I thought I would do a quick ego fluffing year-in-review type post. Here it goes:
1. The biggest thing that happened this year was obviously the birth of my daughter Zoa. She is now 3 months old, and sassy as hell. It is still really weird for me to think that I’m the father of 2! children. A family of four. How the hell did that happen?!?!
2. For awhile there I thought my job and company was in jeopardy. We’ve weathered the storm and I remain gainfully employed at a company that I am proud to work for.
3. Next week I start school. I’ll be taking 3 classes, working full-time, and trying to spend as much time with my family as possible. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up the 3 classes at a time thing, but the more I can, the sooner I’ll have my degree. And then the sooner we’ll be more financially secure and stable (at least, that’s the plan….) so hopefully I can last at that pace until summer of 2012.
4. This year I changed blogs, joined twitter, wrote for Elephant Journal and shifted the focus of my content here. I’ve been trying to be more aware of how I spend my time online, as well as how much time I spend here. So far the process is evolving nicely. I also started a photo blog which is sort of on hiatus at the moment until I have more time to snap some photos. But I am tied only very loosely to it, so it will just sit there for now. And I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with not posting here regularly. No pressure.
5. I decided to focus my dharma practice in a more Zen-centered path. I’m enjoying what I’m learning, and struggling to put it all into practice. I’m inching my way forward, but forward nonetheless.
6. Last year I made some resolutions. Let’s see how I did:
- 1st – no more meat. Verdict: fail! So I don’t eat meat for any meal, whatsoever. I don’t order any meat when we eat out. But my son is a very picky eater. Some of the things he will eat are meaty. Sometimes he doesn’t finish his food. So I eat it. I’d rather it didn’t go to waste considering the manner in which it got to our dinner table. I don’t care if that makes me a non vegetarian or not. I didn’t make the choice about my diet in order to provide myself with a label or status.
- 2nd – a more committed practice – verdict – fail! I wanted to chant daimoku twice daily and such, but I didn’t. In fact, I decided not to continue practicing strictly in the Nichiren tradition anymore. However I have found other ways to integrate other practices and study into my life. So whatever.
- 3rd – incorporate meditation into my practice – WIN!!! Yeah, I’ve meditated a bit this year. Nothing strict or regular, but I have. And I’d like to find more time to do so, but not sure how that is going to work with work/school/kids/wife/need to shower and eat.
7. This year my only resolution is to be a better husband and father, and to do my best to be there for my family and balance all of my commitments.
8. The best book I read this year is probably The Eight Gates of Zen. Although I’m currently digesting The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing and it is really, really good.
9. Here are the 4 posts I wrote this year that I am most proud of:
Affirm life, Do not kill - it was a post around some of my thoughts/feelings on abortion.
My Personal Internet Usage Policy - this one got the most hits I’ve ever had on one day (400 something) and got really good reception. I even saw some people who said they printed it out and hung it by their computer!
Bringing us back to shore - no one else seemed to like this one, but I did damn it!!!
My Team – I wrote this on July 4th, and it actually has nothing to do with sports, though I think my metaphor got lost. Oh well, I dug it.
If you had a particular favorite that I didn’t mention, let me know in the comments.
10. I discovered that I am now that old guy that doesn’t enjoy any newfangled music! Seriously though, I’ve been able to find very little new music that I like anymore. Here are a few gems that I was able to find:
Chiddy Bang (my interest in hip hop in general is declining, but groups like this and a few other indie MCs out there are keeping my iPod fresh for the time being)
Alberta Cross – excellent Canadian band my friend turned me onto. A distinct Neil Young influence, something I don’t mind in the least.
Iron and Wine – amazingly talented music. So talented, you’ll likely never hear it on the radio.
Ray LaMontaingue - ‘soul’ is the first word that comes to mind when listening to Ray LaMontaingue as he plays with all of his and then some.
And the award to the catchiest damn song I heard all year (or was it last year? I don’t remember, I’ve just been unable to get it out of my head):
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Home
Here’s to 2011. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Years.