January is only nine-days-old, and it already feels like a year has passed.

I have big hopes for 2021. Realistic hopes, I think. I already have a couple poems set to appear in a nice literary magazine within the next couple of months, and I’m hopeful for two academic projects that are cooking away.

I’ve never been good keeping New Year’s resolutions, so I am keeping mine simple this year.

  1. Read something for myself, everyday, preferably off-line.
  2. Write something for myself, everyday.
  3. Eat better, for Heaven’s sake.
  4. Re-dedicate myself to practicing guitar.

This is, of course, on top of the usual business of being a little kinder, and little better, everyday. Be a better dad. A better partner. A better son.

Already, I’ve been doing a fine job of writing at least a little every day. (A time travel story, with very little time travel.) I started reading Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. About six chapters in, and I am entranced by the poetry of Alam’s prose.

Eating better is a challenge. I know what’s going on: feeling powerless, I am exercising what power I do have and feeding my fool face. My plan is that, by putting these words into the world, I am reclaiming the power that Taco Bell’s chicken chipotle melts have had over me since Christmas.

As for guitar, I’ve practiced and tried to learn to play on and off for a long time. I love music so much, it’s a shame I haven’t applied myself better to learning the instrument. (Euphonium, which I can play, isn’t much fun around a campfire.) I am putting in a little time every day now, building up the calluses low brass players get to avoid. I’ll never be a rock star, but maybe I’ll be able to string a few chords together.

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