More or Less in 2015


Today is the last day of 2014.  I am not naïve enough to think that tomorrow, January 1, 2015 will be a day wide open to opportunities that will no longer reflect the joys and the sorrows of 2014.  It’s just another day on the calendar.

Still, the New Year is a time to mentally give ourselves a fresh start.  I’ll be spending the day tomorrow with a good friend and my sons taking a hike in one of Virginia’s State Parks.  That’s a good thing.

I don’t do resolutions.  I do annually post a “More or Less” list.  Last year’s post is here.

Here’s the plan for 2015.

Worship more: It seems like I always want to improve this one.  Worshiping more doesn’t mean going to church more.  It needs to be purposeful and deliberate.  I will admit struggling with the current concept of worship in most churches.  Jesus managed to do just fine without flashing lights, beautiful slides and amplification.  I understand the thought behind bringing people in and meeting people where they are.  But this Christmas I missed a little “Silent Night,” a little candlelight, a little lessons and carols.

A.W. Tozer said, “Christ calls us to carry the Cross; churches call us to have fun in His name.”

I need to work on that.

Pray more: Again, there is always room for improvement.  I don’t know the concept of praying without ceasing.  I have begun, with my morning scripture reading, reciting the Lord’s Prayer.  It covers the bases, so to speak.  But prayer is much more.  I’m still learning.  I spent a lot of prayer time over the last few months asking.  Asking for healing, for help, for peace.  I am reminded that prayer should also include being thankful for what I have.

Read more: I set a goal of reading 40 books this year.  I hit 31 and am in the middle (sort of) of two more.  I also completed a read-thru of the Bible as of this morning.  So, technically, I’ve made it through 97 books.  I need a new Scripture reading plan for 2015.  I haven’t found that yet.  As for books, I plan to read more purposefully.  There are classics that I need to read, or re-read.  I don’t have a list.

Celebrate more: There’s never enough celebration.  We didn’t host any big events this year, but we went to a few. I’d like to think we can do more celebrating, on a smaller scale.  There’s work (or partying) to be done.

Work less (or work smarter): Speaking of work…again I think I worked more in 2014.  But I made some writing decisions.  I won’t write for pennies, so I dropped a couple of writing outlets.  I’m still working more, with my day job, with my writing, with acting, with volunteer work.  But hopefully I’m smarter about it.  I’ve realized the retirement goal from my day job is further away than I had hoped.  But, I’m okay with that.  For now.  Also in my day job, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct some training.  Much to my surprise, I’m pretty good at it.

Play more: There’s never enough time to play. We need to be more purposeful about this.  Right now, our beach week is up in the air.  But, even if we choose a staycation, we need to play more.

Eat less: At the end of the year, I’m doing better with this.  Part of it is because one of the side effects of the pain meds I was on is a loss of appetite.  I get hungry, but nothing appeals to me.  I’m sure that will change.  But last year I wrote, “I will weigh less on 12/31/2014 than I do today.”  And indeed I do.  About 35 lbs. less.

Exercise more: This one got a little off track.  I try to get to the YMCA to swim, and then I try to walk at lunch.  But two random injuries (who would have ever thought I would have activity related injuries?) slowed me down. I walked in the Monument Avenue 10K, in the rain.  I developed a huge blister on my foot which took five months to heal completely, including a couple of rounds of antibiotics.  No, I am not a diabetic.  Yes, we had it tested.  Twice.  But the injury meant that I had to cut out the walking as well as the pool.  That healed up around the end of August.  That, of course, is when the shoulder injury happened, or worsened. I can’t pinpoint the actual event.  It didn’t keep me from walking, but it still keeps me from swimming because I can’t get my arm over my head.  I’m in physical therapy.  That will come.  But for now I’m back to walking and also walking in the pool when I can.

Write more: I’ve tried to blog on a regular basis.  Some days I’m more successful than others.  I’ve made progress on the novel.  And I keep up the freelance writing on a fairly regular basis.  You can help by hiring me. Seriously.  I’ve also done a good bit of stream of consciousness writing.  That will likely never be seen by anyone, but it’s good material to be developed into other works.  The point is, I just need to keep writing.  The format is not what is important. Putting one word in front of the other is what is important.

Create more: I’m still doing marketing for CAT Theatre, so I get to do a lot of design work there. That includes publication work as well. And, as of this week, I got back to the canvas.

Spend less: We tried.

Give more: We can do better.

I added these in 2014:

Politic less: I’ve pretty much given up politics.  I still follow the news.  I still comment from time to time.  But after 30 plus years in politics and public policy, I can no longer defend the defenseless.  I’m okay with that.  See: My Year of Living Non-Politically.

Act more: I had some great opportunities in 2014.  For the first time I worked with The Playhouse at Ft. Lee, The Quartermaster Museum at Ft. Lee, TheatreLAB, Capitol Opera and Haunts of Richmond.  As usual, auditions outnumbered casting, but that’s the way it works.  And, as I said yesterday, of course I ended the year with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure at CAT Theatre.  I’ve already had my first rehearsal for Parade with Jewish Family Theatre.  The show runs March 5-15, 2015 and is part of the Acts of Faith Festival.

There are parts of 2014 that I will miss.  Some I can’t wait to say goodbye to.

But, More or Less, another year waits.

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