Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I don't believe in them. Never have, never will. If there's a decision important enough that it will actually affect your life, then don't wait until some arbitrary calendar change to implement it. That said, however, I'm all about setting goals and the new year is as good a time as any to do so. I'm setting a couple of goals starting today. I'm going to write a post every day for a year. I just noticed how light my posting has been this year, and I think I can do better. I've used this blog to do a lot of things: to sell comics, to let my family and friends know how we are, to reflect on life and things that I enjoy. I'm going to continue to do that. But I want to become a more disciplined writer. Something happens to me each and every day that is notable. I want to make it my task to make those things sound interesting. So, if my blog starts to read more like a diary, there's a reason for it. I won't mind if you skip over the self-important ramblings when they eventually come!

Vacation has been interesting, to say the very least. Right before we left school, I had a few chest pains. I was scared, to say the least. My friend Barry Winston died two years ago today from a heart attack at age 36, and comic book artist Mike Wieringo died a year ago August at age 44, the same age I am now. I immediately scheduled, with my doctor's advice, a stress echocardiogram to check for artery blockages. Unfortunately, the earliest they could get me in was December 30. So there I sat, scared that every day was going to be my last with my family. If that doesn't get your priorities straight, I don't know what will. The test came out fine, by the way. Dr. Lee said, "Good, strong heart," and gave me a thumbs up before he left. I'm still being extra conscientious about sodium intake and my diet. Throw a little exercise in, which I was doing great with until snow started falling, and I'll be working to reverse any blockage that there may be. I want to be around to see my little girl grow up.

On Christmas Eve, as I (or rather, the Big Elf) was putting together Sera's toy kitchen, I developed a toothache in the broken tooth on which I had a root canal at the beginning of school. It was agonizing enough that I started taking my leftover painkillers and begged my dentist to see me when I called on the 26th. Unfortunately, his entire staff was out of town and my oral surgeon was on vacation as well. I couldn't get it taken care of until yesterday. This tooth was decayed because of my wisdom tooth being impacted against it, so this makes five teeth I've had to have pulled in the past 13 months through no fault of my own. I don't even have any cavities in my other teeth.

We've been completely broke for most of three weeks now. We took care of our families and friends, and that left less than nothing for ourselves until we get paid tomorrow. It's about now that I'm kicking myself for not getting my master's degree sooner so I could get paid more. But, I've had other priorities that, going back, I really wouldn't change. The difference in pay is $12,000 a year, so it's going to become a priority now that our family is complete.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I am writing a book. This isn't a pipe dream like you hear a lot of people talk about, but an actual book that is well on its way to completion. It's a math book for kids the age that I teach. It's also for teachers of those kids, because it includes activities that can be left as sub plans with their own easy-to-follow instructions. It could also serve to help parents who home-school their children,not that I support home-schooling. Everyone to whom I have shown the completed pages says that it's a sure thing. Let's hope they're right. My niece is doing the artwork for the book, and what I've seen so far really inspires me to get this thing done. My goal is to have it done by the end of summer and then to begin my master's degree program in the fall. I don't want to reveal anything specific about the book here in public. But if you email me privately and I know you already, I will be happy to show you some pages.

Here's hoping that this year brings health, joy and prosperity to all of our lives!

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