March 22nd Resolutions
Joe Clark ~~ Mar 22, 2003

Hey, it's not New Year's Day, but I have some resolutions. These are things that have been on my mind lately. These are part of the process in my life of bettering myself and doing what I can to "be more conformed to the image of Christ." This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does describe some of the bigger issues in my personality, I think.

  1. Be more flexible. I have come to realize that at times I can be quite inflexible. There are several ways that this evidences itself. One is that I am whiny about stuff, at work and other places. To me my causes are just, but probably in a broader sense they are just whining. I often think that my way is the best way. Maybe it is, maybe not. I have my reasons for thinking the way I do. But, for example, the difference between a file being named with an upper case letter or a lower case letter is not really all that important. Part of the flexibility is also realizing what is important and what is not. I have to realize that what is important to me, for whatever reason, is not necessarily important to other people, and in reality, a lot of times it *shouldn't* be all that important. Sometimes I get my little agendas of what I think should be done. Sometimes I get in a self-imposed pattern of life, and if anyone violates that pattern I get upset -- not for any real reason, and the violation is really quite trival, but I get upset anyway.
  2. Don't waste time. I have come to realize that I have tons of ways of wasting time. Usually, I can rationalize it and say that I'm learning something by the activity, or some such thing. But in reality, it's still wasted time. This is partly a problem because I have a curious nature. If I have a computer problem, for example, I don't want to just fix the problem. I want to *understand* the problem, just because, and so that the next time I run across this problem I know how to deal with it better. This is a good trait, this curiosity, but it also leads to wasted time. I could solve the problem in 10 minutes, or I could research it for 2 hours. Sometimes I take the harder approach to a problem just to try something new (or because I'm on a vendetta to do things my way). In doing so -- in doing it the weird way -- I just make life harder for myself. The people at work frequently tell me that I always make everything harder than it needs to be. I don't know if I completely agree with them, but my reasons for disagreement would mostly be the rationalizations I listed off above. So it is true that I don't always make the best use of my time. I need to find a better balance in this area.
  3. Get up early. How many times have I said that to myself? And how many times have I stayed up till 12:30 anyway, making it virtually impossible for me to get up early the next day. Stupid me! I still think, though, that one of the best things I can do for myself is to get up earlier. And it is only my laziness and my weakness at evoking change that keeps me from doing it. Each night is another opportunity to go to bed earlier. And almost every night is another missed opportunity. (By the way, it's 9:37pm now, so I'm not judging myself tonight...yet).
  4. Don't date your friends. Here's one of those statements that someone at work shared with me recently. I've heard it before, but I've really thought more about it in the last week or so. I'm still not sure I totally agree with it, but I think it would simplify my life if I *did* agree with it. Sometimes I have this suspicion that I wonder about dating friends too much, to the point that it's hard to have female *friends*. Maybe this is why it's almost easier to be friends with women who are married. ... The problem with this don't date your friends idea is that it requires actions on my part to meet new people. It seems sorta wrong to me that my future wife would be someone I don't know, someone that I wouldn't know as a friend first. It seems to me like the proper progression would be from acquaintance to friend to significant other, but that progression has its share of problems. I'm not really sure what the right answer is on this, but it's something I want to keep in mind.
    Added 4/20/03: I believe a more correct idea here is that I should not foster a desire to date friends. After a few discussions with people on this topic, some say that it is natural to date friends sometimes, and I don't want to actively oppose that. What I want to do, though, is be sure that I act appropriately toward my friends, and treat them as friends and not prospects. I have wasted too much time and too many friendships thinking about prospects, when instead I should be thinking about friendship and its inherent values.