Oct 10, 2008

Resolutions for the Year in Progress

Father and Son Hanging out by the Grotto. Looks like at least one of us is having fun!

Well, here it is October and I'm finally getting to my "New Years Resolutions." You may recall that last summer I decided to treat August as my new year, because as a teacher that's when things really start anew for me. The plan was to do the same this August, but like many plans this one got upended by a little fella by the name of Elijah, and my Resolutions entry languished, neglected, on my "Coming Soon" sidebar for two months.

But now at last I can post this entry (provided that Elijah stays asleep just now) and let you in on the resolutions for this year. Even though I haven't posted these, I've been thinking about them for awhile and taking steps to make them a reality.

Be an Active Dad
Maybe one of the biggest reasons I haven't blogged more often is because of my commitment to keeping this resolution. I wanted to be an involved father, for the sake of my wife as well as my son. I didn't want Barbara to feel abandoned to the task of raising our son, while I went out and brought home the stripples. And I wanted to be more than a distant authority figure to Elijah. Now that our lives are settling into a routine, I can see the temptation to leave the baby stuff to Babs. Dealing with a crying baby can be taxing and it would be so easy to beg off with the excuse of "work" to avoid helping out. But I'm determined not to do that. Raising our son is going to be a team effort.

But even more than pitching in with diaper changes and burping, I want to give my son an active life. Some people think the adventures end when parenthood begins--but I want this to be the beginning of new adventures. He's already been to half a dozen restuarants, Managaha Island, Mt. Topachau and the heights of Suicide Cliff. When he's a little older I want to strap him into the carrier and take him on my favorite hikes or put him in the jogging stroller and take him for a run. Already Elijah shows signs of being a very curious guy and one who loves the outdoors (A great soothing trick with him when he's fussy is to take him outside. He'll stop crying and his eyes will open wide as he takes in the sunshine, blue sky, and natural beauty of our island home). Rather than be the dad that always leaves him behind, I want to be the dad who always takes him along for the ride.

Be a better citizen
I've never voted. At the age of thirty-five, that is shameful. The irony of it is that I've long had an interest in politics and world issues and hold strong views on many of the issues facing both our local community in Saipan and back in the States. I'm not sure why that never translataed into civic action? Perhaps it was cyncism about politicians in general or doubts about my ability to make a real difference. Maybe I've been just plain lazy, satisfied to opine from the sidelines rather than actualy get involved. This year I'd like for that to change. Unfortunately, it's too late for me to register to vote in the November elections both here in Saipan and in the U.S. Mainland, but I've resolved to register, inform myself on the issues and the candidates and vote in the next election after this one. One vote may not make a difference but a lot of individual votes together can. There's no reason why I can't be one of those individuals who adds my voice to the chorus of democracy.

In the meantime, I'll exercise my civic duty by trying to convince one of my buddies who is an undecided Ohio voter to vote Obama!

Work on becoming a published author
This has been a long time goal of mine--a dream, that like most dreams has been deferred in favor of more mundane realities like work, sleep, and TV. But I've finished a draft of my first novel and I'm ready to start lookng for an agent. But that's not enough. Chances are it will take a long time for my manuscript to find a publisher--if it ever does. So I need to keep writing, and keep looking for venues to publish my work. God's given me a talent and I haven't done much with it until now. It's time to start using my gift and letting God multiply the results.

Worship as a family
Babs and I have long talked about having regular worship together. We've made a few half-hearted tries, but nothing has ever really stuck. Now that Elijah has joined our family I feel it's more important than ever to put a priority on spending time with God as a family. At the very least I want to have sundown worship together every Friday evening and prayer together daily.

There are so many things I want for my boy, but the thing I want most for him is to know Jesus and to trust and love Him completely. I don't want him to be saddled with all the issues and baggage I've had to deal with in my spiritual journey. I feel like one of the best ways for me to help him have a strong and rewarding relationship with Jesus is through family worship.

Take better care of my teeth
Okay this is one wagon I've fallen off of many times (forgive me, Lori and Bev). But once again I want to renew my commitment to dental health. I will floss regularly. I will put aside the time and money for a visit to our favorite dentists!

What About Last Year's Resolutions?
Everyone knows resolutions are made to be broken, right? Well maybe not. I took a look at least year's list and I was pleased to find that I kept my resolutions. An update:

I resolved to be less busy, and I believe I was successful. Last year was certainly one of the least stressful years of my time in Saipan.
I reoslved to stop worrying about things I can't control. I really believe I've mastered this. I can't remember the last time I grew anxious over the school or church. I've finally come to really accept that God is in control of the things I have no power over.
I resolved to be more active and I kept that resolution. Last year I added diving, running, swimming, hiking, and even rock climbing to my lifestyle. It felt good!
I resolved to go to bed early and I was so successful it extended even to my summer vacation. I've found the rested feeling that comes from a good nights sleep easily outweighs the momentary pleasures of staying up late.
I resolved to save money and our savings account, after a few dips here and there, is once again growing steadily. We're far from perfect but I think we've got a better handle on our finances than at any time since we got married. This past month we haven't charged a single thing to our credit card!
I resolved to spray our house for roaches. This one took awhile but Elijah's birth and the arrival of our moms finally prompted us to get professional help. The good folks at Pest-Ex have started spraying our house once a month.


Mai said...

Great resolutions! It's so refreshing to hear a guy ready and willing to be active in his child's life! That's awesome! And I'm glad you're devoted to saving the world - one roach at a time!

Anonymous said...

Check out https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org/
You should still be able to vote in the federal election. There you can find the form and information to e-mail your ballot request. Or, if it is too close, you can use the federal write-in absentee ballot. Good luck!