Rich Geib's New Year's Resolutions

"I have had to work hard; anyone who works just as hard will get just as far."
Johann Sebastian Bach

"Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience."
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon

YEAR OF 1999

  • Learn to cook a basic repertoire of healthy, tasty meals.
    Go out and buy a rice cooker, a wok, a juicer and then make the effort to get in the habit of eating at home, for a change. Don't forget how deathly tired you are at eating in restaurants!
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Continue to be bored to death of going to the same old place, eating the same old thing. If eating habits unaltered, biological need for sustenance coupled with sheer inertia will ensure unsatisfactory situation remains unchanged.

    Final Disposition: Made good baby steps in this area that can easily be built upon in year 2000. Bought and learned how to use many kitchen utensils; cooked once or twice a week -- even if you did burn your hand once pretty badly. One need not be afraid of the kitchen! Remember how much cooking for other people has been enjoyable for you in 1999.

  • Have a more healthy diet.
    Rich, in comparison to times past, you have a much more healthy diet. However, with minimum effort you could make it even better. Do some research and then go out and buy some supplemental vitamins and/or healthy foods and incorporate them into your daily life. Think about certain shakes and fruit drinks. Use your juicer; make eating well a daily habit.

    Hell, you hardly care what you eat, Rich! You might as well eat healthier!

    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Same as previous resolution.

    Final Disposition: Good work! You are doing great in the vitamin area, and you have made eating at work completely healthy with nothing but fruit and protein bars. No progress on the juicer, but maybe sometime in the future. Remember when it comes to diet, habit is everything. And good habits are just a matter of the proper application.

  • Put feelers out for your next career move.
    Remember how in credential classes they told you it takes five years to become truly effective as a teacher? Well, in your fifth year you felt for the first time as if you were doing your job as it should be done. Think about how teaching has become truly exciting and rewarding for the first time in your career! Take this momentum and translate it into continual professional growth. What will be your next step?

    Look for positions in special humanities and technology high schools for the 1999/2000 school year. You are entering the most productive time of your life and want an ideal place in which to grow and make real how you always envisioned yourself as a teacher. Do not forget the many plans you have for your future career, how good a teacher you could one day become! Think of the dreams you have and how those can be made to come true! It can be done, if you only put in the blood, sweat, and tears! Boldness, vision, dedication.

    Considerable effort and research is needed here, Rich. Good jobs are as much about scouring the landscape for them as they are qualifications and recommendations. Get off your duff and get it done! Do not through inertia and laziness languish and rot. Ten years will have come and gone before you know it. Plan!

    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Will find oneself panicked and perhaps without a professional license in the year 2002 due to viciousness of nit-picking bureaucracy and extent of required paperwork.

    Final Disposition: All paperwork for renewing licenses in hand. You have until August 2002 to get everything done; while mostly a waste of time, the requirements not as onerous as you thought. You are primed to make a leap in your career, and you have all the paperwork you need and researched all that needed to be researched. You know what to do in 2000. So do it.

  • Improve daily work-outs.
    It is not enough to have a regular work-out and to sweat almost everyday until your clothes are soaked. You must be more organized and need work-out harder and more intelligently to move things to the next level. You have been primed for such a move for a long time. Remember: that which does not grow, withers. Just do it, for crying out loud!

    You have built to the point where you actually make it to the gym constantly. Now if you can ratchet up the level of your workouts, you can move from weekend warrior status to the elite level you used to enjoy as a younger man. It is a matter of force of will, emotional commitment, and pain tolerance! It is not like you have never put in that kind of effort before, after all.

    • Bike adventuring out into the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu once per weekend. 40-50 mile rides with a break in the middle.
    • Better circuit training with heavy lifting at the BEGINNING of work-out. Push-ups in steady sets of 50 instead of 25.
    • Orthotics for running. It need not be so difficult.
    • Get seriously back into tennis. Integrate tennis into social life. Play with Francisco, Andrea's boyfriend, etc. Also find players who are better than you and learn from them.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Will slide increasingly into athletic mediocrity and weekend-warrior work-out status, when only a few years ago you could keep up with the best of them.

    Final Disposition: Huge success! You biked a couple of thousand miles this year, your heart and lungs are as strong they should be, and you enjoyed hundreds of beautiful rides all across the West Coast from Oregon to San Diego. This was a huge investment of time and energy this year, and it was all you wanted it to be. You did terribly in the tennis department and failed to buy orthotics for running. However, you can only do so much in one year. You can diversify workouts and build on past momentum in 2000.

  • Stretch every evening before bed.
    Worked-out muscles need to be stretched afterwards, lest you contract gradually into a taut rubber-band like creature. Remember how this can happen so slowly and imperceptibly that you cannot feel it! Take the time to stretch well, and the effects will be felt not only in your body but in your mind and soul.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Will gradually lose flexibility, become increasingly subject to injury, and eventually suffer the consequences.

    Final Disposition: Rarely if ever stretched before bed, but I stretched much more than I ever had in the past. You KNOW you need to stretch like a monkey (and back off at the first hint of strains and tears) if you don't want to get hurt at your 32-years of age. Beneficial results of newfound respect for stretching is reflected in the fact that despite working out HARD in 1999, you did not get seriously injured once. That is worth something.

  • Get the friggin' hunting license.
    Take the stupid safety class already and buy a 30-06 of your own with a scope.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: One more year of not making the most out of your vacations.

    Final Disposition: All the necessary training, licensees, and tags are taken care of. Did not buy a serious hunting rifle yet; wait and see which way to go, as I know more. Y2K hysteria and new firearms laws making gun stores unbearable to enter with lines of frenzied, kooky customers clamoring for attention. Rich, you can wait until the smoke clears to take care of this one.

  • Get up before 8:30 a.m. on the weekends.
    I know it feels good to catch up on sleep which you missed during the work week. Nevertheless, it cuts into what you would like to get done during those precious free hours on the weekend. You would hardly short-change your students professionally by languishing in bed on a weekday... why then short-change yourself personally on the weekends?

    Get your lazy ass out of bed! You can rest when you are dead! Sloth, thy name is Rich Geib.

    Consequences of not achieving resolution: One more year of not making the most out of your weekends.

    Final Disposition: Maybe you got out of bed after 8:30 a.m., but not much later than that. You squeezed a lot out of your weekends in 1999.

  • Go the Getty Museum at least once a month.
    It is only a hop, skip, and a jump away Rich! You could get there without opening your eyes! And it is free! Go there at least once a month on a weekend morning and briefly tour the ancient artifacts room to get back in touch, then sit in the chairs overlooking Westwood and enjoy hours of Tacitus, Juvenal, or Josephus. Also show up now and again to the Getty before dusk with a bottle of wine and ascend the hill an hour to watch the sun set over Malibu.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Same as previous resolution.

    Final Disposition: Miserable failure. No excuses.

  • Don't let life bore you!
    You are only truly happy when you are in close proximity to the orbit of the polar stars Eros and Thanatos. Don't forget that! Breed what you need; tack towards what you lack. Life is, after all, what you make of it and not vice versa. If the world wants to domesticate and homogenize you, don't let it. If you don't quite fit in, that is the world's problem and not your own.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Live in a manner other than that which suits you. Feel even more like a stranger in your own country than before.

    Final Disposition: In building other parts of my life, the crisis of life boring me has subsided as a problem. 1999 was another year of personally building up from the low points in 1995-97, but in the process you hardly had a chance to worry about all the idiots in the world or the blather that seems to dominate it mindlessly. Rich, you are moving more towards what you enjoy in life, and reacting less against what piques you in society. This is a GOOD thing! Feeling like a "stranger in my own country" worries me less and less.

  • Begin writing poetry again.
    Less philosophy; more poetry. Remember in a bleak, grasping time of darkness when you made an agreement with yourself that you would not live in this world without the passionate, pulsing current of poetry animating your existence. Remember why you came to this understanding.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Suffer life rather than revel in it. Allow yourself to be battered by the ugliness and crudity which is all too present in the world rather than finding and being sustained by the beauty and meaning which is more subtle but no less prevalent or potent.

    Final Disposition: Miserable failure. No excuses. The intention is still strongly there. Maybe in the year 2000.

  • The trio of eros, agape, and storge.
    You do just fine on two of the three, but keep your heart open for the third. An opportunity passed is an opportunity lost, after all. Some initiative on your part is called for here. Don't be a chicken shit!
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Failure to take care of self emotionally and short-changing of what could be.

    Final Disposition: Pretty much put and hold and ignored. But some stirring towards the end of the year, as well as a greater openness to what life might throw my way.

  • The vita contemplativa and vita activa.
    You have been too much the former and not enough the latter. Get your nose out of the books and get out more often; live more in the world of people and feelings, less in ideas and abstractions: balance is all. Work harder at your friendships and maintain them more conscientiously. To pick up the phone once in a while will not kill you! And don't let work suck up all your time, for God's sake!

    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Be a spectator of life rather than participant in it.

    Final Disposition: You got out and involved myself more in the world in 1999, definitely. However, work still occupies too much of your emotional energy and way too many weekends. You also failed miserably to be a better friend and spent yet another year becoming more and more reclusive. This really needs work in 2000. A phone call here, and a dinner there -- one needs to stay actively in touch, needs to take the initiative and make it happen. So make it happen next year.

  • Change web hosting companies.
    Find a company with cheaper rates and offering multiple e-mail addresses.
    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Continue to pay for an inferior service through sheer inertia like some dumb-ass sucker of a consumer.

    Final Disposition: Long-overdue switch completely successful, if a total pain in the ass. Multiple e-mail accounts a major boon to electronic mailbox manageability.

  • Add a search engines to website.

    Make it easier for your readers to find what they need.

    Consequences of not achieving resolution: Webpage continues to be a swollen mass of un-indexed information from which people stumble upon rather than seek out information.
    Final Disposition: Success.

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