I’m looking over the resolutions I made last year. Hilarious! Apart from finally finding a theme I could live with and a couple easy plug-ins for the right rail, I’ve done nothing that even resembles my goals for the year. In light of this I’m going to take some advice from Paul Rudd’s character ‘Kunu’ in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and try to ‘do less.’
What does that mean exactly? It means making resolutions that make sense to someone who’s started a family. I spend hardly any time on the computer at home now. I stay connected via my beloved iPhone, but it’s hardly an ideal tool for trying out new things on WordPress. No, I need to set real goals for 2010 that aren’t in any way connected to my life online.
For example, I need to pack my lunch more often. Glamorous, right? I figure I could save about $50 a week if I just took the delicious leftovers in the fridge rather than getting yet another roast pork with sharp at Tony Luke Jr.‘s during my lunch hour.
A corollary to packing my lunch: take coffee to the office! I usually drink a small French press every morning before I head into the office in the morning, only to find myself in line at the Tir Na Nog branch of Starbucks with my co-workers almost every morning. That has to stop. I’ve cut back to a tall coffee there, but it’s still about $10 a week on something I have readily available at home. I think one of these new Klean Kanteen travel cups should do the trick!
One thing that’s a constant in my life is the desire to read and write more. Since Charlie was born, I’ve spent more hours in front of a TV than ever. It’s the perfect antidote to being shut-in, but it establishes bad habits that I didn’t have as a child. I don’t want Charlie to develop those habits either. Keep in mind, it’s very difficult to do much reading when you’re tending to a baby, but doing some would be better than what I’ve been doing. The days of reading 1200 pages per week during grad school seem impossible now. If I could read even just a book a month I’d be happy.
The writing’s important, too. As my job changes, I find myself less inclined to write about music. The time it takes to do it right, plus the lack of interest from the general public in reading music content have discouraged me from writing. I still love reading great music writing and I’m inspired by folks who’ve really had to overcome setbacks in their careers as music critics, namely my old boss Christopher R. Weingarten and someone who became a dear colleague and music crit confidant for me this year, Maura Johnston. Their work continues to amaze me, even as we’re told that the audience for such writing approaches nil.
On a personal note, I need to do a better job of getting my house in order. Literally. I can’t hang a shelf in this place without something going haywire, which might explain why there are so few shelves. I’m calling on my old high school friend Kevin Derrick to help us sort out how to make life with a baby in a modest Kensington rowhome a little more beautiful.
I’m not sure what awaits me next year. My wonderful, supportive wife and lovely baby son amaze me every day. I’m excited for the challenges that lie ahead in my professional life. I’m excited to focus on the practical rather than the perfect. I feel the future bursting with possibility. Bring it on!