As has been my custom now for the past few years, I like to start my writing off in a new year with a post about a few "words" that I intend to use as guides for the year. They aren't "resolutions" as much as they are areas of my personal life in which I aspire to be active this year. In previous years (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010) I've chosen three words, following a meme started by Chris Brogan many years ago.
This year, I found myself struggling to reduce four words down to three... and finally said "Hey, wait a minute, it's MY blog... if I want to have four words this year, I can! ;-)" And so... here is my list for 2014...
Those following my writing here have known that running became an important part of my life over the last 3.5 years. I even recorded an audio commentary last year (while running) about how important it is to me.
But I suffered a real crisis in confidence - and enjoyment - when I ran an extremely frustrating half-marathon in September. I never wrote a response to my post about preparing to run the half-marathon... rather than "third time is a charm", it was more "three strikes and you're out!"
I'll write some other time about that particular race and the resulting mental fallout, but suffice it to say that I've had a hard time getting back out there. I know intellectually that I just need to get back out there and do it... and in 2014 I intend to once again make running a core part of a healthy lifestyle!
And maybe I'll get to where I do try another half-marathon.... (but probably at a cooler time of year).
UPDATE: - I started off the year on a good note here by running a 5K on New Year's Day on our treadmill that we'd relocated to our basement. It was fine as long as I kept my head straight up so that it stays between the rafters!
You wouldn't know it from any of my online writing or any of my activities on social networks, but religion and spirituality are topics I'm incredibly passionate about and care deeply about. My father is a (now retired) Methodist minister, as was his father before him, and so I grew up deeply steeped in a progressive Christian church.
Yes, I am a "preacher's kid." :-)
When I was in my late teens and into college I had a severe falling out with the Methodist faith of my fathers and spent a significant amount of time searching for a religious community where I could belong. Like anything I do, I plunged in and dived deeply into reading, visiting churches, etc.... but never found anything until a random invitation from a friend some 20+ years ago introduced me to the world of Unitarian Universalism. Many years (and many UU churches) later, I'm president of the board of trustees of our local Keene UU Church and in fact led the worship service there last Sunday giving a sermon/message about the challenges of being open about religion in the age of Facebook.
But you wouldn't know any of this from what I write and post online. There are thousands of blog posts online from me since 2000 and many thousand tweets/updates/posts on social media...
... but pretty much NONE of them say ANYTHING about religion.
There are a lot of reasons for WHY I have been silent about the religious side of my life in my online activity... and I'll write a post about that at some point (probably soon).
But I've realized that in being silent and hiding this aspect of myself I'm not really letting myself be truly whole.
So I'm going to start... I've been letting pieces of that side of me leak out into Facebook lately. THIS blog post is a huge step for me.
I'm not going to be "in your face" about religion or anything (that's not the UU way! ;-) ). But I'm going to stop hiding that side of me. I will treat it instead just as yet another facet of the complicated person that I am (and that we all are).
We'll see... this will, in all honesty, be a bit challenging for me... but is an area I'd like to grow personally.
In a change from past years, I'm carrying a word over from the previous year. I did a great amount with audio in 2013, but in 2014 I intend to do more. I want to move forward with "FIR On Technology" and have a number of interviews in mind. I want to bring back Blue Box: The VoIP Security Podcast for some interviews... and I'm hoping to do more audio components in my daily work with the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme.
I'm excited... and "stay tuned" has never been more appropriate!
Finally, there is an exquisite irony to me that while my job title at the Internet Society is "Senior Content Strategist", my own personal content online is severely lacking a strategy. I am inconsistently writing across 8 or 9 different places online - and I'm adding more sites like the Monadnock Curling Club... and there are a few other projects in the works.
Yes, this is a bit of a case of the proverbial "cobbler's shoes", but in 2014 I'd like to pull some of this together a bit more and have a bit more discipline about what I'm doing with all my online content. I'm at least aggregating my online content at my danyork.me site, but this year I want to do more with getting more consistent with the creation of content.
That's my list for 2014. What about you?
What are you going to do this year with your one wild and precious life?
An audio version of this post is available on in my "The Dan York Report" podcast: