2010 has come to an end. It was a very important year in my life because it was the year that I chose to detach myself from many distractions surrounding me. It saw the beginning of this very blog and brought many positive changes in my life. I have accomplished a lot in the last year and it has encouraged me to make new goals for this new year. Many of these goals are continued improvements on my long-term goals. With that in mind, let’s take a look at my first set of detachment goals:
I canceled my cable in December. I feel great about it and I don’t miss it. It’s only been a few weeks, but I am already starting to notice an increase in my productivity.
I feel like I am in a comfortable place with this goal. I don’t waste as much time on social networking as I used to. I am still very active on social networks, but I focus my efforts on sharing my blogs and music. I don’t waste time reading irrelevant information.
Internet (Non-productive use of it)
I am still working on this. I am still a bit scatterbrained and unfocused when I am bored at work or home. My new tool to curve this bad habit is to start reading instead of going online. This project is still very new.
I am very comfortable with my progress in cutting radio from my life. I listen to NPR on my way to and from work, but that is it. I enjoy quiet drives and I do not miss the obnoxious commercials on most stations.
Gossip (in any medium)
I don’t read gossip or celebrity stories in the news anymore. It was an easy habit to break. I am staying off of the Yahoo front page, so that alone cuts a lot of that input out of my life. I was never a gossip, but my need to be informed always left my ear open for any interesting stories. I have improved a lot in changing the topic of conversation or just saying that I don’t want to hear about it.
This one was easy to overcome. As I improved in other parts of my life it became easier to do away with negative feelings, hence it was easy to stay away from negative conversations. It was never much of a problem, but it was still something I wanted to reduce in my life.
This one has always been difficult for me. This year I decided to support local businesses and stay away from chain restaurants. It’s good for my health and good for the local economy.
I have one magazine subscription and I don’t browse or read any others. The magazine is San Diego magazine and I read it because it has a lot of features on local happenings and restaurants. It is the key to my goal of getting to know my city better while supporting local business.
The Club Scene
I am not a part of it anymore. Done.
This one has required a lot of work, but I am determined to reduce all advertising influences in my life. First came the disconnection of cable TV and this year I have been learning how to opt-out of advertising in the mail. I have already taken a few steps (read my “Junk Mail” blog) and am hoping to take myself off the marketing grid by the end of the year.
Cultural Expectations (I am Hispanic)
I spent a week visiting my family over the Holidays and I felt no pressure from my parents anymore. No questions about dating, marriage, my future, etc. I think my parents have figured out that I am not going to settle down and do the Mexican family thing any time soon. It was nice to be with family and not have to hear my dad explain how important it is to have a family and a steady job. That’s not my dream. I have too much to see and do. I am also more comfortable living outside the Chicano box and being the only one of my friends that does the things I do. I’ve even turned some of my friends on to sailing. The pressure feels lifted off of my shoulders, at least a big part of it.
The ultimate goal in my journey is Reduction. This is a continuing process and I am getting much better at it. I would love to one day only need what fits in my Jeep so I can hit the road and see more of the world.
Memories and sometimes even regrets come and go like tides. I need to build a sea wall! I have read and received a lot of inspiration from other blogs (Jacklyn, you are incredible) and am learning to deal with this. I am my worse critic and I always hold myself accountable for everything I do. Sometimes I am very harsh on myself, but I am letting it go one flaw at a time.
My Expectations of the Future
I no longer have expectations. I only have goals. Making lists helps a lot. I am just going to try and be the best I could be for myself and for the world. Whatever it chooses to reflect back on me is a blessing.
I will keep updating my progress with this current list on my blog. Now, on to the new additions to my list:
Why? Because I am very bad at it. I have no regrets about any of my adventures, but I have larger ones on the horizon (like sailing to distant places) and they require a lot more financial discipline.
Support Local Businesses
I love mom and pop shops. It is often harder to find what you need, but I don’t want to live in a world where every restaurant is a chain restaurant and every community has a Wal-Mart. There is no charm or soul in big box companies. I don’t mind spending a bit more even if I want to save money in the long run. Saving my community takes priority.
Remove Myself from the Marketing Grid
I don’t want to receive e-mails, regular mail, or phone calls from any marketing agencies. I don’t need their coupons in exchange for my identity. It’s going to be difficult, but I will figure it out and share my experience.
Get to know my city
I live in San Diego, California. It’s beautiful here. I am familiar with all the communities, but not familiar with all the local restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment options I have. That really needs to change. I’ve been here almost four years and there should be no stone left unturned.
Share my Music
This year, I am giving away all the songs I write and record. It is my gift for the world to hopefully inspire other songwriters on their path to creating music. I have been inspired by so many things and I wanted to keep the flow of words and music going. You can find my music on my new blog: November Songs.