2011 – The Renaissance Year
The idea of a Renaissance Year seemed pretty natural when it came to me. Everyone needs goals and plans and everyone needs to stretch themselves in new ways or risk becoming set in the ways they have. I have plenty of hobbies, interests, and curiousities. Too many, really. I thought maybe I should make a few of them a little more concrete, maybe set some goals. I’ve broken those goals down into a bunch of categories just to make things easier to visualize (and because that’s how my brain works). And I’ve further added which of the thre parts of being (Mind, Body, and Spirit) each feeds. And yes, I’ve stolen some bits of this right from the original blog post.
Science: I miss science class. That’s silly, isn’t it? It sounds even sillier to say that I want to contribute to the sum of human knowledge, but there this concept of Citizen Science that lets the non-professional scientists among us do just that. I’m going to choose 3 short-term and 2 long-term Citizen Science projects to participate in for 2011, though it’s possible one or more of them might be of my own devising. (Mind)
Philosophy: I’ve had some philosophical ideas on the nature of human perception of the universe rolling around in my head for a few years now. It’s time to get some of them out through the keyboard. There will be at least three essays exploring some of these subjects. (Mind)
History: Over the past fifteen years or so, I’ve been slowly building my family tree, beginning with my grandparents and working back. Along the way, I’ve learned bits and bites of history and found some of it interesting enough to read further. My current interests lie in a period that I’ll never find relatives in (Ancient Greece), and one that I already know I do (The Second Schleswig War). Three historical essays, but I won’t commit to subjects yet. (Mind)
French: Since I live in a bilingual country, I’ve decided it’s time to improve my French past the point where I can do more than just pick up the gist of a news report on Radio Canada. Still in the process of relearning what I’ve lost since high school. (Mind)
Danish: the language my father spoke as a child and provides a stronger link to that side of my ancestry. I won’t fool myself into thinking I’ll ever be fluent, but it would be nice to be able to communicate some basic ideas. (Mind)
Japanese: I’ve been interested in Japanese for a long time and karate (look further down this list) has brought that back to the front of my mind. I’ve already made a bit of progress here, with a working vocabulary of a couple of hundred words and some basic grammar. I’d like to visit Japan someday and it might be nice not to have to act the complete tourist. (Mind)
Writing: Fiction writing will, of course, continue. My plan for 2011 includes working on whatever of the YoC stories remain, putting them together into a collection of semi-related-by-a-vague-theme short stories, and a the novel projects (one ongoing and potentially a short one after). NaNoWriMo again? Probably not this year, but you never know. (Mind, Spirit)
Self-Publishing: the “wildly popular” drabble-serial “Thorvald’s Wyrd” will become an e-book, a 10-12 episode podcast, and possibly an actual print book via Createspace. “Turn the World Around” will be serialized here and will become a podcast, too. E-book? Maybe. (Mind, Spirit)
Music: as a kid, I played saxophone in the school band. Every couple of years, I think about it hard enough to start pricing instruments in catalogues or on E-bay. This year, I’m either going to buy one myself of convince my wife to buy me one for our anniversary. Then I’ll have to try to remember where my fingers go. Youtube will help. The goal: to be able to play the saxophone part of “Maneater”. Sing along. You know you want to. (Spirit)
Karate: in a relatively short time, Karate has become an important part of my life. I’m not going to set a belt colour as a goal or anything like that. It doesn’t work that way – I’ll grade when I’m ready and pass or fail based on what I’ve learned at that point. But I’m going to take a fw more steps along the martial path. (Mind, Body, & Spirit)
Running: I used to be a runner. Long distance, like half-marathon and marathon distance. I’m not in particularly good running shape at the moment, and I’m not going to get to that level of fitness this year. I’m just easing back into things and I’d like to get to the point where I’m running 5k two or three times per week. Seems like a good fitness goal. (Body)
Triathlon: I’ve said several times that I want to run an Iron Man Triathlon some day. That day is not coming this year. Probably not in the next several. There are a couple of sprint-distance triathlons convenient to where I live. I wonder if my swimming is strong enough. This is one I really need to think about. (Body)
Probably more goals than is reasonable or wise, but if you’re not reaching for the stars, it isn’t too likely you’ll even make orbit.