So how often have you made New Year's resolutions? How often have you actually followed through with?
I've done it quite a bit. Lose weight. Work out. Get focused. Get back into art. Blah. Blah. Blah.
So this year, I'm really going to do it.
As of January 1, I weighed 265 lbs. That is the heaviest I have ever been and I can no longer fit into most of my clothes. I went shopping recently somewhere that I have bought some of my favorite clothes in the past and they don't carry a size 40 waist. 18 months ago I was 225. I felt better. I looked better. I will get back to that and then some. My goal is 200lbs. When I lost a bunch of weight before, I used a website called SparkPeople.com. So I'm back on there again, tracking what I eat, my workouts and everything. It's a great system and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get healthy. But, you can't ignore it and just go back to way you were before you started once you get where you want to be. It's a life change you have to commit yourself to and that's what I am doing now.
Eighteen months ago, I was also doing something that I love. I was traveling. I went camping with friends several times and I took an awesome driving trip from Erie, PA to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and back. I stopped at a lot of great places along the way and met a lot of really nice people. I was on this trip for a month. Over the last year, I've been camping once. I've decided that I need to take some kind of big trip (or a lot more small ones) every year. Not sure yet what this year's trip is going to be, but my dream locations would be Australia, Italy or Japan. At the very least, I'm going to be taking another driving trip and doing a lot more camping.
When it comes to my job, it's become just that. A job. There are days I HATE getting out of bed. I'm tired and angry that I feel like I have to do something that is someone else's passion while ignoring or pushing my own to the side. Recently, I have started to turn that around. I have been working quite a bit on Whee! Design. Whee! Design is my print on demand t-shirt/gift shop that I run through a great company called CafePress. It's a great creative outlet for me and I really enjoy doing the programming and web design portion of it. It's a project that I can really get invested in and that I can get excited about when I finish a piece of it. So I'm going to continue to build Whee! Design as well as move forward on my personal site (you're reading it now) and my professional/artistic site Valador Studios. Valador Studios is going to become the central hub of my professional life. It's going to be the mothership of my print on demand projects, the place where I explore my creativity and programming skills, home base for my design and web clients and the start of a new, fulfilling and joyful career. That being said, PatrickHiller.com is going to focus on me. This is where I'll rant and rave. I share what going on and I'll track my progress over the next year and beyond.
So, what brought all this on? Besides feeling like a tired, fat, cow. And waking up in a rage at life every day. And just wanting to get up and do something and not knowing what it is. This is the year I turn 40.
Huge milestone. I certainly don't feel like I thought I would feel when I turned 40. I guess when you are young, 40 seems like it's so old. I certainly don't feel "old". It's almost like I've been through 40 years of life. I've learned a lot of lessons and now it's time to start the next chapter. I'd like to think that 40 is the new 25. So I'm going gray and losing my hair. That has never bothered me. I started going gray 10 years ago. Not a big deal.
So is this a mid-life crisis? I don't know. It has all the ear-marks of one according to Wikipedia. But I think that these things that I want to accomplish and the way I want to live has always been there. This isn't something I just woke up one day to realize. It's just been getting more and more frustrating that they are taking so long to accomplish or that they feel like they are slipping out of control. There are things I wanted to have done when I was 30 and 35. I missed a lot of those deadlines. I made others. I've loved. I've lost. I've made some great friends. I've done some things I'm not proud of and I've done some things I'm extremely proud of. I've given of myself and my talents to others and didn't care to get anything in return.
So this year, I'm giving of myself and my time and my talents to myself as well. I'm going to take the time to smell the roses. I'm going to learn something new everyday. I'm going to meet new people and see new places and accomplish new things.
I'm calling it Project XL. The letters XL are the Roman numerals for 40. To excel in my life is my goal. On a wry note, 'XL' is the size shirt I no longer wish to wear.
So this marks the beginning of Project XL. Like I said, I will be updating this site as part of that project as well as keeping my MySpace and FaceBook pages up to date. Not sure yet how to measure progress, but keeping a weekly and maybe daily journal might be a start. Maybe I'll pretend I'm Doogie Howser.
If you made it this far, thank you. At some point, I will be adding the ability to comment on my posts. So stick around if you are insterested. Stop by MySpace or Facebook to say "Hi". Here's to our being happy, healthy and fulfilled this year and in the years to come.