A few years back I started the tradition of doing a More or Less post for the coming year. I don’t do resolutions. But I do make plans to improve.
Some years I do. Some years not so much.
But I am always determined to move forward.
Here then, without further ado, is my list of More or Less for 2018.
Read more: I managed to read 40 books in 2017. That includes the entire Bible in the ESV version. Using the BibleGateway.com app helped with that. I had the daily readings included on my Google calendar. I did not, however, get through the Complete Works of Shakespeare. I got through a couple, and I even acted (briefly) in a Shakespeare play. I’ll be working more on that this year. It’s a life goal, not a race to the finish. I’ll be setting my Goodreads goal for 50 books this year. I can do that.
Celebrate more: Always a goal. We did celebrate with the wedding of a good family friend. And there were a few other good invitations that we had. We missed the annual Mardi Gras party due to theatre commitments. If our hosts are reading this post, we’re available this year. Because of working weekends, the wife taking a new job teaching, and a house full of dogs we didn’t have a lot of people over. We’re fixing that this year.
Work less, or more importantly, work smarter: I’m already committed to working less since I’m not going back to the amusement park this year. I have mixed feelings, but I just can’t physically keep up the pace of working seven days a week. True, I’ll be working in writing and theatre. As they say, when it’s something you love, it’s not really work. We’re just hoping that it’s income. That’s another story. As for the day job, I begin the year with seven weeks of paid leave available to me, not to mention all of the government approved holidays. I plan to use more of them. And, in full disclosure, all of Virginia’s State Parks are available to me. I need to be more deliberate about visiting them.
Play more: We didn’t make it to the beach (for our usual week) in 2017. We’re working towards fixing that in 2018. The jury is still out. If we can pull it off, our plan is to head to Florida for spring break in order for the younger son (soon to be graduating) to check out a school in which he is interested. We have already made arrangements to stay with friends. It’s just a matter of financing the travel and figuring out which one theme park we want to visit. The boy wants to go to Harry Potter World. We’re okay with that. It just ain’t cheap.
Eat less, or eat more better: Always a challenge. In August of 2017, I embarked upon a mostly primal eating plan. Simply, no grains, no sugars, no legumes. I stayed with it mostly through October and did fairly well. All up until the accident which led to the infection and the hospitalization. With all of that stress it was hard to keep with the eating plan. Then came the holidays. Fortunately, when I weighed in at the gym last Friday, I was only up two pounds from the date of the accident. Not too bad at all.
Exercise more: Again, I was fairly consistent until the accident. I’m back at the gym and I intend to get back to the lunchtime walking on the days when I can guarantee my lungs won’t ice over. I feel better when I do this, and I know that. I miss the pattern and miss the routine. I’m not a gym rat. I’m not a body builder. But I know at my age I need to move. Otherwise I won’t be able to.
Write more: Always a goal. In 2017 I finished, more or less if you will, my script: Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy. Exciting things are happening with that. At the same time, to work on that, I put my latest novel to the side. As soon as I find all of those files, I plan to get back to that. I did keep up with the writing 1,000 words a day. Some of it good. Some of it crap. But it kept the fingers and the brain cells busy. This year I’ll also be more deliberate about posting here and not just posting random thoughts just to have a post. And I’m upping the game at Historic Occasions. More on both of those as we move along.
Create more: I finished one painting in 2017. I have another that needs a good coat of Gesso because it’s not going to be what I thought it was. I have a new idea for my Stations of the Cross project. I’ve even found some interesting crafting possibilities. We’ll see what happens. But writing is also creating. So there’s that. And I’ll be back on stage in 2018. In fact, I’m already in rehearsals for my next play. The wife and I are acting together in A Little Piece of Heaven at River City Community Players (formerly Huguenot Community Players). In June I’ll make my professional directing debut with Doublewide, Texas at CAT Theatre. There’s more in the works that I can’t talk about yet.
Spend less: Always a goal. Sometimes a necessity.
Give more: We’re trying. And we need to try harder. We’ve been blessed with a lot. We need to share it with others.
Keep less: Speaking of that lot we’ve been blessed with, the attic, the garage, and the shed are full of stuff we will never use. I am starting this week with the garage. If I was to make a resolution it’s that, by the time I’m writing this post next year, they’ll all be cleaned out and functional, and will only have the stuff we need we use, or that has a deep significance in our lives.
Worship more: Always a goal. I’ve said in the past that I long for more traditional worship that includes liturgy and hymns. I’m looking for that while determined not to give up what I already have. Needless to say, I haven’t completely figured that out yet.
Pray more: Always. Daily. Constantly.
In full disclosure, I turn 60 in 2018. It’s beyond time I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
There’s a part of me that says “you’re sixty, you shouldn’t have to be dealing with this crap.”
But, as a follower of Christ, I know that the path was never meant to be easy. There will always be struggles.
Our goal is to hang in there and do the best we can with what life deals to us.
Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s great.
I may come back next year and have to admit that I made little or no progress with this list.
It won’t be because I didn’t try. And that’s what it’s all about.
Last week, Seth Godin wrote:
Next year is almost here.
And doing what you did this year probably isn’t going to be sufficient.
There’s a new year ahead of us. We all have the chance to do more or do better than we did in 2017.
So, there you have it.
More or Less.