Living 2014 With Purpose

Well, its the start of a new calendar year. Like most Pagans, the change of the Wheel happened for me back at the end of October with Samhain. So, last night was – essentially – a big yawn for me. I spent my night the same way I normally do – reading my book, writing in my journal, and a few minutes in my nightly meditation. As I have said in previous blog posts, I am a barrel of fun at parties.

Ball String

But it is the start of a “New Year” – which means that there’s all kinds of plans in the air. Instead of making some list of silly resolutions, I thought this would be a good time to elaborate on some of those upcoming items for my coming year. And perhaps, in doing this, it might spur some point for someone else to take the time to do something similar.

Podcasting

First comes the podcast. Or perhaps, I should say the podcasts, as in plural. Yes, that’s right. I will be handling two podcasts. Let me start with the one that everyone knows is running – Upon a Pagan Path. Due to some scheduling conflicts on my part, I was unable to get an interview recorded and ready for the December month. So, there’s a month pause in there. However, the January podcast will carry that interview, and I will line up interviews in advance of the scheduled times going into 2014. That was a lesson in planning that I needed to learn. Second, From the Edge of the Circle will return. That’s right, the podcast I put to bed will be back. In a slightly different format, with a slightly changed name. The Circle’s Edge will be a place where I can voice my own point of view on various topics. The podcast will be in a running time of less than 35 minutes total, and will also be the location where I continue with my “Spoken Word” poetry segments. The idea here is to separate my own thoughts from that of the featured guests I will have on UPP. Plus, I have heard from a lot of people that want me to keep Edge running…so, I’ll indulge folks in that area – but force myself to limit Edge to my own thoughts, and UPP for showcasing other people’s points of view. UPP will still be released in a time frame of the 10th to the 15th of every month. Edge, on the other hand, will be on a two-to-three week schedule, starting January 6th. I already have nine shows recorded for Edge, so that I keep ahead of the recording schedule.

Reading

If anyone has managed to keep up with my Goodreads account, you noticed that I took on the reading challenge. I aimed towards reading 40 books for the year, which is quite an endeavor on my part. I also took on a dual challenge of 15,000 total pages. I did quite well. I finished a total of 46 books, and 15,858 pages. I rated each book on a 5-star scale, and my books averaged a rating of 3.43 over the year. I am striving to undertake the same challenge again here in 2014. Hitting my page limit was a little tough, so I will aim towards the same goal of 15,000 pages by the end of the calendar year. However, I will up my goal from 40 books to 45 books this year. I already have a queue of reading setup for the coming year, which combines some classic Science Fiction and Fantasy with books on Druidry, Computer Science, and Native American issues.

Education

A few months back, John Beckett mentioned in a post of his that I may be addicted to podcasting. With two podcasts in the run now, he may be quite correct. However, I may be more addicted to the concept of education than I am to podcasting. Currently, I hold three degrees: a Bachelors of Computer Science with a minor in Database Management, a Masters in Information Systems Management with a concentration in Information Security, and a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Security. In approximately a week, I will start my fourth (and final) degree: a restart of my Masters of Library Sciences program at the University of North Texas. My program will be focused on the technical side of digital library systems with a personal emphasis on digital archives. I discussed some of the reasons behind this back on my post “Resolutions, Resolve, and the Will of the Gods…” – in case you are interested in why my brand of insanity has decided to set sail. The hope is to finish this degree program in sometime in 2016.

Vacation

Every summer, I look to getting out of the Dallas/Fort Worth metromess. I will be up-front and honest here. I hate living here. Crowded metroplex-style cities are extremely distasteful to me. However, since the almighty dollar rules the existence of human beings within the United States, and the almighty dollar is attached to a job – I stay where the jobs are. And that’s here in the DFW area for me. So, every Summer, I indulge in a two-week period of time to get away from here. Last year, it was a trip to Glacier National Park with a side trip into South Dakota on the way up, and a side trip to Medicine Wheel in northern Wyoming on the way back. Pictures for that trip (and a few others) can be found here at my Flickr account. Well, this Summer it has been decided that a different trip will be undertaken. While I love getting out into Nature and recharging my batteries from the stressful living of the suburbia of the modern American metroplex, I am also a major space geek. I love everything about NASA, and have made several trips to Houston to see the Johnson Space Center there. However, I have never seen a shuttle up close, with the exception of the single day when a shuttle landed at Carswell Air Force base back in the late 1980s on a trip from California back to Florida. So this summer’s trip will be to Disney World in Orlando with a trip over to Kennedy Space Center. On the return trip, a side-trip will be made to Huntsville to visit the NASA facility located there as well. And yes, there will be pictures.

Other Travels

Aside from vacations, there are other travels planned as well. I will be traveling down to Houston later this month for an event with the Melting P.O.T. Pagans. I have also purchased a tent (about time Tommy), so there’s a lot fewer excuses for me not making campouts going into the future as well. There is a possibility I Might make the CMA Beltane or CMA Samhain events, but I have to check that against my classes that I teach, as well as the assignment schedule for the classes I will be taking as a student. So, those are possibilities at the moment, rather than definite. I will also remain involved with the folks on the Planning Committee for Pagan Pride Day, and will be assisting with mini-events and the eventual Pagan Pride Day for this coming year.

Smaller, Personal Goals

There are other things that I have planned going forward. Yeah, I know the above all sounds like a lot of time – but to be honest, its really not. Its more of committing small sections of my daily time here and there – and sticking to getting those things done. I am hoping to complete my Bardic grade with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids this year. If everything goes well with that, my hope is to make the OBOD East Coast Gathering. However, several things will need to fall into place for that to occur…and right now, the event is far enough into the future that I cannot make firm plans for that. I am also planning to undertake a training session in another program as well…which, as I am understanding will have assignments and class work associated with it. I am looking forward to being a part of that program, since it will be helpful in my growth as a Pagan. I am also working towards keeping up with two written journals – one that is a daily writing journal, and the other which is a bit more specific in Nature and does not need to be updated daily. Both will be hand-written. While I do a lot of writing at my computer keyboard, I find that it is far better for me to write out my thoughts by hand…I tend to be more purposeful in my writing in that format, since it takes me a while to write anything by hand. Typing is an easy thing for me to do.

Final Thoughts

I will be honest, in writing this post – I know that very few people will read it. I look at my traffic statistics for this blog, and I know the totals are not that high at all. But that is really ok with me. This post is a lot more for me than anything else. Its a way of putting purpose behind my actions, putting purpose behind my plans. Its out here, in the open for all to read, for two reasons. First, it is a reminder for me to keep my feet on the Path – to walk forward with purpose. Much like the dwarves, I must walk the Path and not stray from it into the wilds of Mirkwood. There are giant spiders, after all.  🙂  The second reason, is that hopefully someone else may read this and be inspired to put purpose behind their planning for the year. Perhaps I will not reach all of these goals…regardless of whether I do or do not – the idea is that I have purpose here. I am striving to live a Life moved by Purpose…and placing my signpost here reminds me. Perhaps its my way of feeding out the ball of twine, so that I may come back to Ariadne. Whatever it may be…I have my purpose…

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One thought on “Living 2014 With Purpose

  1. Anni Rose

    Tommy, I read all your blogs. You don’t know just how uplifting, thought provoking and enlightening your blogs can be!! Thank you and a big hug and kiss. You can literally loose yourself in the Kennedy Space Center in FL. Try and plan your vacation when they are going to have a launch, if they still do. The vids on You Tube can’t take place of the real thing. Trust me on this. Are you going to be posting the times for the podcasts? No problem about the mention in my blog yesterday. You are one of the few pagans that blogs the truth. John does too.

    Reply

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