2009 Guidelines

I’ve decided to make some personal guidelines for 2009. The nice thing about these is that they are small changes to my existing habits or routines and therefore appear both reasonable and achievable. They are, in no particular order:

Stop collecting receipts
For years I’ve kept every receipt and invoice someone handled me, even when I had the option of not doing so. They sit in my desk drawer until January of the following year when I bundle them up, put a rubber band around them, and stash them in my filing cabinet. Then after 7 years they go in the shredder. This year I’m going to decline every opportunity to obtain a receipt (with reasonable exceptions of items that might need to be returned/exchanged). This should reduce busywork for me without negatively impacting my records given that I have PDFs of all my credit card statements.
Blog more
I blog in spurts but very few of my mental blog articles get written. This is due to the fact that I like to limit a single blog entry to a single topic and that I have a desire to spread the blog entries out instead of having 7 in one day and none for 7 days. This results in some mental blog entries never getting posted and many days of no entries at all. This year my intent is to write entries as they come to me to a document on my local computer and then post them roughly one a day. In addition I’m going to overcome my resistance to posting multiple blog entries a day for those articles that are more time-sensitive
Work against my hermit tendencies
I’ve noticed that more and more I resist going places and doing things. I mentally rationalize it as wanting to avoid driving the car for environmental reasons. And while that’s a great idea in practice, I shouldn’t sacrifice living my life to achieve it. This year I’m going to do better about where the line is drawn between being green and being a hermit.
Be craftier (aka develop hobbies outside of the computer)
As my previous post indicated, I’m working towards this one already with the crocheting. While I’d love to get back into pottery, there isn’t a studio around here and if I were to obtain a wheel for the garage I’d still need someplace to fire them so that one is right out. Instead I’ll focus on crocheting for a while and then maybe take up quilting. Both of these hobbies appeal to me because my Mom and grandmothers practiced these crafts and because they result in useful and practical products.

There are other things that I’d like to work on in 2009 but I think these are my core guidelines. Lets see how they go!

Crocheting Practice

Several months ago I decided to start doing more crafty things and I opted to learn how to crochet. I selected crocheting over knitting mainly because that’s what my Mom and Grandmothers do (or at least did many years ago, I’m not sure if they still crochet or not). The problem I discovered is that I don’t feel like I’m doing something productive just sitting there crocheting when I have so many other things that need to get done. This obviously isn’t a problem with crocheting per se, but with my inability to sit still.

After a few starts and stops I found a block of time while Benjamin was watching several episodes of Sex in the City. In that time I crocheted the following:

Here’s a close-up of the stitching:

It isn’t anything actually useful, just a test swatch as I try to become more comfortable with the single stitch and making my work consistent. As you can tell the ends flair as those stitches were too loose compared to the others. The swatch is roughly 10″ x 3″ and took me 5 Sex in the City episodes to finish (how do you like that new time metric?). Obviously I have a ways to go both in consistency and speed but it’s a start!

I’m undecided if crocheting gets me gay points or old lady points. I’m thinking it’s probably more of the latter given that several of my gay friends have been making fun of my new crafty hobby.