Friday, December 31, 2010

Goals Both Old and New

Lots of blogs have 'Best of' Lists, Resolutions, Re-Caps, and other such things in order to put the year that is about to leave us behind into some kind of perspective.

The celebration of the coming of The New Year.

It's such a part of the fabric of human nature isn't it? To try to bring order to our lives in this manner, when in fact there really is going to be no difference between today and tomorrow.

Not really.

And yet, somehow, there is.

It's strangely the weirdest frakkin' thing I have every tried to wrap my pea-brain around, and I have never really been able to. Why do we get SO wrapped up in it? Every single solitary year? And oh boy do we ever?

It's become a ritual for us. And we all believe, we desperately believe, that THIS year will be the one that we REALLY follow through on the promises we make to ourselves to power forward and make the changes in our lives we need to make.

Can you imagine what Life would be like if we lived every day like we do during the week of January 1-7? The effort we put into that week? What a difference we might make for real in our lives and in the lives of others?

But there is always that falloff isn't there? That loss of momentum. That old routine and those old pitfalls that creep back in and take hold of you and keep you from achieving whatever lofty goals you set out for yourself. Whatever 'resolutions' you made.

You know what the real key is, to any of that yeah?


I think as a society as a whole we lack it a great deal. I know for myself, it is the one thing that I recognize that if I could get a handle on it, my life would improve in dramatic fashion. It is THE key to unlock so many doors, and I know that with every fiber of my being.

Yet something holds me back from actually taking my life by the balls and living a more self-disciplined life. I'm not 100% sure of the answer, but I have a theory I'm working on. What is the most likely answer?

Fear of failure.

I think that is why most people do not try. They do not try because they are afraid to fail. If you do not try...hey guess what? You do NOT fail. Therefore why try? It is very simple, straightforward logic. It SUCKS, but it's absolutely sound thinking even though you don't want it to make that much sense, but it does when you get right down to it. It is much more comfortable to NOT fail than to fail, yes?

But then learn SO much more from your failures than your successes, don't you? I have learned a HELLUVA lot in the past 2 years, let me tell you. Been doing quite a bit of failing. Or have I? Maybe not. That is perhaps an argument best left to another post.

This post is mostly about goals. I thought about writing what my goals are for 2011. I actually do have a few. But then I thought...nah, everybody is going to be doing that. There will be plenty of time for that later. Besides, one of my key goals, that of leading a more self-disciplined life, is going to be the centerpiece for 2011, so I'll introduce the concept of self-discipline and then move on to something interesting I found the other day while cleaning out some computer files.

I cannot remember when I wrote this, but I am guessing it was probably around 1995-ish or so. I say that because of the type of file format it was in, the most basic of text files (I could not find a date stamp of any kind on it), and a couple of the things on it I had not done yet so I know it had to take place prior to me leaving Georgia for Ohio.

So that puts the approximate date of me writing this at somewhere between 1995-1997 or so. I was around 28-30 years old, sort of what I looked like in the above photo. See the hair loss taking full hold?

Anyway, thought it might be interesting to share. The italicized parts are my own comments written today about what I wrote then.

What is my obsession with Top 50? Can I not be satisfied with TENS???

1. Get married and have my own family.
DONE. WTF!?! That was my NUMBER ONE GOAL. I never, in a million years, would have guessed I was thinking that at age 28-30. It must really HAVE been important to me.

2. Pay off my student loan.
Not even CLOSE.

3. To give gifts of art to people.
I still do not do this. I always say that around Christmas time. That I will draw stuff for people. I NEVER do.

4. Weigh 170 again.
My weight must have been up at the time, probably around 185. I did achieve this goal, I actually exceeded it. I dropped back down to 168, which was where I was when I met Jennifer Saunders, who would end up becoming Jennifer Lilly. The years have not been kind though. Leading up to pre-Bennett seizures, I had creeped up to 192. Then I quit smoking. I charge up the hill to 208. During the height of Bennett's issues? I hit 248. TWO-FUCKING-FORTY-EIGHT. I'm down again to 211, and still dropping, around 2 a week. I'm not trying to lose more than that per week. I set mini goals, 5 pounds at a time. A lesson I learned from Mike Horn. Guy teaches me a lot of lessons.

5. Quit smoking.
DONE. Yes indeed I actually did this one. But I'd be lying if I said it was easy. Especially when Bennett started seizing 2 months in.

6. Write a novel.
Have not done this, but it is still VERY much on my mind. More now than ever before.

7. Write and draw a Children's book.

8. Learn to play poker.
DONE. NOT well, but I did learn how to play. But that was NUMBER 8? Now I know this was written between 1995-1997, I was smoking a TON of weed in those days. Because...

9. To stop smoking pot.

10. Buy a house.
DONE. Actually, I've done this more than once, though I have never outright OWNED a house. Big difference. Banks have owned them. And frankly? I wish right now I did NOT own this house. I am stuck in it. It appraises FAR lower than what I paid.

11. Write a letter to my father who I haven't spoken to since I was ten years old.
DONE. Of course, he was dead by the time I got around to it. Fuck. That shows you something...sometimes? You need to act on your goals with more velocity.

12. Make 100K per year.
DONE. Well, I did it only one year out of 42. Not bad. I would love to be making that again some day. But it ain't gonna be any day soon I can tell you that. :)

13. Create a studio.
Still have never done this for myself, and I have always wanted to. By this I mean an office/studio environment set up at home for me to not only do computer work but also to get back to larger scale drawing and painting and other types of art again.

14. Paint a mural size painting again, at least 8 feet by 12 feet.
See #13.

15. Get my work shown in a gallery.
Hasn't happened yet. But then again I haven't actually tried to establish a 'Body of Work' either. When I wrote this I assumed I was going to be a 2-dimensional artist for a career. My career took a different path.

16. Complete my vintage carded Star Wars collection.
Actually, I started selling OFF most of my vintage Star Wars collection, so this one went in the opposite direction and will probably never be completed unless I win the lottery. Shit happens, waddya gonna do? We needed the money. See #1.

17. Have sex five times a week.
I must not have been getting any when I wrote this, but I'm sure this was achieved at some point. It's not something I consider important now. Not that I consider it UN-important to have sex, but to me, quality is WAY more important that quantity, so I would not have written this goal this particular way were I making a goals list today.

18. Have my comic book work published.
DONE. Granted, the publishers were small, and sometimes I did not even get paid, but I was published a few times. I did not actually succeed in breaking into the door of the big boys, something I went over briefly in an earlier blog, but I did try. A lot.

19. Go camping on a regular basis.
This is a weird one, because I have the opportunity every year to go camping but I turn it down. But I viewed camping in 95-97 VERY differently than the camping that takes place now. Camping in my head in 95-97 was me and a couple of buds or me and a girl hiking somewhere and setting up a tent and sleeping bags and stuff. No kids.

20. Design and produce a line of action figures.
DONE. And done and done. Lots of lines of action figures. It must have been on my mind to do it. Funny that it became my main career for a very long time.

21. Get a tattoo.
Still have not. Still want to.

22. Run five miles without stopping.
Could probably do it ONLY if zombies were chasing me. And even then that's a big MAYBE. I gotta get back into shape.

23. Live a healthy and thoughtful lifestyle.
Um...yeah, definitely need to work on that one. I actually did for a while in between 97 and now. Got into TERRIFIC shape, ate healthy, was doing very well. That was around 98-02.

24. Organize all my photos and letters into albums.
Done a good portion of that. And beyond. Have digitally scanned about 75% of all the photos. At the time I did not know you could do that yet.

25. Draw in a sketchbook every day.
Something I should do and do not. In fact, I SHOULD do it with Carter. That would be a great activity to do with my son, no?

26. Regularly call my mother and other people I lose track of.
DONE. Sort of. Hmmm...this one is FUNNY. So, I was thinking about this in 1997? And it only took me a little over a DECADE to actually pull the trigger on a regularly scheduled phone call with Mom? Wow. Now I need to get humping on Richard and a few other people. Well, not actually HUMPING Richard, but you know what I meant.

27. Go Scuba Diving to get over my fear of Sharks.
DONE. Sort of. I did go snorkeling to get over my fear of Sharks. I didn't get over my fear of Sharks though.

28. Go Deep Sea Fishing.

29. Volunteer my time to a good cause.
Once did a dinner at The Ronald McDonald House with Palisades. That was about it. Holy Shit I really need to do more. I have tried to volunteer at Bennett's school but so far they have not been able to work anything out. But I have made the offer on numerous occasions. But I should look into something else in 2011 for sure.

30. Have confidence in my self and my abilities.
LOL. Yeah, right.

31. Learn how to make furniture.
Not yet...

32. Clean up after myself rather than let messes pile up.
I actually did this one. Then I had kids. Messes pile up faster than I can keep up so I stopped trying.

33. Own a truck again.
I used to have an awesome truck. Loved it. A truck is not practical when you have a family, unless you like King Cabs. I hate those. Maybe when I retire.

34. Get a Golden Labrador.
Hmmm...haven't yet, and I do get lonely...

35. Have a garden and grow my own tomatoes.
Would definitely have to do more landscaping first before Mrs. Lilly would agree to this.

36. Take an active interest in a retirement and investment plan.
Wow, 13-15 years and I still haven't done shit about this. retirement is gonna suck.

37. Learn to play piano.
I'll tell you this right now. This will NEVER happen. Though I did make the attempt. Funny story. One day I'll tell it.

38. Buy a hot tub.
I think I will need a deck first.

39. Write a synopsis of my life before I forget all the details.
That's a strange one. But I would say this blog qualifies, wouldn't you? I mean, I haven't covered EVERYTHING but a lot of stuff is in here. And I think maybe by the time I get to Post 500 maybe my entire life might be covered generally speaking in here. I'll give this one a 'DONE'.

40. Learn about and practice massage techniques.
Still haven't. And would love to. I own a great massage table that I bought for Jennifer a couple of years ago. I fuddle about on it with her but I would love to learn more about how the muscles actually need to be worked specifically in massage.

41. Teach a class.
I have been thinking about a career path...of course, maybe a massage therapist as well?

42. Learn to meditate.
Might be something to think about. Relaxation has always been hard to achieve for me, and clearly I need to now more than ever.

43. Re-examine my Faith.
Interesting how little things change in ten years isn't it? Here I sit, still re-examining my Faith. Funny that. In a sense, maybe I think that EXAMINING one's Faith is something that is an ongoing journey? Food for thought.

44. Exercise every day.
I've had periods where this would be a 'DONE' and periods where it would not be. Truthfully? It should always be a 'DONE'. Exercise is probably THE best thing for me mentally and physically. I want to do it, I need to do it. I'm going to do it again, daily. Nuff said.

45. To socialize more with new and different people.
Ahhh...tricky. Define 'socialize'. If you mean in physical space, the answer would be 'no'. However, if you count the numerous unique and interesting relationships I have formed over the Internet in the past couple of years, the answer is 'DONE'. I do, however, need to get out more.

46. Read more classic literature.
Oh good GOD...I hardly READ, period. Let alone the classics. Who has the time? But my real excuse is mainly my vision. It fuggin' SUCKS. It is very hard for me to read. If you saw the coke bottles I have to put on just to read a book you'd laugh your ASS off.

47. Learn a foreign language, preferably Chinese.
Nope. But here's what I do not get. Why the HELL did I pick CHINESE?!? I had NO idea whatsoever that I would be going to China on a regular basis in my career in a few years. So why THAT language? I wish I could remember what my motivation was.

48. To ask more people about themselves and really listen to them when they answer.
DONE. I used to have a problem when I would have conversations with people, always trying to think of what to say next rather than hearing what the person was saying. It was part of feeling nervous. I got over that. I now listen VERY intently to people.

49. Buy a boat.
Wouldn't do me a lick of good out here, I must have assumed one day I would wind up back on the coast. And also, specifically I wanted something less flashy, I wanted something like the Orca from Jaws.

50. Ride a horse in Montana.
No idea why this was the last entry. I think I had a romanticized view of a ranch in Montana and vacationing there and learning how to be a cowboy, riding a horse and all that shit. I think it actually just shows that I had a yearning for a simpler life. Always will probably.

And that's that. Not sure if all those goals still mean nearly as much to me 13-15 years later as they did then. Some I'm definitely sure are not as important, and some I have already achieved and moved on with. I for sure have others I would have to add now that my life has changed so dramatically since those days and hell, especially in the last two years.

Hope you enjoyed that little trip down memory lane inside my mind. It was definitely...different.

See you on the other side.



  1. What a fascinating list. I love the randomness of some and the specific drive of others. Man, 1995 I had my first child. She just turned 15 a few weeks ago and is researching driving stuff. Man, how time flies.

  2. I think #50 is from Hunt For Red October, released just a few years before you made this list.

    Shoot me an email re: Art!

  3. thanks for the insight...I feel like I know you a bit better!!!!

    hope its a good year ahead for you guys!

  4. This was great. It makes me want to go back through my own writings to see what my goals were way back when. Happy New Year to you!

  5. Comic books, action figures, Star Wars, drawing, design ... hmm .. I knew there was a reason I liked you :) I love the wedding picture - your wife is just so beautiful in it and I love the way you look at each other. I wish you a happy new year, strength, and peace and hope and lots of small and large miracles with Bennett.

  6. are one organized guy. I've spent the last few days playing StarCraft 2 online rather than blogging....
    Oh well.
    Great that you not only wrote 50 goals...but that you actually kept track of them. I lost most of my old stuff when floppy disks went out of style.
    Later my friend.

  7. Good lord, how did you come up with 50 things????!! LOL. i too am still tattoo-less with a fear of sharks ;). perhaps you have inspired me to put these on my list!


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