Aspirations for 2013

Much of the latter part of 2012 was spent digesting everything I could read about the presidential elections.  It was quite depressing watching many of my friends and family soak up all of the fiction, never distinguishing between it and the facts, nor fully understanding what is truly important to them.  I will not pretend I had it all figured out, but I did do my research.  In 2013, I will continue to do my research and try my best to let data and facts influence my opinions and decisions more that I let my emotions.  No matter what, emotion will always play a role in decision making (see Jonah Lehrer’s How We Decide).  But my goal for 2013 is to make several decisions that go against my emotion, especially when rational thought dictates that I do so.

Ever since I acquired a smartphone, it has become to dominate my life.  A too common scene has it right in front of my face as I’m looking up trivial information, while I try and defend my actions by thinking of it as learning.  Although I will continue to use it a great deal for news, e-mailing, phone calls, and texting, I would like to make a tenacious effort at using it much less to check Facebook, to answer and check e-mail the very moment it comes in, and for using it to answer every question brought up in a social setting.  I will remind myself that if it truly is worth knowing, I’ll look it up the next time I’m on the internet reading the news or something.

When I was typing up my Reflections on 2012, I noticed much was missing from my blog in 2012.  I neglected to write anything about my Canada fishing trip that I went on in May, or of the second annual Michigan Brewery Trip that I went on the week after Boston.  I also didn’t write about the weekend I had with friends down at the Lake of the Ozarks where we took some really cool Zombie pictures of ourselves.  It will be too difficult for me to write about the week to week goings on in my life, but at the very least, I want to blog about every trip on which I embark.  That will be a continuing demand I will place on myself, not just one for 2013.

During winter break, Erin and I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives.  I’ve seen documentaries similar to this before, but what really made this one stick for me was the presentation and discussion of the data.  If any of you know me, I need data and facts before I form an opinion or make a decision on anything.  What was very surprising to me is how long ago this data was collected and when this information was found out, and how long the human race (especially Americans) have completely ignored it.  In 2013, I will move toward a Forks Over Knives diet.  Erin and I enjoy all kinds of food and travel too much to fully commit to a vegan lifestyle.  But, within our household as it pertains to us (not our guests), we will follow this type of diet. My goal is to not have to take Crestor anymore.

In July of 2013, I will take on an administrator role at Truman State as the chair of the newly formed statistics department.  In the first part of 2013, which is the last part of the 2012-2013 academic school year, I hope to learn much from everyone I can so that I can be a strong and efficient chair.  I also hope to continue improving my teaching by implementing techniques that will address some of the concerns I hear from my student evaluations.  I sincerely feel that this will be a very good year professionally for me.

Finally, within my personal life with Erin, I hope to improve and build upon the amazing relationship we already have.  I think we’ve both noticed ourselves get into too much of a routine, and have become very comfortable with it.  Earlier this week, I made an effort to break my routine and met her at the door when she arrived home from work.  I took some things out of her hands to help her get in the door, and then asked her how her day was and actively listened to what she had to say.  What she said was, “what is going on?  Did you do something bad?  You must want something.  Why are you acting so wierd?”  My goal for 2013 is to get to a point where she doesn’t think something is up my sleeve when I do out of the ordinary nice things for her.

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