I’m not going to explain the coaster again.

As always, we first look back at the coaster for 2017. How did BJR do?

  1. Be the fly that hits the wall (Get within 30 seconds of the World Transplant Games record in the 200 IM for my age grou): Nope. Came within 34 seconds, close but no cigar. The race was as close to a disaster as I could imagine. Being healthy and practicing race conditions would have been good ideas.
  2. Call mum at least every three weeks: Yes! Now it’s more of a regular habit, which is really great.
  3. Secret Squirrel. (Go on three dates with the same person and tell no one). Nope. I could not help myself. Actually I made it to a second date in “silent mode” twice, but didn’t pursue the third just because I didn’t want a third date. The third dates I went on, I talked about.
  4. Two hours from Jan-June speaking Spanish with native speakers: ¡No! I didn’t even come close on this one.
  5. Build a Belly (15 hours learning about Buddhism). I am well. I am happy. I am peaceful. I really enjoyed this one. Learned a lot, both about the origins of the practice and the practical benefits. Though damn, Buddhist have a lot of lists of things. The 5 compassionate ways to organize your sock drawer, etc
  6. Hermit on the Horizon (Week long trip up the Eastern Sydney coast): Yep! 10 day round trip from Manly to Noosa in a camper van. Great trip.
  7. Where’s the Beef (only 2 serves of Red Meat all year): So close. I ended up with three times were I ate beef. The first was purely accidental on a flight when I was half asleep, and I didn’t check what was in the curry. The second was forgetfulness when I didn’t tell a friend I had gone vego and showed up for dinner and they were serving beef chili and rice (my bad). The third was forgetful at a restaurant where I thought I’d try a slice of chuck just three weeks before the end of the year. I’m happy with that result even though I missed the goal, and I’ve only had fish, read meat, pork, or poultry about 10 times since August first.
  8. “Build a Clock.” Nope.
  9. Return to Cambodia. Nope. I shut down all international trips but one in the second half of the year, so I missed getting to go to Cambodia.
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From the trip to Noosa and back

I thought I would do better than 3 for 9. I was very close on 3 others, but 3 (Cambodia, Spanish, Clock) were way off. And close only counts in horseshoes and rectal exams.

2018. Game on.

This year I’m going to track my coaster in Trello.

  1. 4MUM. Since I get to spend a few weeks with my mum a couple of times this year, I want to do four special events with her. Maybe go to a local musical, maybe a trip into D.C., but it will be something she wants to do, not something I drag her to. Regardless, I’m really excited to hang out with mum.
  2. Not in your face. I’m disabling facebook for the year (and likely forever). In fact, done. I haven’t visited facebook in the last month and I’m much happier. I abandoned twitter about six years ago. While I have an instagram account, I don’t post and don’t visit. Generally 1–1 connections are all I want. I’m still on messenger, and can receive event invites, and still use facebook as a login mechanism for other sites where Google login isn’t supported.
  3. Affairs-N-Order. Since becoming a citizen and planning to stay in Australia, I need to get all the ‘adult’ things done, like make sure I have a will here, a living will, an advanced health directive, and an in-case-of-drop-bear-attack directive.
  4. 8-Is-Enough. Do eight things outside my comfort zone, 4 of which involve either taking a dance lesson, or participating in a dance. I still can’t believe I agreed to this one.
  5. Collect all the religions. Given my religious upbringing, despite not being religious or spiritual myself, I do find the practice fascinating. So this year I will attend four new religious celebrations or ceremonies that I have never seen before: a Mormon service, a Wiccan celebration, a Sikh service, and visiting a Synagogue.
  6. Cinquenta y dos. Spend 52 hours this year studying or speakingSpanish. Mostly I need to study verb conjugation for future and past tenses. Last year’s coaster item for Spanish didn’t work at all — I think this will be better because it will get me into a routine.
  7. Aimless creativity. Spend 12 hours this year writing without a goal. Because I tend to be task-oriented and task-driven, this is another “out of comfort zone” activity. I will not aim to publish a short story, or blog, or anything. Just write and see where it takes me, with the idea that at most it becomes fodder for something else. Some people might say the writings of BJR are largely aimless already, but those people will be unsubscribed if they keep saying that. This paragraph does not count towards the goal.
  8. “1 Pill Vasily. 1 Pill Only” Last year’s ‘Hunt For the No-Red-Meat October’ (ooh, I even groaned at that one myself) was so close am I’m really happy with my eating habits now. Since becoming vegetarian (mostly vegan) in July, I’ve been taking supplements for B-12, Iron, Calcium, Omega3, etc just to make sure I don’t end up short on any key vita-minerals. I already take specific Vitamin C and Zinc supplements to counter my suppressed immune system. In addition to my transplant meds and probiotic this a 12–13 pill regimen every morning, and I’d prefer not to have to have all these pills, especially if I travel. So I’m going to work towards improving my diet to try and be covered with a single supplement. Hopefully I can still take it orally.
  9. Mental health. I was not going to share the detail of this one, because it does involve mental health, which is typically a private matter. But not talking about it is one of the biggest problems, especially among men. So I’ll share: I’m going to stay in therapy this year as long as my therapist recommends it.

It’s interesting to note that I typically have a couple of athletic goals, a dating or relationship goal, and a diet goal, none of which are prominent in this year’s coaster.

While I hope to attend both the US and Australian transplant games this year, I’ve realized my main goal there is to hang out with team mates and recipients, and not medals or times or anything else.

Dating? While gamifying my social life has been a ton of fun in the past, I’m not really up for it this year.

My diet is actually in a good place, and doesn’t need pressure or measurement. I will keep doing more reading and learning and sharing with friends here, but I don’t need strict boundaries or carrots or carrot sticks to help here.

2018, I already know you’re going to be a fascinating year.

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