I hate people who say this, but I don't usually Daylog
. Seriously, you can look
if you want to.
However, today is my birthday and part of my annual commemoration is a tallying of the passage, an inventory, if you will, of my life and where it is going. I note, for instance, that I am of the age by which Alexander the Great had conquered his final country. I have no Bucephalus, no hordes of Greeks laying waste to the world at my bidding. That is the nature of the inventory. Here it goes.
I am fat. Not terribly so, just enough that it makes me think twice about climbing long flights of stairs, and precludes me wearing bike shorts. It is unhealthy, and I would very much like to change the way I am on that count. I'm not bad looking, but I could dress better. Part of that is related to the fat thing. The clothes reserved for fat people cause me to dress like a 40 year old. C'est la vie.
It's rather depressing that I'm not world famous yet. I am working very hard in my program, will soon move into dissertation region. I am feeling a general dysthymia about school at the moment, but I am told that is not unusual in the third year of a doctoral program.
I know what my research interests are, but am still left with my pathetic self-comparison to Caesar and Hannibal. Will my efforts make the world a better place? Will my passing have made a mark on this planet? I'm not sure at this point.
I need to write more, get my name out in the noosphere as the expert on self organizing websites and virtual community. This coming year I will try to publish at least 8 articles and speak at a minimum of 3 conferences.
I could be doing better. My wife and I are very loving towards each other, and we rarely argue about things, but we need to constantly renew our committment and the romance. The price of wedded bliss is eternal vigilance. I think in the past few months I've taken her for granted, and need to reverse that trend.
Over the next year I will try to do at least one unexpected thing per week. Try to compliment her every day and be less critical. After all, this total babe is sticking with a fat, hairy loser, so perhaps I could be more patient. On the plus side, I've been very good in dealing with her health problems, and supportive of her need to quit working. I think I have been very good in general about giving her support when needed.
Getting better. I am less self involved than in years past, and have been much better about keeping secrets. I look upon women with lust in my heart, but MB doesn't seem to mind. I have taken care of my family, and have been loyal to my friends.
I can do more for extended community. I used to volunteer much more than I do now. I could be a better citizen in some ways. It's time to expand my morality beyond my immediate social network and become a source of strength in a broader sense.
I watch too much television. I've done much better with exaggerating this year. I want to continue trying to work art into my life, and try and be more outgoing with people. It's not like their going to pinch my nipples. I want to give up soda and be more patient with my family. They can't help it that they are incredible idiots who are a drain on national resources.
This year I will do more "outreach", writing more letters and calling more friends. I have tended to let myself get busy and then ignore personal relationships. I need to develop some more interests, in the vocational and athletic arena. For instance, a winter sport like snowboarding will both help me to get in shape and help me survive the winter.
I'm in the dying gasps of my twenties. This year has seen quite a bit of growth. I feel more comfortable in my skin, and am less affected by self doubt than I have been at previous birthdays. I notice I speak out more when I need to, and am not afraid to brace strangers in public, as I would have been a couple of years ago.
I am intellectually exploding, though maybe not as much as last year. Law of diminishing returns and all that. I need to work exercise and outdoor activities into my life more, as that area has significantly dropped off.
Okay, that was a self-indulgent exercise. I firmly believe that we need to keep checking in with our course. Pick a star, and steer towards it. This little rant is my effort to keep the course. Every birthday, at least, I will check in to the global picture and ask who I am, who I want to be, and what the difference is.