Looking Back / Looking Forward (2)

2013: The Year That Will Be

clip_image001 19 Wow!  2013 (2556 on the Thai calendar)!  Another year older.  Am I any wiser?  Time will tell…

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I don’t like to make traditional resolutions as they are quickly forgotten.  Instead, I am planning specific goals that I can track.  Today’s entry is visible evidence of my resolve to write more in 2013.  We’ll see how that goes…

Reading more is also easily trackable.  A few years ago, I created a spreadsheet in which I record the books I read each day along with page counts.  Another section computes the totals – cumulative pages and books completed.  In 2012, I barely finished 50 books – that’s about half of what I’ve been averaging for the past several years.  In the coming year I’d like to at least finish 60 books with quality taking precedence over quantity.

I also plan to continue “The Streak”.  I have not missed a day of book-reading (as opposed to my reading of magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.) since 16th July 2010.  Some days I only read a single page but those still count!

Weight?  Yes, that’s a traditional resolution:  “I will diet and exercise more, blah, blah, blah.”  Well, my weight does tend to fluctuate.  You can always tell when I have a good month salary-wise and I get fatter.  When I have a lean month (too many unpaid holidays) my weight usually goes back down.  Often I’m lazy when it comes to food.  I’ll walk to the local mini-mart because it’s convenient but all they have there is junk food.  If I’d walk five minutes farther, I buy much healthier Thai food.  When I’m at Central I could easily opt for salads or fruit to eat rather than taking the easy way out and hitting the fast food restaurants.

I don’t know how I can track the loosely-defined goal of eating healthier and attempting to keep the weight off.  But I’m tired of kids patting my belly when it starts to show again.  We’ll just have to try and resist the temptations.  This is one resolution I can ill afford to forget about as I become older!

I already mentioned that I’d like to write more – or, at least redirect what I put on Facebook to my blog instead.  There are plenty of methods that will publish blog content on Facebook but I haven’t found any that works in the opposite direction.  I also want to write more in my personal journal.

With the goal of writing more, I really would like to strive for “happier writing.  I am a fairly happy person – quite content with my life here in Thailand.  But I tend to vent about the ridiculous and stupid things I experience – both in my conversations and scribblings.  Many who encounter these rants may see me as a rather angry individual with the opposite is the reality.  That is why I am going to adopt a policy of “if it’s not positive or cheerful, I won’t share it.”  I can reserve the negative for my private writings but I think it’s better to just let those go into the ether as soon as they occur.  Why hold onto something that makes no difference in the long run?

As far as specific plans, 2013 will find me in Bangkok at least once.  I haven’t done anything in the capitol since attending an Eric Clapton concert there back in mid-January 2007.  I’ve passed through countless times – it’s impossible to travel to the north of Thailand from the south without having to change buses or trains there, and air travel is often the same (although I’ve only flown once in the past five years). 

There are several events in Bangkok this year that have the potential to draw me there if the timing and finances are in order.  The first – a Santana/Carabao concert on 6th March – I will miss due to having to teach (the end of the term is the following week) but I believe I can swing the Thailand 2013 international stamp exhibition in early August.  I may have to miss some school days for that, but it doesn’t come at such a crucial time in the calendar. 

I haven’t been to an international-level stamp show since Pacific 97 was held in San Francisco.  My favorite part is visiting each of the 150 or so national postal agencies with the show passport – you purchase one of each country’s stamps to affix in the passport and then they affix a special postmark, just as if you’d visited the actual nation.  I love that – plus looking at all the other stamps and covers for sale and display.

I’m also interested in travelling to Bangkok one year during the celebrations of His Majesty the King’s birthday (which I share).  I would love to view the Royal Barge Procession and be one of the quarter-million or so people gathered for the Royal Audience.  This past December, the King did one of these appearances for the first time since 2006 as his health has not been the great for the last several years.  I want to attend one – more than anything – before it’s too late.

Short weekend trips are also feasible – I could spend a day or so in Hat Yai, Trang, Kao Lak, or Krabi if I plan it out and can swing the time off (I often work weekends).  I enjoy traveling by bus and I also have a friend who recently purchased a car.  Perhaps she wouldn’t mind chauffeuring me a bit farther afield…

Really, this is all I have definitely planned for the New Year.  Of course, there are plenty of vague ideas as well.  These are things that I often change my mind about, depending on external circumstances.  One of the reasons I so enjoy my life in Thailand is that I can just take life one day at a time and I’m perfectly happy with whatever ends up happening.  There are so many festivals and other special events to keep things interesting that most of the other stuff just doesn’t matter.

I do hope all those around me and those that I can only communicate with electronically have a wonderful 2013 full of good cheer and happiness.  Remember, don’t sweat the little things and plan for the big things.  It all works out in the end.

Happy New Year!


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