As I suspect to be the case for a large number of other people: I love the New Year holiday for the big reset button it gives us all for our plans and intentions.
You can resolve to do a great many things, but mine have tended to be many of the same sorts of things and all boil down to one thing: do more things that are worthwhile in the time you have.
Every year I say I am going to read more, write more, walk more, have more fun, waste less time, etc.
This year, perhaps I’ll take the pressure off a little: if you like doing something, like writing posts here, try to do that once a week. If you’ve spent two months doing something once a week, try, after that, do do it twice a week as often as you can.
That’s the system that’s forming in my head for trying to make sure I’m doing the things that keep me in good spirits.
Some of the things I am going to do weekly, I’d like to:
- Write a post here.
- Read a self-contained work: an essay, a long article, a story, a novella, a research paper.
- Get outside: talk a walk, going skiing.
- Make some bread.
The whole list is flexible, as long as I’m doing a few things like this: reading, staying active, relaxing, I’ll do well in 2015 and likely better than I did in 2014. As always, one step at a time adds up to miles. Look forward, watch your footing and you’ll move the horizon closer to you than you’d think.
I’m going to try and keep some track of my baking, since I’m going to work through the recipes in Peter Reinhart’s Artican Breads Every Day and while I won’t be backing every day, I’m going to try to make a receipe every week. Earlier this week I made bagles:
Picutres of bagles I made are a lot more interesting than all that self-motivational introspection up top there. The bagles themselves had the right texture, but needed to be flatter and wider to have the right ratio of boiled crust-to-spongy interior that is the hallmark of a good bagle. I think I also needed a litle less malt syrup in the water.
There’s a longer post about how nice it is to make something like bread that you can see from start to finish and which has such an obvious payoff. (Also, a fetishization thereof, and of “handmade” in general. I have to try and find the article about how good it is to simply make something with your hands after you’ve spent all day making things with a computer and an array of shifting colors in front of your face, but I think I’ve lost it without it getting into pinboard. This has happened twice and I think it is the fault of mailing lists with too many links.) I’ve got a lot of ideas tongiht and not enough time to slice them off into their own posts.
Books which I was reading as last year ticked over into this year:
Two Years Before The Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Ancient Rome: A New History by Davide Stone Potter
Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing by Charles W. Bamforth
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick
Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordon
There’s more to be said on that list and taking a look at the things I managed to read in 2014, but I think I’ll save that for next week, since I’d like to get this post out the door.