Belated Thoughts On the New Year

I guess the first thing I feel when I think about the last year is … gratitude. Sure, my life isn’t perfect but I’ve come to accept it never will be. At the same time things could be a lot worse, and I have very little reason to complain. No one I know has died or gone to jail, I have a roof over my head and I have food to eat. I have loved ones, be they pets or people, around me on a regular basis. There really isn’t much else I could ask for.

Where I Used to Be

Hard to believe less than half a year ago was when we picked up and moved to Viking to run the Rocket. While we aren’t as successful as we imagined we would be (yet), it has at least been an interesting experience. While it is a small town I find myself in, I have quickly grown accustomed to it. Chalk this up to the fact that I’ve lived in small towns most of my life and that I’m fairly introverted. I don’t need festivals, or much of any other kind of local culture to amuse myself or to learn new things.

I needed a change anyhow. After graduation I found myself adrift not knowing where I was headed. I tried applying for internships but that plan fell through. Instead of becoming hopeless with my prospects, being my usual self I remained calm and accepted where I was. Does this mean I have no ambition or dreams? No of course not. However I’m no longer in a state of blind panic to have them realized.

What I’ve Been Doing

I wasted a lot of time in the last year, if I was to be judged by the norms and standards of people at large. Anyone in my situation would be taking some time off or be looking for immediate employment. It is I believe the latter that most people in the same situation would normally have been pursing. I am not the model of normality.

Rather than pursuing money or a career I guess you could say I’ve been chasing after other—more quirky—interests. I spent some time on Code Academy with the end result before you. They say you need to spend 10,000 hours on something before you can be considered an expert. I think some close to me may (jokingly) say I’ve already spent that on tweaking this website and fooling around with web design.

Adventures In Web Development

One of my favorite podcasts of all time is 99% Invisible, because a main running theme is that things mostly go unnoticed around us in terms of human design. Any design of whatever product—if it’s done well—goes unnoticed, I guess maybe it’s because it integrates so well into our lives and we take so much for granted. The same can easily said about web sites, a lot of consideration has to go into one. Especially when you are doing it alone like I am.

You have to think of a domain name, where to host your site and what purpose the site should even serve. I started this one as a hobby, then a storage spot for a bunch of old blog posts and academic essays. Now I’m thinking I want to expand the audience beyond myself and maybe contribute some useful pieces. At the very least I should make my own reference materials for the kind of things I’m learning. Teaching is a good method to help ensure you know what you’re talking about.

I’m mostly done with the design considerations for this blog. Navigation is where it should be, important footer information is present. The layout and typographic details are satisfactory. The contrast is adequate and the site is snappy. I also hope that people find it pleasing on the eye. I’ve added subtle fades and cues in the hopes of providing a better user experience. Now I just need to add way more content!

Where I Would Like to Go

There is never going to be enough time (for anyone!) to do everything that they wish to do. Sometimes you just need to let go of most, if not all, of it. I made a resolutions list last year where most of the goals never even got off the ground. However, if I look at them now they seem too vague and maybe even unrealistic. This year I resolve to have more grounded resolutions. What would those be? Here are a few from the top of my head:

  1. Lose my belly
  2. Finally pay off my credit card
  3. Get another job
  4. Read much more

Not earth-shattering, I know. Most people would like to be in control, or take control, of their health and finances. That is what these goals boil down to. Some people may fail to think big, but from what I can gather most people fail more at following through. So this is me trying to be reasonable with myself by giving some simple, clear, instructions to myself. If I can’t accomplish these this year, I would—very simply—be ashamed of myself.

Plans for This Site

As a hobby, I hope to both flesh out and polish some thoughts that bubbled up into my consciousness that I sort of talked about in previous posts. I would like to review the father’s of certain strains of political thought. After all, the history of political philosophy was one of my favorite areas of study in university and I think it’s time for a review.

Another thing I want to write about is on the environmental movement. To be honest, I’ve grown a bit disillusioned with it, at least in terms of solutions proposed. I would like to take a deeper look and turn a more skeptical eye to the whole shebang. Here’s hoping, as they say.

Modified: Lee Kierstead

by Lee Kierstead