January 5th, 2004


New Year's Resolution

Just one. I'm not going to bother with all the usual hoohah of "I must exercise more" and like that -- those are ongoing matters of day-to-day discipline, not particularly affected by the beginning of the year. But there is one that is genuinely new and important for me:

I will not take on any new projects until I have made significant progress on the ones that matter to me.

For years now, I've been letting the Works build up, accumulating one by one. Each is significant in its own way, each reflecting a part of myself. Tabula Rasa III tests my creativity and discipline; The Players my creativity and my poetic prowess. The Braid is all of my geekliness rolled up into one project, a collection of wildly lateral ideas that may or may not work, but would certainly be cool. And the Mysteries is perhaps the deepest expression of what really matters to me -- trying to create something genuinely social, educational, lasting and cool, the club that I really want to be a member of.

I'm not going to finish them overnight; indeed, none are going to be finished in the next year. And I'm still on the fence about the Braid, which is just a little too much like work. But I'm out of excuses for the rest -- all are simply a matter of getting into the mindset of having fun with them, combined with the discipline to get past the rough patches and the enthusiasm to draw others in with me as needed.

So once Celebration is done with, it's time for a moratorium on taking on new projects. This is genuinely difficult for me -- I'm a dilletante at heart, and easily distracted by the next shiny toy that offers to take up my time. But this has been rankling me for years now. I had every intention of having the Mysteries project off the ground by the turn of the Millennium -- "midway through life's journey" in the Dantean sense -- and I've missed that by half a decade. It's not that it's really all that hard; I just keep letting myself get pulled away.

No more. It's time to get honest with myself: the thing I most lack is free time, and I have to shepherd it more carefully than I've been doing. Once I can prove to myself that I've made major strides towards my long-term goals, I can allow myself another short-term one or two. But I need to stop letting my little ambitions get in the way of my bigger ones if I'm going to be able to look at myself in the mirror. I do not want to get to the end of my days, and find only a path of distractions and regrets behind me.

No, none of this means I'm going to drop out of the SCA or LARP or anything like that. But I am going to back off from positions of responsibility in those arenas, at least for a while...