Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Goals

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I’ve been having a rough time.  The holiday period is always super busy for a ski instructor, and I put in a bunch of days at the mountain.  Plus, I never do my Christmas shopping early, so the run up to Christmas is always packed with trips to crowded malls and stress about what to buy.  Then there are the family obligations, the friend obligations, and the work obligations mixed in.

And it’s not just the “to-do” list that’s got me down, it’s the weather.  On Monday, December 27th, I woke up to 11 inches of snow at my house in suburban Albany, NY.  As I shoveled my car out, I noticed that the snow was light, fluffy, and fantastic.  I knew the drive would be rough, but I took my time, drove slowly, and avoided becoming one of the many cars that had found their way into ditches.  As I drove, I listened to relaxed, adult-alternative oriented music to calm my mood, and keep me from wanting to go too fast. I actually started enjoying the trip.  Sure, it was taking forever (and I was going to miss my 8:30 ski instructing sign in time), but I love new snow, and the feeling of anticipation was building as the dulcet melodies of Jack Johnson soothed my nerves.

Until I started looking at the snow depth.  The road conditions were still bad, but the snowfall amounts were deteriorating as I moved north.  7 inches in Saratoga.  4 Inches in Glens Falls.  2 inches in Warrensburg.  By the time I got to North Creek, there was no snow on the ground at all.  The only weather that greeted me was a blistering wind when I stepped out of the car.  Ugh.

On top of that, I went to 3 lineups and didn’t get one lesson.  So I drove all that way, used all that gas money, avoided all those ditches, and listened to all that Colbie Caillat for nothing!!!!  The skiing wasn’t even that good! The wind and cold associated with the storm made being outside feel miserable (although the snowmakers have done a great job keeping the snowpack skiable on a lot of my favorite trails).  So we got all of the bad parts of a winter storm (wind and cold), but none of the good parts (epic snowfall).  What a waste.

After this past week, I look back on that day and I still think it’s a bit of a waste.  But there was a moment during that day that I was actually very content.  I was relaxed, alert, and giddy with anticipation about skiing fresh snow, teaching great lessons, and celebrating afterwards.  With that idea in mind, I decided that my New Years Resolutions for this year should contain a bunch of chances for these types of moments.  While I might not be able to complete all of my resolutions, I still want to have chances to look around and say “Right here, in this moment, I’m happy.”  A second thing I wanted to do for this year was try to make more progress on the goals that I have.  My list from last year didn’t go very well, and I need to start making things happen.  Here’s an idea from a website:

Do a little every day. Take small steps towards your big goals every day, even if it means spending 60 seconds checking out a relevant website before bed.

Ha! So I can help achieve my resolutions by browsing the internet?   These are going to be easier than I thought:
  1. Film, Edit, and Finish a quality ski movie for the year
  2. Backcountry ski at least 5 times
  3. Bike Commute 50 times this year
  4. Explore at least 5 new-to-me mountain bike areas in the Northeast
  5. Learn more about bicycle repair, acquire some tools and start wrenching my bikes
  6. Make at least one blog post every month that makes people want to be where I am
 That last one is tricky, because I haven’t really focused the blog in that way before.  It’s more of a “thoughts and musings” blog, instead of a “here are my adventures” blog.  But those are the kind of things that I like reading, so I’m going to try to put up some cool content up (even if it’s just a short video of a powder shot or rock drop on a bike).  As for the first few on the list, I tried to attach some numbers to some previous goals that had gone unfulfilled.  I figure if I set a concrete number, it’s easier to track my progress towards the goal.

But maybe I’m thinking too much.  According to this article, the best way to get that happy/content feeling is to just get in a hot tub:
Hot tubs improve nervous system health. One of the reasons hot tubs feel so relaxing is because they actually balance the opposing functions within the nervous system – the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Hot water therapy reduces the effect of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the major cause of harmful stress. The positive effects of hot water therapy on the nervous system have actually been observed long after the individual actually leaves the water, showing that hot tubs help produce long term benefits that include lowered stress, relaxation, and a sense of well being. 
 Nice . . . Now I just need to find one with speakers for my Jack Johnson CDs . . .

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