7 New Year's Resolutions I Invite Others to Steal
For 2013 at PJ Lifestyle we're going to try to organize the seemingly endless abyss of "Lifestyle" topics with a general theme each day. These appear on the About Us page and include links to some of the articles we've published this past year:
We try to blog on seven general subjects each week from a variety of perspectives that do not always agree. The topics include:
Every Tuesday, we post career advice, self-improvement tips, product reviews, and how-to guides as well as blogs on entrepreneurship, disaster preparation, gardening, and self-sufficiency.
The middle of the week requires some laughter. That’s why every Wednesday we’ll have humorous pieces featuring satire, viral videos, goofy images and amusing photoshops, cute animals, slideshow galleries and other memes from across the Web.
On Thursday, PJ Lifestyle is your go-to place for the latest info on pop culture – ranging from movies, TV, novels, music and celebrities – as well as posts about other cultures – like military culture, counterculture, California culture, traditional culture, international culture, odd subcultures, geek culture – and more.
Spend Saturdays finding new recipes and cooking tips, learning about new ways to exercise and stay healthy, reading medical stories, and keeping up with sports and outdoor life.
And on Sundays, you’ll find content featuring interfaith dialogue, religion-based commentary, and posts on spirituality, ethics and morality.
One of the most important contributors to PJ Lifestyle this year has been Charlie Martin. His Thirteen Weeks diet and and exercise regimen has been an inspiration. This past fall Charlie has updated us every week on his progress to improve his health and live a long, long life. We're going to try to provide more content like this -- but on all seven subjects. Not just blog posts pontificating on what should be, but articles documenting what we do. Too often as writers and bloggers we forget that these New Media tools aren't the end. They're merely the means to whatever end we want to pursue and achieve. And at PJ Lifestyle that end is a happier, more fulfilling, richer life appreciating all the possibilities of what it means to be free.
I've decided on 7 New Year's Resolutions this year, each corresponding with one of these themes and inspiring my daily blogging. I invite others to join me and offer their suggestions.
Monday - Family
1. Spend More Time And Better Time With The Wife and Dog-Daughter.
One of my biggest problems is that even when I'm not supposed to be working, I actually am still working. Wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, I'm still a writer and an editor. Ideas for articles and posts always stew around in my head, with writing gradually coming together as I piece together new thoughts or turns of phrase. This rightfully annoys The Wife. When I'm supposed to be spending time with her and our Siberian Husky Maura, often I'll still have work and writing on my mind. With the advent of internet-enabled smart phones it's even worse, as I can technically start "working" from anywhere, answering emails from writers and researching articles from anywhere.
This year I resolve to cut that out.
When it's family time, the internet goes off. But the camera will still go on. And on Mondays I'll blog with pictures from the family's weekly adventures and offer reflections on dog ownership and how I've come to regard it as the training wheels for parenthood. (Thanks for the tip, Rhonda.) Some day I'll be a Dad; but I still have a long way to go before I'm ready -- as if any man ever truly is.
Tuesday - Practical
2. Be more Diligent About Sticking to a Schedule.
I think part of the way I'll do better about giving Maura and April the quality time they need and deserve will be to better use and manage my working time. This Christmas I received an iPad from my parents. One of the things I'm going to use it for is to help me get better organized and efficient. On Tuesdays I'll offer updates of how I use it and other technologies to bring more order to the chaos.
Wednesday - Laughter
3. Take a Break From Arguing with Obama Cultists, Postmodern Marxists, Atheists, Moral Relativists, Racists, Secular Fundamentalists, Anarchists, and Antisemites on Facebook. Instead Start Finding and Sharing More Humorous Stuff on my Twitter and Facebook and Here at PJ Lifestyle.
I think I've done about as much research as I can stomach for now. Maybe in another few months I'll take it up again, but my preoccupation with arguing against those who still preach the kind of nonsense I once believed is too disturbing and distracting. I've recorded the dialogues for further analysis and blogging in the future as sequels to the first visual presentation of an ongoing series I call 10 Tips for How to Talk to a Marxist Who Thinks He’s a Liberal (If You Must). But for now I think I've learned all I can from progressive Jews who refuse to declare Nazism and human sacrifice as objective evils. SERIOUSLY! She insisted that "in her opinion" Nazism was worse than liberalism. But I could not get her to say she believed anything was evil. She was even defending prostitution, saying only that temple prostitution was "forbidden," not evil. And she had the gall to tell me that because I was not fluent in Hebrew like her that I could not understand the Torah.
So on Wednesdays I'll try to take a day off from worrying about all the people in this world who don't have the courage or understanding to declare anything an evil that must be eradicated. It'll be a day of laughter and comedy in the items I blog at PJ Lifestyle.
Thursday - Culture
4. Start Developing Some New Hobbies Beyond Internet Trolling. Something New Each Season Sounds Like a Good Goal.
Every three or four months my wife and I should both strive to learn something new together. Any suggestions for where we should start?
We've lived in the San Fernando Valley for almost three years but still have so much to explore and learn. If any local businesses are interested in demonstrating their services and appearing on PJ Lifestyle, please contact me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com.
On Thursdays I'll blog about my efforts to go out of my comfort zone and try new things that I never had any interest in before. Maybe it's time to finally time to give sports a chance again? And to start exploring the rich mix of cultures that come together in Los Angeles?
Friday - Mind
5. Read Five "Big Books of Anti-Marxism" That I've Put Off Too Long.
My writing project for 2013 is to expand and develop my list of counterculture conservative books. Here are five extra long ones that I intend to finally discipline myself into reading:
- Main Currents of Marxism by Leszek Kolakowski
- Red Horizons by PJ Media's great columnist Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa
- Witness by Whittaker Chambers
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- A History of the American People by Paul Johnson
(I think if I read both Witness and Atlas Shrugged simultaneously then I can balance the positive and negative reactions of both my Catholic and Objectivist friends...)
Saturday - Body
6. Stop Sacrificing my Health on the Altar of Workaholism. Every Morning I Will Really RUN with Maura Instead of Making an Excuse and Just Doing a Short Walk. And April and I have Agreed to Again attempt a Pescatarian (vegetarianism + fish and shellfish) Diet Accompanied by the Elimination of Refined Sugar.
Here's where I rip off Charlie Martin's format. Every Saturday I'm going to report on my own exercise and dieting adventures. Any other PJMers want to start experimenting with different combinations of programs? The more the merrier.
For me I approach the eating and exercising from opposite direction -- I need to gain weight, especially muscle. Too many years of skipping meals and running on caffeine and sugar have taken their toll. No more.
Sunday - Spirit
7. Re-read Howard Bloom's The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates Again Over The Course of the Year as a Daily Devotional Book, Consuming a Little Bit Every Day.
When I was an evangelical Christian I used to love the "devotional" series of books that were designed to be read a little bit each day. Other religious traditions utilize it too. Joseph Telushkin's The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living is another book that I adore that uses this format. Someday I hope to write some of my own books in this style.
I think this will be a good way to explore Bloom's magnum opus, a book that I think when properly understood can do a better job than any other at bridging one of the deep intellectual rifts in the world today: the war between religious fundamentalists and secular materialist fundamentalists. The battle between science and mysticism is a false dilemma. And Bloom shows how in his mind-blowing history of science and sweeping portrait of the development of Western civilization. On Sundays I'm going to encourage inter-faith dialogue and blog about reconciling the divides between the religious traditions.
I now extend the invitation to my fellow PJM editors, writers, contributors, and commenters to offer their own resolutions for 2013.