Sunday, February 12, 2017

Goals for the year

This post, as are most things in my life it seems, is just a little bit late.  I got caught up in the 20 days of Chill challenge and really didn't think about posting something along this line for the month of January and here's now almost halfway through February.  But as one of my students said last year, "Better late than never."

Goals that I have for myself are as follows and they fall into two main categories:  Hobbies and Personal.  Interestingly, the main personal goal is tied up with my hobbies.  If I work on that one, the others will fall into place.

First off, let me talk about hobbies.  I went out geocaching today.  Big deal most of you will say, but what you don't realize is I've only  gone out geocaching four days in the entire month of February.  In other words, I've taken a step back, slightly.  Many of you might not know is I just completed a 601 consecutive day streak where I either found a cache or attended an event.  It stretched from June 1st, 2015 until January 21st of this year.  Sunday, the 22nd felt weird not to go caching, but it rained hard all day and I was able to use the rain as justification for me not going out and finding a cache that day.

I have other geocaching goals in mind, many of them most of you will probably find quite silly, but those particular goals keep me interested in the game.  My current goal is to get every date on the calendar filled in with 11 finds each.  Since I've been geocaching since 2001, you would think that I'd found at least 11 caches on every day of the year.  Not so.  There are certain time periods, notably the months of September and December, where I am busy doing other things and geocaching takes a back seat.  Since the consecutive day streak has ended however, I can now concentrate on filling in those dates.  This won't happen by the end of the year, since I already have a couple of dates in January and February that still need to be filled in 2018.  But, at least I can put a dent in that particular goal.

Since taking a step back, I've decided that I want to find more quality caches.  If I have to walk or hike to a cache, then I rate that higher quality-wise than if I just walk up to something and find it there.  That doesn't mean I'll change my entire caching habit, but I would like to work on that aspect.  Today was a perfect example of both aspects.  I went over to Whittier today to cache along a trail in the Arroyo Pescadero.  No such luck since the trails were closed due to the weather we've been having.  So I found some nearby caches in parks and along some streets and ended up over near another large park where the trails were open and I was able to find some good quality hiking caches.  It was like the best of both worlds.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I'd had a caching partner, but that doesn't always work out and I'd rather do a solo hike then sit at home because I don't have someone to go caching with.

Today also made me realize why I need to step back slightly from geocaching.  On the trail today, I saw two swallowtail butterflies flitting around each other, most likely in some kind of mating or territorial ritual.  And I didn't have my camera with me.  Two years ago, I always took my camera with me.  Now, it very rarely comes out of the camera bag.  I take photos with my iPhone, but those don't compare to the ones I post here.  That's also probably one of the reasons that I don't post as often here on my blog.  The blog's title is "A Photo a Day."  I really need to get out more and take photos again.  I discovered today, that I have missed taking photos. I think the consecutive day streak had something to do with that as well.  I was pretty much consumed with making sure I found at least one geocache, that I wasn't concerned about other things that I enjoyed doing and so photography fell by the wayside.  That's going to change this year.  I just need to strike a better balance between the two.  And a better balance between the two means, more photos and thus more posts here as well.  It's a win/win all the way around.

And lastly, but probably most importantly, is my personal goal:  Lose another 15 pounds by the end of the year.  I have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  This is not a good thing and I don't want to slide down that slippery slope and so losing weight is a very good option for me to help me avoid becoming diabetic.  In the past two years, I've lost 30 pounds.  Another 15 to 20 pounds will put me back at my college weight, which will be much healthier for me in the long run.  Hiking, and thus geocaching will help with this.  But if I can't find a geocache, then I can always walk the Thompson Creek Trail or the Claremont Wilderness loop.  A five mile hike is always good for the body and good for the soul.

Thanks for reading this. As always, I look forward to your comments.  

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