not just there I was part of it – connected to this, our, ongoing story. I would recommend to anyone and everyone to take a break today – empty your thoughts, go walk in a park or view your favorite art – whatever your tradition remember it/practice it. Everyone needs to take this time. To my friends reading this that need to define everything remember that sometimes you need to see the forest to understand the tree. Now out for some Jamon in Madrid. Have a great day!
Many years ago I crossed the Arctic circle and received my Bluenose certificate and got to run around on the deck of a ship in swim trunks with sun block on my nose. Perhaps it sounds like an odd ceremony but it was fun. So As I sit in the airport as my flight to Kiev, Ukraine got botched – I have been reading about an upcoming trip of mine to the Antarctica Peninsula. I came across this group: https://www.facebook.com/americanpolarsociety when reading.
A review of this site provided a great amount of information and links to more sites and information. So – This is all good reading. I also think that the photos are of value http://www.americanpolar.org/media/
So, As I continue to read about the polar regions it becomes clear to me that they do need attention and the attention includes education and outreach. So I will be headed as a tourist to Antarctica next month and hopefully the Arctic circle again in 2012.
If you get a chance you should read about these regions and try to understand them a bit as they are fascinating!
Now to see if I can get on this flight.