Sunday, January 18, 2015

January book review

One of my goals for this year was to read a book each month and then write a short review about it.

I found this to be a difficult book to read.  I had to put it down several times.  Anyone growing up in a family may may see glimpses of their own experience within the pages of this novel.

The book stirred uncomfortable memories of my childhood.  Brought fears to the surface about what I perceived as my shortcomings as a father.  Was I a ghost to my children?

"It's the things a family is silent about that say more than what they talk about all the time."~Scott Berkun

The author paints a powerful picture of the dysfunction in his family, the longing he had to understand who his father was, the choices that he had made.

Someone once told me that when you are born your parents give you two gifts.  They take a picture of you and then they give you an evaluation of that picture.  This author spent much of his life, seeking the evaluation of that picture from his Father.

I felt conflicted as the book ended.  I had hoped for a different outcome, but this was real life.

I would recommend reading this book, but would advise anyone reading it to be prepared to feel uncomfortable and to be open to the possibility of choosing something new for yourself.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015

I have been thinking about how to welcome in this new year.  I am not a fan of new year's resolutions.  I don't think that making a resolution will effect lasting change.  I think goals and intentions are more effective.

A resolution is weak, a commitment is strong.

You only make commitments for things you can control.

You can make a New Year's resolution to lose weight this year, but you can't commit to it.

However, you can make a commitment to running, cycling, and lifting weight three times a week and eating a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day.

Having said that, here are my goals for 2015.  Over the course of a year the goals may need to be adjusted.  After a year where I ran a grand total of four times, rode my bike outside a total of three times the very first goal I have set may not a realistic goal.  So rather than abandoning an unmet resolution, a goal can be adjusted.  During the years when I was fortunate enough to be able to run marathons, I always had an A race time goal if everything went perfectly, a B race time goal, all the way to a D race time goal.  Over the vastness of running 26.2 miles anything could happen and over the vastness of a year an athletic goal will most likely need some tweaks.  Only once in my running years did I ever exceed a yearly mileage goal so while I can commit to this goal, I will need to stay healthy and avoid the injury bugaboo that has derailed me in the past.

So here are my goals that as I begin this year are in my control.

  1. 2015 miles. This can be done either running, cycling, swimming, walking for a total of 2015 miles. I don't care what the medium I use to accomplish this.  Moving forward is the goal. 
  2. Read one book a month and write about it here or publish a review on Amazon.
  3. Donate platelets fifteen times.

“Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”
—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close