Not Cease from Exploration

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Road Apples, #8

Sunday Mornings
I love Sunday mornings. There is just something relaxing about it, in the sense that others sleep in (I usually don't), so even if I'm up awful early, I can't clean and I don't have work to get ready for, so I have to sit and relax. Now "relax" is a relative term for me in that I don't think my mind ever really relaxes all that much, save for those few minutes right before I fall asleep. Anyway, it's another Sunday morning here, everyone is still asleep, and I'm not going to start cleaning or doing other things for a bit yet. I do, however, have to chance the cat litter boxes though [insert gagging noises here].

New Year's Resolutions
I don't have New Year's Resolutions, but I do have plans & goals for the new year, if that makes sense. Funny, but every year I say to myself "I'm going to start thinking about these things earlier, so that by the time January 1st rolls around, I'm hitting the ground running", but I usually don't have them all fleshed out by then. Regardless, I actually have three sets of goals for the new year:
  1. My Professional Objectives for the Year - these are set in concert with the people I work with/for at the office. There are usually about a half dozen or more, and most dove-tail the objectives for the organization as a whole, plus a few additional related to my role as a leader.
  2. Individual Development Plan - At work we also set an Individual Development Plan (or IDP) for the year, which is intended to focus us on the areas where we want to build/increase our skills. I almost always end up with crap here...my boss coined the phrase "Astronaut Training" for this kind of thing (in other words, stuff that sounds nice so you write it down, knowing full well you will never achieve any of it). Anyway, for this year, I'm actually going to write real, meaningful and achievable IDP goals. I swear.
  3. My Personal Goals - These are goals I set for myself and include things related to my health, finances, home, etc. I don't include things here that I have to do anyway, such as paying my oldest daughter's tuition bill. Rather, these are truly "improvement" things. For example, for 2008 two of my house goals were to get the top of the roof repaired (done...a few shingles had blown off, and we have a very steep roof) and have the electrical service line replaced (done...from the pole into my circuit breaker box was replaced). More often than not, most of my personal goals aren't achieved, so for this year, I'm going to look at setting smaller, more manageable goals for myself.
Anyway, I'll post my personal goals here once they are all fleshed out.

Today Is Sunday, You Know What That Means?
It means that I am taking my mother and brother shopping. That's a Sunday ritual that I've probably written about before (note to myself for the next "apple"), and basically take from noon until about 3:30-4pm each Sunday. I look at it this way: there are things you always just do because it's the right thing to do. That's why I take my mother shopping. Other's don't do it (of my three brothers, one doesn't drive and lives with my mother...the other two take my mother shopping to varying degrees; one goes over once or twice a week...the other never does), but that's ok, as I've never been one to do things simply out of fad or fashion. If I think something is the "right" thing to do, then I do it.

Repeating Myself
I often think that I repeat myself here about certain topics and wonder if that's ok. Then I snap out of the momentary fog and remember that I write this for me, not for anyone else. Now if someone else actually reads this stuff and is interested/disgusted/amused, etc, then so be it and I'm glad. But if no one were to read it, then I'd still write. Why? Because I simply love to write. I always have. I have a few notebooks filled with pre-Internet journals. Hell, most of those probably repeat the same themes over and over again. Therein lies the crux of this whole shebang: writing is what I do to help me manage myself. It is one of the tangible things I can do to help me manage the stress in my life (not that I have it much worse than anyone else) and it gives me the creative outlet I think I really do need as a person. I'm also lucky, if you will, in that I have the ability to type quickly and in a relatively accurate manner. Now that really isn't a function of luck by the way...it was foresight and interest in my part in wanting to learn how to type in the first place. Being a "old guy", I learned how to type on typewriters, the first being this ancient Royal manual typewriter that my mother owned. I can still smell it...it had this odor of ink from the ribbon and oil from mechanism of gears and levers. Wow, did that ever digress or what? Anyway, getting back to the central point, if I repeat myself then so what.

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