Here It Comes Again….

It´s the last day of November.  Tomorrow it begins again, in full force.  It´s time to start re-evaluating our lives (my life) and begin thinking about those terrible New Year’s Resolutions we are (I am) bound to make and not follow through on.

Ok, first, we need to focus on the coming holiday.  Yes, yes, Christmas is almost here and it’s time for me to spend money on things for family and friends to show them I care about them more than I care about making my next months rent payment.  Right, that sounds very Grinch-like, but it also sounds practical.  None of my family is in a particularly good financial situation, and I wish there were a way to skip the entire gift giving process altogether, but alas, here I am, thinking over what gift I can purchase for my “Secret Santa” recipient.  Yes, despite my feeble protest, we have decided to play Secret Santa and only be responsible for blowing money on one person versus the entire family.  I suppose this works for me, although I still feel it takes away a bit from the so called spirit of the holiday.  In any case, my hope is to find a few small gifts for this person (I am maintaining secrecy, just in case someone in my family stumbles across this and wants to know who I have for Secret Santa.) and have a nice Christmas for the entire family.  I think what I am looking forward to most is having two days in a row off.  Boy, the things that bring me joy in life.

So back to the resolutions.  I have said, many times in fact, that I am not a fan of making New Year’s Resolutions.  The entire world decides collectively that they are going to lose five pounds or give up smoking and in two weeks, all is forgotten as we are more interested in looking forward to Valentines Day.  (Well, some of us.  That can be a entirely seperate entry.)  So why am I talking about this if I am so against the process?  Well, despite my stance against it, for the past two years I have given in and even made a list of resolutions.  In some cases, I followed through and I feel good about that, but the overwhelmng truth is that most of my resolutions fell by the wayside and I simply went back to living the life I had always lived.  So what will make this year different?  Honestly, I don’t know, but I would like to give it a shot.

The other night, after not really accomplishing a whole lot for the day, I went to bed rather early and felt like I had given up on the day.  Now, certainly there are days when we all feel this way.  We kind of stumble through our day, just counting the minutes until we can retire for the night and start anew in the morning.  The problem I was having was the realization that I was having more and more days like this, and that’s not a good way to live ones life.  Constantly thinking to yourself, I’ll do more tomorrow, only leads to yourself discovering you have reached the end (death) and accomplished nothing.  I have said repeatedly that I want to be more devoted to going to the gym.  (I just want to be in shape.  I have no false fantasies of looking like a GQ model.)  Instead of just going, like I should, I make excuses and come home and sit on my ass.  I’m too tired, I don’t have time, I have to do laundry, I want to go to the store instead.  All of these things are weak excuses to avoid doing things I would like to do.  In addition, I want to study more languages, but the fact is, I’ll never learn a single word by looking at the books and saying, I’ll read it tomorrow.  I’m going to be 31 in five months and I am still single.  I would like to find a girlfriend (translation=wife) before I am old enough to collect social security.  It turns out, sitting on my couch writing blog posts about finding a wife don’t usually translate into a woman knocking on my door.  I know I have to go out and be more social, yet my first instinct after work is to run to my apartment, lock the door and watch TV.  So how do I fix all this?  Well, as I tossed around in my bed, I came to a realization.  No one is going to fix this situation for me.  I have to make the changes myself or accept that nothing will change.  The phrase that rang in my ears was, No More Excuses!  While this will not always be easy to adhere to, everytime I leave work and ask myself if I am going to go to the gym or just go home because I am tired, I have to say, No More Excuses…..in other words, jus go.  If I want to study Spanish, Italian, French, Portugues, whatever, I have to just do it (my respects to Nike) and tell myself I’m not going to learn a damn thing if I don’t pick up the book and read it.  Looking across the room at the woman I find attractive will not magically persuade her to walk in my direction.  If I want to talk to her, I have to talk.  No More Excuses.

So how do I do all this?  The gym thing is fairly basic.  Pack my bag and have it with me on the days I want to work out.  There is a side plan of changing my eating habits a bit, and that will simply be a matter of buying better food.  (Granola bars in place of cookies for example)  I have been in good shape in the past and I know I can do it again.  It will just take some time and patience.  (Right, I know, I don’t have patience, but I need to work on that too.)  The language thing?  Ok, I have been watching nothing but Spanish television for three years now.  I can read and write in Spanish pretty well, and as far as speaking, it is just a matter of finding someone to talk to.  Am I fluent in Spanish.  I don’t know if (by my own definition) I would say I am fluent, but I would go so far as to say I am (by my own standards) 75-80% fluent, and that’s a lot better than most people I know.  Next up is Italian, which at this moment, I would say I am at a 25-30% fluency range, meaning I can introduce myself, ask some basic questions and use a number of different verbs to describe things or carry on a very simple conversation.  With help from a native speaker, I could probably stumble through a fairly simple conversation, but I bet it would be enough to get me by in say a bar or café or something.  I have a plan for Italian though, and I am actually quite excited about it.  My town offers adult education classes, some of which are meant to help adults graduate high school, while there are others simply meant to educate single folk like me who have nothing better to do on a Tuesday night.  They offer a beginner Italian class that meets once a week for two hours and focuses on teaching the basics of the language through the art of Italian cooking.  My intention is to both pick up additional language skills while perhaps learning how to cook a little bit for myself.  (This could conflict with my goal of eating better and losing weight, but I’ll have to try to balance it out.)  My hopes with this are two fold.  In addition to improving my Italian speaking and cooking, I have the secret hopes that there will be at least one single woman in the class who may be looking for a sinlge guy like me.  I’ve realized that I am not likely to come across someone while I am at work, and unfortunately, that is where I spend the most of my time.  If I want to meet someone away from the shroud of McDonalds, I have to step out into the world, and I am hoping this class will be an opportunity to do that.  They haven’t opened registration for the spring yet, and I am worried they might not offer it, but I am trying to remain confident.  Should things go well, this class could kill two birds with one stone.

So let’s review, for my sake.  The theme for the previous two years was Mind, Body, and Soul.  Mind=learning more languages, body=going to the gym and soul=finding my soul mate.  My initial language goal was to reach that 75-80% fluency level in no less than four languages by my birthday in April. (Originally it was five, but I am willing to accept it may be tough to add Portuguese to the mix at 75% by April.  This is not to say I am not going to start learning it, I am just saying I may not be as far along as I would like to be by April.)  The goal for body will be to fit in 32″ pants again.  My mother had complained that I was too skinny three or four years ago, but if I can split the distance between where I am and where I was, I should be happy.  And the single life?  Ok, that’s not as simple as I am trying to make it, but the idea is to put myself out there and risk getting shot down.  The first step will be taking that class, but I suppose I should have a back up plan just in case.  I have thought about different places I can go to meet people.  Of course, I love going to the Mexican restaurant down the street.  (I applied to work there, but I fear I am too much of a gringo to fit in) There’s also a bar I go to with two friends of mine to play trivia on Thursday nights, but being involved in that kind of limits my interaction with other people, as we are working in a team.  I like going to the bookstore or a coffee shop, but I am always hesitant to walk up to strangers and just say hello.  I have a few hours today before I have to be to work, so I am debating going somewhere just to see what happens.  In any case, I should be off.  Thoughts are always appreciated!  Adios

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~ by James on November 30, 2011.

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