Inspired by Sacha, I'm generating a not-to-do list for the year.
- I'm going to stop stalling on responses. Even if I have to say no, I should say no quickly instead of waiting in the hopes that I may be able to give an affirmative answer. My Thunderbird preferences have been set to "Expunge Inbox On Exit, " meaning I will not read mail unless I have time to reply right then and there.
- I will not read or watch TV while eating unless doing so is a shared social experience or it is material relevant to the exact dish I am enjoying at that moment. Writing is OK.
- I am officially abandoning any and all concerns about my wardrobe, hair, etc. for the year 2010 and will be delegating consultation on such matters to the female cousins in the city nearest me at any given time. This isn't actually different from what I've done in the past - I'm just stating up-front that I'm going to continue not paying attention to this for another year.
- I am not going to worry about getting rusty in the electrical engineering department this year. I may at some point resume this; now is not the time. If the opportunity to geek out with hardware comes up, sure. But I won't fret about "needing" to learn VLSI or get upset with myself because I "should" know more about semiconductors or... whatever. This year is not the year I build my workbench.
- Similarly, I am not going to worry about setting up my library. Ideally, my book pile will diminish in size - but I won't stress it. If they're still piled in bins in the basement next year, that's okay; I'm not yet stable and shouldn't get neurotic about Library-Of-Congressing sets of shelves I don't yet own.
- Ditto gardening, treehouse-building, (music) jam-room-making, and other "I would like to do this when I settle down" items. This is not going to be happening in the next calendar year; I don't need to figure out what kind of chickens I would like to keep, or whether I can get a cat, etc. Someday, perhaps. Hopefully. Not this year.
- I will stop skipping breakfast. Within two hours of waking up - and before touching my computer - I should eat something. Anything. A handful of cereal, a Scottish egg, a cheesecake, a rack of ribs... I don't care what it is as long as it is food. I will attempt to work tea into my breakfasts as frequently as possible because the slowing-down-to-drink-hot-tasty-liquid thing is good for me, but this is not a requirement. As a consequence, the front pocket of my backpack will return to being permanently stuffed with granola bars.
- I will stop fretting about keeping my digital archives in perfect order; I will focus instead on capturing things in any way at all.
- I will stop running away from cameras. (Mind you, this doesn't mean I'm going to run towards them. Also, this only lasts for 2010.) This will be exceedingly uncomfortable, but I need to get past my phobia of attention at some point. Might as well.
- I will stop feeling guilty about taking periods of reflection and solitude. (Well... I will, when I catch myself feeling guilty about it, stop.)
The ones requiring significant behavior changes not already underway are #1, #7, and #9. Respond-early-respond-often, breakfast, and getting over attention-phobia. We'll see if these are realistic, and how they go - I'm trying to make them realistic, but I'll watch and gauge and see if adjustments need to be made to those targets along the way.
Traditionally, the first day of the New Year should be spent the way you want to spend the rest of the year. (I am not sure if this is a Chinese thing or a more general one, but that's the tradition I have always followed.) On that note, I'm going to bed now for a few good hours, then waking up for a lovely breakfast with good tea and some thinking time... and then I'm going to get to work. ;-)