Thursday, January 11, 2007

The New Year 2007

The New Year is here!!!

So far, I have not made the usual mistake of writing “06” somewhere. Even though this year came seemingly too quickly, I feel I have been expecting it—I don’t know why exactly, but whatever the reason, it is a new year, with its own secrets and revelations. The year 2007 has, without a doubt, the warmest January I have ever experienced since my time in the east coast. The relative warmth suited me, but it filled me with guilt, because I knew the reason for this unusual warmth (for this time of the year).

As I told my sister, 2007 is the year of transformation (body, mind, and spirit)—or more accurately, the year of continued transformation, a transformation which, for me, started late 2004. I am looking forward to growing in my weak areas (spiritually and otherwise), to deepening my friendships, and to having some more impact on my society.

Each New Year seems special, because it reminds us that it is a blessing to be alive and a blessing to pursue so many plans, so many interests and changes. This year is another opportunity to grow, to be better, and I want to embrace it with the best that I am.

My guiding quotes for this year are:

1) “Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.” (Eccle 5:18, NIV)

To enjoy life is a blessing. In all that my mind and hands undertake this year, I want to enjoy doing them ALL. There is no reason to be stuck doing something that does not bring any satisfaction or joy, or, to say it in another way, everything I do should serve to bring me satisfaction and joy.

2) “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.” (Phil 4:8, NIV)

No explanation needed here.

So what are the top three physical things that I want to do more of this year?

-The distance between my apartment and my school’s gym is too long to motivate me to go to the gym regularly. Well, this year, I don’t have to go to the gym. I am getting my gym-workout by running up and down a 112-step staircase for one hour per day, seven days per week. The first day I did this, I felt like I was going to pass out. When I woke up the next morning, I was unable to walk. It was my fault: you are supposed to start a workout regimen slowly, but I was just too excited to yield to this important instruction. I rested my legs for two days, then I resumed my workout: the same 112 steps, up and down for an hour. It felt so goooooood, after the one hour. Stair climbing is an intense workout, because you are lifting your body weight against gravity, and it is a fantastic and time-efficient cardiovascular exercise. In addition to stair climbing, I'm also going to try to add other exercise routines, so that I don't get bored or get injuries from doing the same exercise repeatedly.

P.S. See your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

-I am making a personal commitment to prevent my schoolwork from restricting my leisure reading activities for as much as it has. Therefore, I am making a commitment to read at least two novels a month. This month is almost out of the way: I have read “The Fifth Mountain” by Paulo Coelho, and I have started reading “Water” by Babpsi Sidhwa. Next on my reading list is “So long a letter” by Mariama Ba.

-I want to spend more time writing poetry. Writing poems keeps my mind fresh, keeps me in touch with myself and with others, and helps me come up with ideas for my longer works. I also need to spend more time working on the draft of my second novel. Normally, after writing a first draft, the process becomes a little bit easier, although it also becomes a tad boring and repetitive. However, my first draft is going through a major transformation of ideas, so I am going back and forth, adding and deleting things, checking things over to make sure the old ideas are not conflicting with the new ideas. Moreover, the story still has some holes that I need to fill in, which means I still have some more research to do. I am still building the house. I hope that worries about painting, carpeting, and the like will follow soon.

I hope this year affords you opportunities to dream, to pursue many interests, to love, to live, and to find your unique purpose.

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