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January 7, 2000

Is it too late to make new year's resolutions? I know I said I never make them, but I seem to be drifting here, and I think a few goals would help shove some discipline down my throat (which is much better, thank you).

My work day is fine, because I can update and prioritize my "to do" list every morning, then stick to whatever projects are most important that day. This kind of organization doesn't come naturally to me, and it hasn't always been easy. I remember a time when I would hand the Boss my in-basket every morning and he would put all the papers in the order he wanted them handled. I learned to do this on my own, because otherwise I tend to spend my time doing the more interesting and enjoyable tasks ahead of others that might be more time-sensitive.

The rest of my life, though, is messy. After work and on weekends, I tend to drift from a book to the TV to the computer to the kitchen on nothing more than the whim of the moment. I don't feel guilty about this, but lately I often sense a need for something more. And if I'm ever to have more, I can't be this undisciplined in managing my time.

That's one reason I started an online journal. I've given myself the target of writing every day, even if it's writing about writing, as I'm doing here. It's been just a week, but so far I haven't had any problem spewing out a few hundred choice words for the limited public consumption they're likely to get. In fact, I don't even expect people to read my words, although I work on my entries just to the point that I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone were to read them. (And what might embarrass me would not be the content, but misspellings or grammatical blunders or a carelessly turned phrase.)

So that's a goal that has me sitting in front of the computer for a couple of hours, describing my life, which mainly consists of sitting in front of the computer. But I think it will help me by forcing me to try to lead a more interesting life, if only so that I have something to write about. I don't get out much, but all those movies I mentioned the other day are still playing somewhere.

At the banquet of life, I may be ready for the next course. I'm getting tired of filling up on breadsticks.

The one goal I've already mentioned for this year is to move into a bigger place, but I'm already discouraged by what I see advertised for rent. The only houses that seem suitable by their descriptions in the paper cost about three times what I could afford. And I really wanted a dog, but I guess I'm going to have to give up on that dream. This project may turn out to be a longer-term goal than I thought it would, unless something magically falls into my lap. Or unless I lower my standards.

I don't want to sound as if I'm feeling sorry for myself, because on the whole, my life isn't bad. I have a lot of time to do whatever I want. Since I work at home, I can organize my day to get things done. Outside of work, I'm not tied to anyone else's schedule and I'm in charge of my own corner of the world. I can live with things the way they are, but lately I've been noticing the empty spaces more, those untidy areas between the busy stretches. I need to do a little exploring.

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