Happy New Year

It’s been a while since I posted. I know. It’s been a busy year and a the end of it has left me with little to add. As I reflect on the year I realize that I abandoned the blog because it wasn’t really making a difference. I wasn’t really saying anything new. I read blogs all the time and there is a lot of conversation about what is wrong with education, what is wrong with the world and they aren’t really creating change. Maybe some people feel better by complaining about what suck about this and that but it just makes me more distressed. 

I’m not big on making New Year’s resolutions but the new year has just seem to come when I feel the need to make some changes in my life. Nothing big. I just want to concentrate more on the things that I enjoy doing and be more involved in helping people and the world.

I’ve been following a blog by Niall Doherty called Disrupting the Rabblement for a couple of years. Niall is attempting to travel the world without flying. He’s not a billionaire or a millionaire. He pretty much does it on a shoestring. A great voyeuristic adventure for me to read but a little out of my current level of comfort. Anyway, one thing that Niall does is track his monthly activity in several areas that he calls habits and also charts his daily sense of his own energy, contentment, stress and productivity. I’ve decided to adopt this practice for my own to see how it works. You can see my spreadsheet here.

On my chart I intend to keep track of the following:

1. Time awake and time asleep = hours of sleep per day

2. No. of days and how many miles run – I’m training for the Pittsburgh Marathon in May

3. Days doing Yoga and other exercise.

4. Days practicing Spanish, days volunteering, days reading, days writing, and days posting a photo to my other blog. All things that I wish I did more of.

5. Score myself on a 1-10 basis on energy level, productivity, contentment and stress level. This is more for the science to see if there is a relationship between some activities and these scores. I don’t intend to spend much time contemplating the score but just making a snap decision.

6. Score myself from 1-10 on my social behavior. Not my social media behavior but being sociable with others. This is something that I struggle with.

7. Days completing a “key activity.” The key activity will be one thing that I want to accomplish during that day. It will also be something that I would put off if I didn’t track it or make myself do it.

One idea that I have kicked around in order to add time for these things is to eliminate TV. Not sure if that is going to happen or not but the amount of time that I waste watching crappy television robs me of the opportunity to do some of these other things.

I hope some people follow along to see my progress!



Plungers and Tequila

This past Saturday I did my first ever Polar Plunge.  I actually helped organize it so i kind of felt like I needed to participate.  It wasn’t the worst experience I ever had.  Colder in some ways but not as cold as expected in others.

The point of this entry isn’t to brag about immersing myself in near freezing water on purpose.  The impetus of this post was a comment I made to a fellow blogger, Twitter follower, and Plunger after the Plunge:

Some things you do because others think its crazy – like drink tequila.

It’s something that I have used as an analogy before.  I used to teach emotionally disturbed high school students.  The mad, the sad, and the glad.  I used to say that teaching emotional support was like drinking tequila; no one really likes it but only some people can do it and so they do.  Probably a bit to oversimplified.  I did actually enjoy teaching ES especially when I was young.  It was an active job for a teacher and it really was rewarding on a lot of occasions.  I also came to realize as I got older and could afford it that good tequila could be extremely tasty.

My point is I guess that I’m that kind of guy.  I like to do the things that most people think are a little nuts.  It’s hard to believe the number of people who wouldn’t even consider stripping down and getting into a frigid river.  Probably considerably equal to the number of people who threw up on their first drink of tequila and never touched it again.  More than a little correlation to the number of people who would have substitute taught for 20 years before taking a job teaching ES.  I actually left a job teaching learning support in a local high school to travel an hour each way to teaching my first emotional support placement.  The people who worked there looked at me like I had three heads.

Those two paragraphs probably say more about me than most people know.  I’m just a normal guy.  Married , two kids, good, solid job as an elementary school principal.  But I’m not afraid to be a little crazy now and then.  I’m not afraid to call a play that’s not “supposed” to be in my playbook.

I guess my quandary is whether I do that enough.  Should I be increasing the number of crazy moments in my life?  Do I call the plays on my wristband too often?  Probably.

As my fellow blogger, Twitter follower and Plunger rogueanthro says in her blog, Resolutions disappear after January.  Challenges last all year long.  (I paraphrased)

So this year my challenge is to be challenge myself.  Looking at one per month but I don’t really have a list yet.  I know I would like to solo backpack overnight.  Never soloed and have only backpacked on one other occasion.  I think writing something of significance will be in there somewhere too.  Maybe a triathlon?  Don’t know but I’ll keep you posted.  I am going back to grad school so that may make the list.  OK stop me now, I’m rambling….