Looking back on 2011, some great things happened but I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with myself for not accomplishing as much as I had intended. The goal of the list was to challenge myself to get more done, get better, and attempt to achieve some things that I’ve wanted to for a while, and I think I did that. While I did – get to my goal number of Phish shows, complete watching the first Lord of the Rings film, beat my friend Josh at Words with Friends, write a ton more, get a bit better, devote more time to others, and run a marathon – there was a lot on my list that didn’t get done for one reason or another. And looking back, the things that I skipped over were the more challenging of the bunch (w/ the exception of 26.2).
So this year I’m going back to last year’s list with an eye on doing my best to get that completed while peppering in some new things that I’d like to accomplish in 2012.
1. Getting better as a person and devoting more time to others should always and will always be something to work on.
Getting published – This was something that I put off for the fist 9 months of the 2011. Towards the end of the year I got a nice push from a couple of great people and think that if I would’ve put some more time into it – I could’ve crossed this one off. Alas, ‘Get Published’ makes a return appearance on 2012’s Bring the Ruckus list. Yo! http://www.untowardmag.com/2012/06/blowing-up-while-fading-away/
3. Gatsby Tattoo – This was a timing issue. I waited too long to get the final sentence of my favorite novel tattooed on my person… Thy will be done.
4. Learn to Play the Lap Steel Guitar – To be honest, this was the biggest challenge on last year’s list and I think that this will be a repeat thorn in my side. I’ve heard and read more about the level of difficulty this instrument takes to play and….I’m pretty scared.
5. Go Vegan for a Month – Another tough one. Some people might assume that it would be easy for a vegetarian to go vegan for a month but man, there is SO MUCH dairy in my diet. Seriously. And it also isn’t that easy to do alone. But now I’ve got some friends that I can lean on for this one and possibly even some others that I can try to convince to go vegan for a month with me.
6. Restart and finish Infinite Jest – This was another bear. While I’ve learned so much from him or attempted to inject DFW’s brilliance into my veins, I couldn’t muster the strength to conquer his opus in 2011. I cracked it open a few times but with his The Pale King, the new The Art of Fielding, and a slew of other start-stops, I didn’t stand a chance.
Reading more is always one of my first wished for accomplishments and this year it’s no different. While completing Infinite Jest is on the list, I’m going to up the ante to reading a book a month to that in the hopes that I can knock out a bunch more. There’s a good amount of books that I read in my formative years that I’m going to revisit and I guess I’ll fill out the rest as they come to me:
Books to read in 2012
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower – I read this when I was around 19 or 20 and remember being enthralled with it. I carried it around in pockets and book bags. I read it on breaks at work, took it to some awesome hiding spots at work, and fell asleep many a nights with it in my clutches. Then I borrowed it to Liz….
- The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Another formative years relic – and possibly one of the most important. This book got kicked around my high school and I remember reading it in study hall my senior year. My fist foray into Kesey, Cassady, and the Pranksters made me yearn to be more adventurous and appreciative of daily life. Right. More of that.
- The Art of Fielding – I’ve got a good chunk of this finished already. I like it. It’s great. But obviously it hasn’t held my attention. It will.
- Ham on Rye
- The Marriage Plot
- Born to Run
- Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty
- The Maltese Falcon
and more to be updated later…
7. See Phish as many or more times than last year – This is a pretty important item on the list. While it might be expensive and some people may not understand the appeal of seeing the same band over and over again, it has everything to do with traveling and spending time with friends that I otherwise may not. Driving, talking, walking around fields, and hanging out with a good buddy of mine is a pure highlight of my year.
8. Fitness Goal – Fitness goals are also pretty important to the list. I’m the kind of person that won’t make myself do something if I don’t have to. Especially when it comes to fitness. While I don’t plan on running a marathon this year, I may run a few half marathons, run a minimum of 20 miles (or bike a minimum of a 100 miles the weeks I don’t run 20) a week. I’m not sure yet. I’ll set this one up after my run streak ends.
More to come….