NOTE: I’ve had this post in drafts since last Tuesday, when 2024 was still going OK. Then, things started going awry very quickly, hence the lack of posting much since then. I’m not going to write just yet about what’s going on now, but my immediate family and I are just fine. This country, however, is a mess, and yet another way is how hard we make elder care.
Anyway, here’s the rest of the post, which I’m finishing on Saturday morning.
But first, a joke that I heard years ago at Summer Music Camp, when a counselor needed to cheer up a girl who had had a very bad day:
Two little boys, Timmy and Joey, twins about five years old, are going to bed, when Timmy comes up with a plan: “Hey Joey, tomorrow we’re gonna talk to Mom like we’re grown-ups. That means we’re gonna use some of those words Daddy uses. When she asks us what we want for breakfast, I’m gonna say, ‘I want some damn Cheerios!’ and when she asks if you want Cheerios too, you say, ‘You bet your ass I do!'”
And Joey agrees to this plan, and they go to bed.
Next morning, Mom gets them up and brings them to the table. Mom asks Timmy, “What do you want for breakfast?”
And Timmy replies, “I want some damn Cheerios!”
Mom gasps, and then she shouts, “We do NOT use language like that in this house!” And she slaps Timmy and sends him crying back to his room. Then she turns to Joey and asks him, “Joey, what do you want for breakfast?”
And Joey thinks for a moment and replies, “You bet your ass it’s not Cheerios!”
Why am I remembering that joke so randomly? Because lately I’ve been eating Cheerios for breakfast. I was never a big fan of them before, but we have a big box on hand after I needed some for a recipe and there are a ton of them left over (turns out I greatly overestimated what size of a box I needed to get three cups out of it). Is this part of some larger attempt to eat more healthy-like? Who knows…I have no problem with it, if that’s the case. (I do, though, need to sprinkle them with a bit of sugar, which isn’t ideal, but so be it!)
So, anyway, let’s talk ideas about 2024.
Writing: I’ve been plugging away, slowly and steadily, at the first round of edits on Forgotten Stars V: Wow, Is This Still A Thing?, and now I’m starting on applying the edits to the manuscript to generate the second draft, which will go out to betas and friends who are also bright editors. I’d like to be able to get the book out this fall. Other hopes: editing two other books that I’ve had in draft for several years, with an eye to getting them out soon-ish, and resuming drafting on The Adventures of Lighthouse Boy and then starting Forgotten Stars VI: Another Undiscovered Country.
Photography: More of that to come, much, much more! My decision to really start learning photography last year is turning into quite a passion, and I’m looking forward to featuring more and more of my work here and elsewhere. One particular goal is to shift to shooting in RAW format and editing in Lightroom, which is what the pros do, after all. Another is setting up a photo gallery, hopefully on this site, but I first need to investigate whatever might be the best way of doing that.
All of this photography is likely to lead into….
Vlogging/video content creation: Yup, I think it’s time for that as well. I’m not sure what frequency of video work I plan to follow at this point. I’ve already shot one video but I haven’t edited any of it together yet. My video content will probably be as all-over-the-map as my content here, obviously; that’s hard-wired into me and I can’t see doing any different just because it’s video. I’m going to progress slowly on that front at first, because I know that video content can be very time-consuming to produce, and I’m not terribly experienced on that front.
What other goals do I have in 2024? Well, mostly it’s about finding the way through the current set of problems and then, hopefully, figuring out whatever the new “normal” is going to be. As of right now, it does not appear that the upheaval of 2023 is stopping…but eventually it will. It always does. (Again, sorry to be a bit cryptic, but I’m not entirely comfortable writing about some of this yet. I reiterate that I, The Wife, and The Daughter are fine.) But on a less…aspirational? Vague?…note, I want to keep learning how to cook things. One of my Christmas gifts was a wonderful My Neighbor Totoro-themed ramen bowl, and I think it’s time to learn how to cook ramen that’s a step up from the $2-a-pack ramen kits that have enough sodium in them to stop a clock. (I should also figure out gluten-free ramen soon!) That’s just one cooking adventure I have in mind.
I had hoped to start getting some more travel on the docket, but I’m not sure right now if that’s a viable short-term goal. Maybe, maybe not.
Finally, I’m trying to use a planner again. Or rather, I’m once again on one of my attempts to use a planner consistently. This has been a struggle of mine for, well, all of life! But the last bunch of years have a usual cadence: I buy a planner, I start using it on January 1, I eventually fade away from the planner and neglect it, I remember the planner, I again miss a few days that turn into weeks, lather rinse repeat. But, I do get better at planner use each year, so maybe this is the year I turn the corner? It does seem to me that organized planning of my time, at least way better organized planning of my time than I’ve ever had before, is key to my achieving all of the various goals I keep setting for myself. So…here we go, planning away.
Again, I’m sure I’ll write about the current difficulties that we are experiencing at some point. For now, I’m going to try to not do that. We’ll see how that goes.
As Mr. Lee said, “Excelsior!”