With Utmost Resolve

I didn’t make any concrete resolutions for 2018. When people ask what my resolution is, I tell them that it’s to be a good wife. I don’t know how you’d turn that into a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound), and by most accounts, resolutions and goals should be SMART. But I figure that if that is my only goal, then it should be OK. It is something I keep at the forefront of my mind all the time, and I don’t need any reminders to carry it out. I realized that if I make too many specific goals, I forget them or put too much effort into trying to remember exactly what they are.

The past couple years, I’ve been feeling guilty that I haven’t completed my resolutions to the extent that I would like to have done, so this year I want to let go of that guilt about arbitrary goals that don’t really matter all that much. I figure that if I focus my attention on the one goal that does matter, I’ll do better. After all, nobody’s perfect. Not even the company that made my planner:

A Year of Perspective Shifts

Almost everyone said that 2017 was terrible, what with all the shootings by those in pain, sexual transgressions by big shots in Hollywood, and hare-brained decisions by those in power.

To me, 2017 wasn’t terrible at all, unless you mean “terrible” in the old-fashioned, biblical sense of “formidable or something to be awed.” I found 2017 to be a year of perspective shifts. I’ve been away from this blog more often than I would have liked this year, and I’ve written barely any fiction at all—maybe a couple paragraphs here and there that I don’t think even added up to 5,000 words. The most writing I did was in my paper journal.

The strange part about all that is I don’t really feel much of a need to write fiction. I miss my characters, but I don’t really relate to them anymore because of this perspective shift. For the first time in my life, I feel like a true “adult,” and other adults are acknowledging me as one of them. I can relate to adults now, and I sympathize more with the adult characters in movies and books than I do with the teenagers. Yet I still don’t feel like I have the life experience needed to write great fiction or to portray adulthood accurately. I’ve been feeling as though writing fiction is somewhat pointless because all the great stories have already been told, and they have been told in much better ways than I could tell them.

I hope this is just a big stumbling block that materialized because of the perspective shift and that it will go away soon, but for now, I’m grateful to still be writing in some capacity, even if it’s not fiction.

Sharing a Computer

This article on Slate brought me back to the mid/late 1990s and early 2000s when my brother and I shared the family computer (which was really my dad’s computer; my mom never had any interest in it). I don’t remember what the computer itself looked like, but I remember that the monitor was one of those huge, ungainly CRT things that my dad pulled out of the garbage at IBM, where he worked. Beside the computer was a stack of floppy disks, another stack of computer game CDs, and an Artemide Tizio desk lamp, on which my brother and I used to hang action figures and small stuffed animals. I remember that my dad hated when we did that because the lamp was expensive. We had Windows 95 back then, and to this day, I still believe it is the best operating system that ever was.

My brother and I spent so much time playing games on the computer, and those are some of the best memories I have. We’d play all day during the summer, and we would attempt to take turns on the computer, which sometimes became a fight that my dad would have to break up. Then I’d go to my room and read when it was my brother’s turn, which, to a great degree, was better than all the silly games we played on the computer.

The article talks about how playing (or working) on the computer was once a shared family past-time but is now a solo endeavor because where there used to be just a family computer, there are now computing devices for every family member. Laptops, cell phones, and tablets all make the Internet portable and personal, so one can easily retreat to his bedroom or another enclosed space with his device, with no need to share it.

Back in the day of the family computer, you had to interact with people to share the use of the computer. You were the audience when your siblings were playing games. Nothing you did was really private because a parent or a sibling could walk up to you at any time because you had no claim over the computer. It belonged to everyone. I think it should still be this way. Computers and the Internet can too easily be used for evil or for aimlessly wasting time. Sharing a computer can prevent “ownership” of the device and remind us that we are still in a world with other people. Maybe those people would like to “play” with us, so we’d be better off turning away from the screen.