December 1, 2023

I’ve always thought I’d be better off making resolutions at the end of the school year rather than at the end of the calendar year. If I have a resolution, summer is really my only chance for doing anything about it. Such is the life of a teacher.

I’ve been thinking about what I said I would do this year back in December and January. So far the only thing I’ve stuck with is taking a picture every day. I’m now on Day 147 of my project 365, and I haven’t missed a day yet.

I’m proud of that, but I haven’t lost weight, transformed my house into a show place, or become a better person (at least not as far as I can tell). I have some work to do here.

For my May’s End Resolutions then, I have some goals, both practical and dream like.

1. Get back on the diet. I lost a good bit of weight last summer and fall, but it is starting to creep back on now. It’s time to get serious again. Plus, I have this vague idea that I want to do a self-portrait project in 2012 as a way of teaching myself the finer arts of portrait photography. I really need to trim off the rest of the excess by January if I want to do this. Calorie counting regimens, here I come.

2. Continue my photography lessons. I just finished up a photography class, and I feel like I’m really pretty solid on the basics of digital photography now, but there is always more to learn. I plan to read more on my own and to keep taking pictures and keep experimenting with things I haven’t tried before. Along with this, I hope to really master Photoshop Elements. I have the program. I have a book. I have links to video tutorials. I have no excuses.

Eventually, I want to master the full version of Photoshop, but first I need to save up the money to buy a new computer along with the software. I’m pretty much pushing the computer I have to capacity. Eventually, I’ll do something about that, but for now I can make do with learning more about the stuff I already have.

3. Do some writing. I’ve been mostly photo-blogging since January. Last year, I set out to do a blog 365 project. I finished the year without missing a day, and I actually haven’t missed a day yet. That puts me at 512 consecutive days of posting something to this blog. Once I finished my first year, though, I let up on the actual writing part of the blog. I don’t think I’ve posted anything other than pictures and book reviews for the past few months. That’s okay. It was what I felt like doing. I would like to get back to some kind of writing routine for the blog now, though. I won’t write a blog article every day, but I’d like to write one a few days a week.

Also, I really want to spend some time working on poetry this summer. I want to read more poetry, write more poetry, and work on more experimental venues for poetry. Mainly, I want to work on poetry/photography hybrids or multimedia poems. We’ll see where that goes, but for now, I’d like to make some time to write, to seriously write some poetry.

4. Revamp courses for fall. I wanted to reorganize my literature class for summer, but then Blackboard was down for half our break, and I got caught up in other things, and I realized this goal was unrealistic. Fall is looming, though, and reorganizing all of my classes for fall is not an unrealistic goal. It’s in fact a good and necessary goal.

Last year, they did a major Blackboard change right before the fall semester started. We didn’t have access to our courses until the last minute, and we had to scramble to just keep our heads above water. That made for a very stressful year. This year I have vowed will be different. I’m going to start putting together my fall courses now. That should give me time, not just to think through assignments a little better, but also to work up the podcasts and PowerPoints and whatever else I think I want to go with them.

I really need to start the school year feeling good about what I’m doing. Now is my chance to make sure that happens.

5. Work on my house. I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff. I’d like to do some painting and rearranging and fixing up, but I’d rather save my money for a new computer, so I really just need to put some quality time into working with what I have. I never seem to be on top of my housework. I have both arthritis and asthma, and one or the other or both always manages to kick in before I get very far. That’s why I need to develop a system for doing a little bit every day instead of trying to do a lot at once. I tried that in January and didn’t make it through very many days, but the summer is a whole new prospect. If I spend a little time every day sorting out and getting rid of things, surely everything will look better before too long. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

6. Get back on my financial diet. Like the weight loss diet, the financial diet had a winning streak followed by a slump. If I ever want to get that new computer, much less the new camera equipment on my wish list, I’m going to have to get back on my plan.

7. Books, books, books. I’m actually ahead of schedule on my reading goals for the year, so I guess I don’t have to list this, but I will anyway. I know I can’t catch up on everything I’ve never read in one summer, but I hope to clock in some quality reading hours. I have a new patio umbrella and a Kindle just waiting to spend time with me (see #6).

8. Cakes, cakes, cakes. I realize this does not jive with #1 or even #6 on my list, but I’ve gotten it in my head that I want to be the cake lady. I have a list of cakes I want to try to make and a whole summer full of family dinners to attend. I want to learn how to make great cakes and how to take great portraits. If you would like to have your portrait made while eating a piece of homemade cake, message me. I can set you up.

9. Take vacation days. I don’t have any trips planned for this summer (see #6). I could easily hole up in my house for the entire summer without caring whether I ever went anywhere, but I don’t really want to do that. I want to take some day trips to places nearby that I wouldn’t ordinarily see. I want to photograph more of Mississippi than just my own backyard.

10. Be happy. After a stressful year, I need a happy summer more than I need a productive summer. This is why most of my goals are focused on things that bring me pleasure. Even so, I know I’m in danger of working so hard at my hobbies that I forget I’m doing them for fun. Thus, my most important goal of the summer is to remember to just be happy. If I’m not happy, I need to back up and let some things go. That’s my theory at the moment at any rate.

So back to the blog it is. Back to the diet. Back to the financial diet. Back to the camera and back to the books. I plan to have a good summer. I hope you do too. Don’t forget to let me know what kind of cake you like.

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