Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Introspection--list, check twice, naughty, nice

"But as I do my own part of the stock taking and internal inventory that seems to be an artificial but integral part of this holiday, I remain troubled by how simple I wish everything could be, and how complex I want everything to be. I want to have the world made plain, in the palm of my hand. I want to live in a world so vast and mysterious, I could never understand it. I want both things, and I want them with all my heart".--my journal entry for December 31, 2002

On January 2, 2003, I made a series of "LiveJournal resolutions". In the spirit of the day, I'll review, renew and modify.

1. I want to make more observations and fewer pronouncements in my posts this year. At the same time, I want my posts to range wild and free, across a world of topics and opinions. I want to break the chains of recurrent themes, and seek out new topics.

Result: I see that my journal continues to have endless pronouncements. I notice that I make fewer of them about art,because those posts tend to get more dissent. I think it's a weakness that I post less about art merely because people disagree with me. Recurrent themes seem to be a motif of this journal.

2. I want to make my comments more resonant with the posts, and less debating or cheerleading. I want to be as positive as I can, without being saccharine. I want to remember that other people have radically different views of the purpose of comments in their journals than I have of the purpose of comments in mine.

Result: I stay very conscious of this point, but it is still very hard not to tell people I find immensely cool "hey, you're immensely cool".

3. When I read something nice, I want to comment to show I read it, even if I don't have something cool to say.
Result: I do much better with this, but can do better still.

4. I want to hit the random key more often, the way I did when I was first on LiveJournal. I found the most fascinating journals this way.
Result: I spent a few days doing this, but I feel I could "meet" far more journals than I do.

5. I want to recognize that so often the written word without the nuance of facial expressions can give rise to misunderstandings, and I want to avoid getting too disappointed when this occurs.
Result: I do keep this in mind, so I suppose this goal is largely achieved. My current shortcoming is more along the lines of reading far too much into silence from folks.

6. I want to begin a side journal in which I write something more consciously "literary".
Result: I did this, although I've only put 70, and not the desired 100, poems into this project.

7. I want to continue to use LiveJournal as a means of expanding my knowledge of the real world, and avoid any tendency to use LiveJournal as a basis for avoiding confronting the real world.
Result: Although I post to LJ as often now as I did in a more "addictive" zeal, LJ is much less an escape for me than a pastime now. I want to avoid internet addiction, but I also want the internet to be my friend.

8. I want to write more things about fossils.
Result: I did this, but I wish I did more real-life searching for fossils.

9. I want to catalog for myself here the things I wish to remember. I may even catalog here some things I wish to forget.
Result: Yes. I do use my journal for this.

10. I want to post pictures and graphics I create in my journal, and to put together a better personal website page.
Result: I now post pictures with a bit of regularity, but my personal website page is still quite primitive.

11. Once in a long while, I want to check the spelling on a comment.
Result: proofreading posts is still my bane. I always have to hit "edit" and re-write them.

12. More frequently, I want to edit before I first hit post.
Result: I am better on this, but I really want to improve.

These 12 goals were useful, although the part about avoiding patterns concerns me far less now than it did a year ago.
I think this year I'd add five new goals for my LJ:

13. One thing I did in 2003 was to write poetry for publication. Having an LJ was a direct motivator. I want to use my LJ as a springboard for real-life progress, like some Puritan who diaries to figure out if she is saved. I love that LJ is a way to record my projects, like my poetry, my chess club, and my feeder guppy yahoo group. I want to generate more than I do.

14. I want to set up a livejournal about rural north Texas, with pictures and text--a sort of on-line museum.

15. I want to be a better LJ friend to the people who have been so kind to me here. I want to explore what that means.

16. I want to complete all the various on-line projects and tasks I've taken on. I have letters to write, exchanges to fulfill, and pictures to mail. I want to be a better person about responsiveness. This was always my strong point, it seems to me, but a busy Spring and Summer seem to have put me perpetually behind. 2004 breaks the pattern.

17. I want to make my LJ more interesting. At the same time, I want to continue to write some posts that I know only I will be interested in reading. I love the interaction with readers. But I will remember that I read my weblog, too.
I have a curious LJ, in that folks tend to interact with my rambling, ruminative rummage sale idea juxtaposition posts,
while my slice of life posts, nature posts,and posts about my own mundane little interests tend to get less comment.
I notice from other journals the opposite is true--in those, a mundane detail gets 20 comments, while a heartfelt analysis gets no comments. I suppose that makes this a bizarro journal. I want to keep writing the ruminations, but also to keep writing things that I catalog for myself, and not feel badly when nobody comments.

LJ was fun this year. My life went well this year. I wish to be so much better next year. I guess it must be 12/31, as that's the way I always feel today. I don't have a day of atonement and reconciliation, really, so maybe I have to make do with 12/31. I remain intrigued by this weblog process--how much I reveal, how much I do not reveal, and
what to make of it all.
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