Thursday, January 01, 2009

Plans for 2009

The past couple of years I have been successful with my resolutions because I chose ones that did not involve deprivation. Last year it was to manage my vacation days better. The year before, do something fun each month. These resolutions were also somewhat measurable. But I'm a little stymied this year.

One aspect of high dissatisfaction in my life is my job. I don't have a lot to do, and this past year I fulfilled that duty beautifully. Some would consider getting paid a decent salary to do very little an ideal situation, but you would be surprised at just how boring eight long hours a day in a high-walled cube can be. Yes, there is Internet access, but the Powers That Be block my ability to listen to music, write blog postings, and download porn (not that I would do that!)

My supervisor knows I have little to do, his supervisor knows as well, and the business is such that I can't just wander over to another department and ask them if they need help with something. Plus I need to look busy, which requires a surprising amount of effort.

I became a software developer because, once I learned to program, I discovered that writing code was one of the few things that totally engrossed me mentally. My first position as a developer was the best, and it has been downhill ever since. Now it is to the point where I don't do any software development because that has been "sourced" elsewhere. And I have been not writing code for so long my skills have atrophied.

So. I would like to come up with a resolution, New Year's or otherwise, to remedy this problem. And I think I have a plan, if I can just stick with it once I return to my little cube on Jan. 5. There is an application that I "own" that needs some rewriting. Instead of doing the least amount of work possible, I plan to immerse myself in it and in relearning Java. Besides keeping me occupied, this goal will improve my coding skills, which may be a godsend if I become "redundant".

Now, the problem with this goal is every time I psych myself up to do something like this, The Universe smacks me down. We shall see how it works out.

A second concern of mine the dwindling of my already less than stellar creativity. Everyday, in every way, I am getting duller and duller. I have been trying to come up with ways to feed my creativity - draw a picture a day, write a haiku a day, watch an art film a week, read more, write more, etc. - but am having trouble believing I will stick to any of these goals. Perhaps if I mix and match, though, do one - any - of these activities each day? Maybe that will be flexible enough to see me through more than the first week of the new year.

Then there are the other usual New Year's resolutions revolving around health - eat less, exercise more, meditate daily, etc. Recently I monitored my food and calorie intake through this site, which quickly became boring, but my efforts did indicate that while I usually make healthy food choices, I simply eat too much. Over the past week or so - while on vacation from work - I have lost a couple of pounds. Much of my overeating is due to boredom at work, so maybe relearning Java will help in that regard.

Anyway. What am I willing to commit to for 2009?

1. Relearn Java.
2. Do something creative everyday.

And I think we will leave it at that. No sense going overboard, right?

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