The New Year and Me

Note: I wrote this post in January, 2023, but am just getting around to publishing it as I try again to get my thoughts out.

I'm not too big on new year resolutions, but I definitely feel a change, or an impetus to change, in this new year. Some of the change I want to come in the form of getting more fit, more toned as I've let myself get a bit flabby over the past year or two. But that's an easy one. Go to the club, stretching, toning, and boosting up my endurance. The predominant change I want in this new year, however, has to do with my mind and my soul.

I've been reading a lot lately, mostly books, both fiction and non-fiction, and a bit of the news or other online articles. Immersing myself in words has been increasingly satisfying for me. Even to the extent that I am continuing to "try on" new foreign languages, the most recent being German, because I want to read a novel set in 1920s Germany, in the author's written language.

A thought I've had over the past year or so, too, is that I want to do more "creating" instead of "absorbing" or taking in others' creative endeavors. Of course, the guitar playing is one area, although I've completely failed over the past month and need to get back into regular playing and practice (one thought: putting up a guitar stand on the wall in the family room so that I can reach for the instrument more easily than having to trudge down to my office and play there). Writing is another creative endeavor which I've thought of. I've done a small amount of journalling in long hand, but it hasn't taken off. Maybe continuing to try to find a way to get continual motivation in a writing craft is something I should explore.

As I listen to various podcasts, I've just thought that maybe I need to put my own thoughts about some of the current events, of how to live well, in the public sphere. That would be energizing. I've had my own somewhat lukewarm and some negative thoughts about the ChatGPT AI that so many people have gone ga-ga over. Hearing what Ian Leslie has to say about it, really about us humans, on the latest EconTalk podcast, is enlightening. We have become so inured to formulaic movies, music playlists, etc., that we have emulated computers, rather than the other way around. I loved his music example, where the bridge in a song, where often a different key was used to represent a reprieve, or change, from the mood of the melody, has just about disappeared since around 2000. He used an early Beatles song (No Reply) as one example of a bridge.

So, where do I go? How do I start? Well, I can certainly pick up my guitar, I can go to the health club. I can continue to write my thoughts in this blog, which has seen so little from me over the years. It's time, and maybe Dylan's "the times they are a-changin" I can see within myself. As I said at the beginning, I want to see change in my mind and my soul. Using the mind to create, that seems like a great way to engage the emotions and feed the soul. By "mind", I don't mean creating logical constructs. To me the mind is a lot more than a logic machine. It encompasses the ability to absorb your feelings and thoughts and exhale them in breaths of fresh air, new thoughts and movements.