I’m 40 years old, which means that I’ve spent half of my life in the 20th century and half of it in the 21st. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t excited with the fact that we last night we moved into a new decade. I was reading a book last night when midnight came; my family was asleep. There had been pops of fireworks going off before midnight, but there was a point when they started firing off continuously when I knew that the New Year had come. I wasn’t sure whether it was the City or the nearby military base where they were going off, but after about what was likely the official display ceased, what sounded like small arms fire kept going on for another twenty or fourty minutes. I imagined handguns or semiautomatic rifles being fired off in the air. (I once found a spent 9mm bullet laying on my porch step, no idea where it came from.) The explosions were punctuated with the sound of sirens as emergency personnel responded, either to the illegal fireworks, firearms, or perhaps to some actual injury.
- Finish my degree: I’m one semester away from getting my bachelors in computer science. I’ll likely finish with a >3.5 GPA. This should open up some opportunities, but the worst thing about it will be that my loans will come due. This will likely cause some financial hardship until I accomplish #2…
- Get a raise: I’ve been at the same job and salary for four or five years now. My wife outearns me by a great deal, and it’s not a problem, pride-wise, as much as it is a difference in lifestyle. My budget is extremely tight and is a subject of stress, while she seems to have a lot more discrecion in how she handles her finance. I know that even with my lack of anything more than an associates degree I’m underpaid, but the freedom I have with my current job makes up for it. That freedom has downsides though, and it’s time to step up. Unfortunatley, I’ve come to recognize that my current job is with a zombie firm, which is why item #3 is…
- Find a new job: I’ve been with my current job for 7 years, which is longer than I’ve ever held a position anywhere else. I tell my wife I’m unfireable because of key-man risk, but I’ve come to realize that everyone else on my small team is as well, and that’s not a good thing. I’ll have to expand on this later. I have no desire to go back to a corporate position where I have to work more than 30 hours a week, so I will have to make sure to focus on #4…
- Pickup more freelance/contracting work: Until the next Bitcoin bull run makes me independently wealthy, I’m going to have to focus on expanding my independent work and pick up some actual clients. I just need to pick up sixteen clients at $250/month retainer to replace my current real job, so I’ll just need to focus on picking up a few more and staying on top of things while I work on a few more large development projects.
- Get my daughter sleeping in her bed: She’s three years old now, and still can’t fall asleep on her own. I don’t know if we broke the first one doing it, but at least she goes to bed without having to lay down next to her for twenty minutes. This will be a long hard fought battle, especially until I can get my wife on board.
- Deal with my defiant child: I have two daughters. My boss has two as well, and often tells me that I have no idea what kind of shit I’ll have to deal with when they become teenagers. He assumes they’ll live that long. I would suspect that my eldest has oppositional defiant disorder save for the fact that she’s an angel with everyone but my wife and I, so I just assume it’s our lack of parenting skills. I’ve got some books that I’m reading and some strategies that I’ll be working through, so we’ll see how that goes.
- Continue to meditate: Such a simple thing to do that has such a good impact on my well-being. I don’t know that I’ll be doing hour-long sessions, but twenty minutes a day seems like such a no-brainer. Figuring out how to make it part of my daily routine and get the kids involved will be key.
- Exercise regularly: I’ve been through so many phases on this that it’s ridiculous. I’m really going to need to prioritize this, along with meditation, to make sure that it gets done on a regular basis. When I’ve done so in the past, the results have been tremendous, but it’s been so hit or miss lately.
- The drink: the hundred-plus days off the wagon that I did late last summer was one of the best things I’ve done for my health. I’ve already accepted the fact that I’m an alcoholic (an addict might be a better description,) so I have to figure out whether I want to continue being a functioning alcoholic or what.
- Up my piano skills: music has always been part of my life, and I’m finally getting to the point where I can sight read. Besides a few pop tunes that I’ve been playing around with, I’ve almost mastered a Bach minuet. I really want my kids to pick this up by my example, but I’m having difficulty figuring out what an appropriate goal for me would be. Bach’s Inventions should be something I can achieve this year.
- Write: I am going to start a 1000-day goal to write at least 200 words to this blog.
Wish me luck!