yearly theme

happy new year! it had been my intention to have all this finished and have a set of goals, and a plan for them, before the bell tolled midnight on december 31st. the holiday, not to mention a growing to do list for the coming week, kept me sufficiently distracted. so, here i am on january 3rd still struggling to prepare for the year ahead.

here we go with the last question….

~ thinking about the person i aspire to be, how do i imagine myself in 5 year? what does that person do, know? how does that person spend their time?

in my reading, these questions all seem closely related to one another, thus my lumping them together with one answer….

this is incredibly difficult for me to answer. the realist/pessimist in me is hesitant to predict my future; predictions so seldom rise to meet reality. still, for the sake of the exercise; i see myself as a lobbyist, activist, organizer. i’ll be working for a progressively-focused organization, non-profit, pushing forward on issues that affect working and middle-class people and their families.

i see myself with a masters degree of some kind: either in political science, public policy, or political management. getting accepted and figuring out how to pay for it all is part of a plan still in the development stage.

i see myself with more friends, maybe a “special someone,” and a more well-balanced life. for the last several years, my existence has revolved, almost entirely, around my career and gaining the experience and making the connections necessary to continue climbing to my goal. while i generally don’t have any problem with the choices i’ve made in this regard, it has become clear to me that i’ve neglected other parts of my life, leaving me somewhat socially isolated. i need a life away from the politics and volunteering. i have no doubt that this bit in particular will be instrumental to mental and emotional health.

after all this, i’m nearly set on my “yearly theme” and my “top goals.” in typical fashion, i’m a bit concerned that i’m being to ambitious; i don’t want to make the mistake of setting numerous lofty goals, only to fail at too many of them. so, even though the year is already a few days old, i’m going to ruminate for a few more days before settling on anything.

in the meantime, let me say “happy new year” to everyone. i hope you reach all your goals for the year.

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with the birth of 2016 fast approaching, i’m still struggling to nail down my “yearly theme,” my goals for the new year. i’ve got a list of ideas, though with little details on how to achieve them. under pressure to wake up on january 1st with a plan and vision i’ve attempted answer the questions remaining from part one, hoping at the end, i will be much closer to putting pen to paper and putting my “theme”  in writing.

~ what do i want to leave behind from this year?

it’s been a whirl-wind year. with dramatic changes at my work-place and an exciting and energizing election season heating up, though there may have been a fair amount of complaining on my part, i’m not sure how much of it was in my control, save one area.

those of you who know me, or have frequented this blog know that i’ve struggled off and on with depression for a fair chunk of my life. earlier this year, i fell into a funk out of which, on my own, i was unable to climb. i’ve been meeting with my therapist regularly since. though i’m back in an even, and even positive, frame of mind, i continue to see him as a motivation to work on things we’ve agreed are important.

though my temperament is such that i believe i will always be at risk of depressive funks, what i’d like to leave behind from this is year a nagging sense that my life lacks direction, accomplishments, or goals. the arc of my life has been fairly a typical, i think. it’s certainly outside the range of “normal” for the majority of my friends and while i look at this as a positive thing, i sometimes focus on the things they have that i don’t which causes feelings of loneliness and failure.

the goal of the “yearly theme” project, at is very core, is an attempt to leave these feelings behind once-and-for-all and be happy with what i have and successful in the goals i set for myself.

~ what went incredibly well?

honestly? i’m not sure anything went “incredibly” well. when weighing the “good” and “bad” in my life over this year, i can say that the scale easily tips toward the good. i made progress improving my finances, developed or strengthened relationships with some members of the democratic party of hawaii (which could prove valuable in the coming year), and proved my worth in a new position in my office.

as a matter of fact, if i look back at (what i can remember of) this year, it seems to have been a foundation-setting year. there was nothing particularly remarkable about this year, other than i could say it has put me in position to have a really good 2016.

~ what do i want more of in the year ahead?

more focus. i feel like i do a lot, constantly busy, but as i’ve been contemplating this new undertaking over the last few weeks, i’ve really begun to realize that while i’m involved in a lot of different things, there’s not a whole lot of focus in my life. enjoyable hobbies like writing, video blogging, and (restarting my) photography are consistently put off in exchange for “work” for one of the various organizations for which i volunteer; that has to change.

more joy. i’m not an unhappy person per se, but it can be a bit lonely and my free time is spent mostly laying on my couch. i’m often reminded, usually by friends and family that don’t live here, that i take completely for granted the fact that i live in this very special place. so, in the new year, i want more nature time: beaches, ocean, hiking, or just walking around my neighborhood. making a point to enjoy what hawaii has to offer is a good first step in the right direction.

there are still three or four more questions to go, but to keep this post from becoming completely unreadable, i’ll continue on in part three. stay tuned.

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though as a general concept, i decry the way facebook has become increasingly monetized; my news feed is littered with ads some algorithm has calculated i’d like. most of it is utter crap, but i can’t deny that i’ve found two or three ads appealing. they’ve even led to one or two purchases.

one such item is the spark notebook ( from the site’s “users guide.”

The Spark Notebook is a place for you to store your most important notes, goals, and big ideas so you’re always at the top of your game. It achieves what no other notebook has before: combining the stunning design of sleek, professional notebooks with the functionality of big life-planners and organization guides. All of the great organizational tools without fuss or frills.

i get that the tone and language was probably market tested by some advertising firm somewhere, but it’s true that i could use a little direction and constructive planning in my life. with my 40th birthday less than three years away, i’m feeling an increasing need to sort my shit out. put another way, at just about six-months shy of my 38th birthday, i’m still struggling to find a career i care and can feel proud about. despite the high cost of living in hawaii, i nonetheless feel like i should be a little more financially stable; i’m not as far along as maybe i should be. Continue reading a spark new year: part one

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