The Blog Exotic.
A Creative Laboratory.
I took a vacation. If you are reading this, thanks for coming back.
It's been a few weeks since I checked in on the blog. I took some time off of everything...work, writing, everything. I spent a lot of time with family. Mostly, we did nothing. When we weren't doing nothing, we did a few things. I got sick. I got better. I slept. I raked leaves. I even rode my new motorcycle a bit. Mostly, my family just enjoyed each other's company.
I really needed to shut down for a while, and to be honest, I wasn't quite ready to spin back up in the New Year. That includes this blog. I've had this overwhelming urge to slow down. Way down. Like "retire" slow down. Shut down. Hole up. I've sorta tuned out of everything and just concentrated on being. At this point in my life, a permanent slowdown isn't realistic or feasible. So what's next?
My day job seems to take the lion's share of my time these days, but I'm working hard to make sure I carve out time for other priorities in 2022. These priorities are in no particular order, because they are all important in a different way. Many of them are also interrelated and connected. They sort of define my vision for the coming year.
Writing - Finish what I started: The Chronicles of Fu XI, Book IV is 33K into the first draft, which is about 25% complete. I've re-dedicated myself to completing the task in 2022. I need to finish this, and finish strong. It's eaten too much of my life, I have to put it behind me, but I have to do it right.
Fitness: A few years back I really got in shape (at least for me). Then I let it all go. Well, here I go again. My body is talking to me. It's tell me to take care of it or else. Over the past 10 years writing and fitness have seemed to be mutually exclusive. Writing, when it really kicks in, takes time. Its jealous with its time, and doesn't like to surrender one minute to anything - like the gym or even a walk. It's not an excuse, its fact. Writing is obsessive. It's a compulsion, really. Now, fitness needs to be a compulsion.
In order to bring writing and fitness into harmony, I'm going to have to do things different this time. I have to carve out time for both every day. I have to honor that time as if its sacred. I have to keep those time slots realistic and manageable.
Family & Friends: As a family, my clan does a lot together. Now, thankfully, I have more extended family close by. This year I want make sure I'm spending more time with all of them. I also want to reforge those bonds of friendship that I might have neglected over the past year and maybe make some new friends.
Ride: I have a new motorcycle. My incredible nephew built it for me custom from a 1993 Harley Sportster (that's what he does for a living). I used to ride a lot in my youth, but put it away in my early 20s and never touched a bike again (family, kids, work). Getting back in the saddle has been an amazing experience. I forgot how much I loved to ride. It reminds me of flying, but doesn't involve as much time or expense. Now that I am older and wiser, I find that I ride "smarter" and take far less risks than I did in my youth, but seem to enjoy the experience far more. Its simultaneously relaxing, invigorating, and an adrenaline rush. This is another reason I'm re-emphazing fitness in my life. Its FAR easier to ride a motorcycle when you're not fat.
Photography: This is also a compulsion, but one which will have to take a back seat this year to writing. I'm still taking clients, but fewer this year. Most of my photography will happen when riding my motorcycle, as I hope to begin my next photography book about the Wiregrass.
Relax: I may not be retired yet, but I've reached a point in my life I better start enjoying life to its fullest. That means more time away from the computer screen. Any screen. I'm going to put the phone down more often. If I'm going to sit down in front of a computer, it better be for work or writing, and then only tightly managed segments. It means using my work leave to go places, do things, and be with those I love. Relax is tied in with fitness, family, faith and ride.
Faith: I don't often discuss my spiritual life here, because my faith (my relationship with Christ) is deeply personal. My Christian faith, however, is a part of who I am at a root level. Finishing my last two books stole time from many things, including that relationship. That's not good. Sometimes Sunday was my only time to write or power down. (And I needed to power down.) I think the Lord will understand, because he once took a whole day to power down, too I would like to rededicate myself to my faith and my relationship with God. This ties deeply in with both family and, believe it or not, fitness. I physically FEEL better when I'm spiritual engaged.
Gratitude: I want to step into 2022 with a sense of gratitude for those around me - family, friends, coworkers, and those kind strangers that make life a magical experience. I have this overwhelming feeling thankfulness for life's gifts. I hope this sense of gratitude brings with it peace, kindness, and joy. I hope it curbs my temper, and kindles the fires of charity, forgiveness and patience.
There it is, my vision for 2022. Thank you all for a great 2021, Happy New Year and God Bless.
#writer #writinglife #2022 #2022goals #newyear #goals #writinggoals
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