This year, I didn't wait for January 1. Now, just five days into 2009, I can take inventory of my New Years Resolutions with some pride, some disappointment, and lots of ADHD.
by Bill Mehlman
A month or so ago I had the audacity (or stupidity — take your pick) to post my resolutions for 2009, and I want to take this opportunity to review them, if only for my own benefit.
Strangely, the results aren't as dismal as I would have guessed. Here we go:
1. Walk to and from work every day (total of four miles, burning about 500 calories): In progress
I was pretty much on target with this one, striding bravely through the heart of midtown Manhattan. Some outside forces, like crowds of tourists (I work about halfway between Herald Square -- Thanksgiving parade and Macy's windows -- and Times Square -- just being Times Square, and then the hordes doing recon, scoping out the best place to hang for New Year's Eve, an exercise in self-abasement no rational being will partake of). A problem with my neck and some lousy weather contributed to my use of public transportation.
I still do my perambulations when the weather is decent, and will continue to do so. Especially if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority goes forward with their threats to raise the subway/bus fare to $2.50 a ride.
2. Join and go to Taoist Tai Chi: In progress. Plan is to attend classes Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday
I'm very happy with this one. I found that not only did I feel better, much better, in general, but that my neck pains were much diminished. In addition, I found that my inability to learn the forms wasn't so dire after all, and I'm pretty much on schedule to gaining a basic knowledge of the 108-move set within three to four months. Great stuff. You'll be hearing more about it.
3. Resume Eternal Spring practice, since it turns out that, no surprise, Master Chu is right. Most older folks don't have the leg strength or balance to do tai chi chuan properly, and nei kung develops these two qualities effectively.
Started doing this on alternate days with the Taoist tai chi, and found that there's a definite synergy. Again, not a surprise, since Master Chu teaches that learning either tai chi or nei kung without the other is a mistake. Of course, he also teaches that you should be doing Taoist mediation as the third part of the troika. I'm trying to figure out how to fit that in.
This may go south. It's a lot of work, and provides little additional benefit. I'm sad about this, but I can't waste time and I'm not very optimistic.
Whatever time I gain by not slogging through Latin paradigms, I'll devote to French. I was fluent once, about four decades ago, and I think I can regain this skill fairly easily.
6. Learn to play the drums: A real long-shot.
As imagined, a real long shot. Still in the starting gate.
7. Write more, and sell more of my writing: The most important.
Working on this. I have a plan in mind, but I have to get it off the ground before I'm willing to put it up here.
All in all, not a bad situation. My intention is to update this monthly, so that I'm forced to look at my accomplishments and failures, a salutary exercise.