How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?
I would like to significantly reduce my debt load by next year. I just need to keep plugging away at it, throwing as much extra scratch that way as I can.
Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?
By this time next year, I would like to be completely moved to my own domain, eschewing primary posts to social media sites not under my own control. I would like to be self-reliant in a technological sense–running my own cloud, media server, and web presence as much as possible so that I do not have to subject myself to the whims of media giants.
Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.
Perhaps it’s a little cheesy, and probably rather secular, but trading high-fives with perfect strangers to celebrate an Anaheim Ducks goal against the Dallas Stars during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is an experience of such joy that I would call it spiritual. 18,000 people dancing and singing in common celebration is electrifying and, for a humanist, would certainly qualify as spiritual.
Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?
Personally, I would say that I am most affected by the Snowden PRISM leaks and the fight over Net Neutrality. I am a strong proponent of the right to privacy and of freedom through the Internet, and the revelations regarding these outrageous programs have caused me to again become very active politically both online and in “meatspace”. I have actively joined sides with political groups that 5-10 years ago I would have scoffed at. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” has never been truer and while we may not agree across the board, I have reached out across the metaphorical aisle for the greater good.
Now, if only our elected officials could do the same.
Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
For me, packing my life into a wooden crate and shipping it across the country has been the biggest milestone of the past 12 months. I finally feel as though I am at home here in southern California, and not longing to get my hands on an obscure item buried in a forgotten corner of The Yella House in order to complete a project. I’m sure it was a momentous occasion for Pops as well, considering that he no longer had to try to make room for my things and could begin his own larger renovation projects. The only person that was not happy about the event was Barbie, who suddenly found herself dealing with a mountain of boxes stacked in the dining room for the next several weeks! She did well, though–definitely a trooper!
Is there something you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?
It may not be much, but I am proud for having taken solid steps to get myself out of debt accumulated during the Dark Times. 2014 has proven to be the year that everything started truly getting better.
Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?
This year, I experienced my first “decent” earthquake. A 5.1 in Brea made me realise that (1) yes, earthquakes happen, (2) big earthquakes happen, and (3) I am not at all prepared for any sort of major emergency. The evening started off insignificant, then a small jolt that I showed no concern over served as the prelude to a fairly significant shake about an hour later. Pictures fell over, but there was no major damage. Aftershocks continued to roll throughout the weekend, giving reason to pause and evaluate before going on with my business.
I’ve since learned, as the rest of California has, that the threat of a major quake is very real. A 5.1 is not considered “large”, but the relative depth and local geology of the fault made the scene much worse than a similar quake along a different fault. Reading the event as a call to action, I spent the weekend “quake-proofing” the house, securing furniture, and beginning to assemble emergency supplies and plans should a stronger shake come along.
In the Jewish faith, the new year celebration, Rosh Hashanah, is–as I understand it–celebrated with the observance of the Yamim Nora’im, a ten-day-long period of reflection over the previous year. While I am not Jewish, I do enjoy a good traditional observance. As such, I will be posting my answers to questions posted by 10Q over the next ten days. You can play along at home if you like. Just sign up at doyou10Q.com. L’chaim!