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posted by Justin - 2012-12-24 11:40:26

What Have You Learned About Your

This website has become much more about personal improvement and self-assessment, because that's more of my focus these days than news or politics are. Those things matter, and you all know I pay attention, but my personal journey is less directly connected to breaking news. I also care more about hoping you all sit and consider things more than the "instigating" I originally intended to do.

I'm not going to change the name of the site or anything, but just acknowledging that the focus of my writing has changed because the focus of my life has as well.

So, accordingly, I'm going to ask you a question that isn't as simple as it probably seems: What have you learned about yourself in 2012?

Note: like the recent article written by David Wong over at Cracked, I am not asking you about your personality or anything abstract. These things have value, but they're not my concern this week.

No. I ask you, what concrete things have you learned in this calendar year? A new skill? A new language? A new accomplishment? A higher level of achievement at a previous skill? What have you improved in 2012?

And the second question is, what do you want to learn in 2013? Something concrete. Maybe you want to be happier. Okay. But what concrete steps will you take to get there?

I'll answer first.

It has been a very eventful year for me. Money was and is relatively tight and I certainly hope that that ends in 2013. But otherwise, I learned that I really can be an athletic person, despite my general clumsiness, if I put my head down and work at it, bit by bit. I'm extremely good at charging up hills and not so great at gradual inclines. My many years of adding to my upper-body and core strength were not in vain (or just plain vain), since they did serve to keep my body strong when I ran long distances.

I can run a marathon. That's something no one can ever take from me.

I can improve professionally when challenged by a demanding professor (props to Lesley for doing so).

I can swim in Amazonian (tributary) waters without dying, though this was mostly by chance.

And in 2013?

There's a chance I will add more marathons to my list. At which point I will hopefully be able to add lower and lower times to my repertoire.

We'll see how the career goes. Can't say much but I expect more and more achievements and some comfortable settling, ideally.

I want to improve my balance and flexibility. So perhaps a goal that makes sense is being able to extend my body (and particularly my back and knees) comfortably beyond where I have before.

I want to learn to cook dishes. Real dishes with recipes, not just variations on the things I mostly eat. I want to be able to wow some folks with a range of hors d'oeuvres at my birthday party.

And finally, I want to learn to shave my own head, and quickly. It would save me a great deal of money and would probably help me as a father someday. Especially when I go bald.

What did you learn about yourself in 2012? What can you do now?

And what do you want to be able to do at the end of 2013?

Peace, love, happy holidays, and happy new year,
Justin PBG
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