Happy New Year! Dear Reader, I hope you had a good year this year and wish you all the best in 2007. From what I’ve heard from people in general, 2006 was a somewhat difficult year. Here’s to a better year next year. Of course, nothing ever turns out the way you thought it would. I thought about the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," the 1968 science fiction classic written by Arthur C. Clarke and turned into a film by Director Stanley Kubrick. 2001 was five years ago, soon to be six years ago. The imagery in the 39-year-old film depicted a futuristic world far different from the reality of the 21st century. NASA and other space agencies are still pondering how to put a man on Mars, let alone sending astronauts out into the far flung galaxy. Astronauts now live long term on the International Space Station orbiting Earth, although it has been over 34 years since the last astronaut visited the Moon. Only two of four Space Shuttles are still operational, and new spacecraft are a distant dream. "2001: A Space Odyssey" hardly reflects real life, let alone what actual space travel looks like in 2006. I believe in the 10% Hollywood rule–reality reflects only about 10% of what Hollywood portrays.
Ah, life never quite turns out how we think it will. What will happen in the next 50 years? 100 years? Next year? We don’t really know. We don’t really know what the new year has in store for us. But we can plan ahead and do our best to make our dreams happen. What do you plan to do next year? Have you made some resolutions for the next year?
Here are my resolutions for 2006. How did I/we do?
- Lose 10 pounds. I failed on this one. I’m lucky that I held my weight this year. This lifestyle is not conducive to weight loss. Three years ago, I was about 10 pounds lighter than I am now. Failed.
- Increase our net worth by 15%. Our net worth increased by 23%. Goal exceeded.
- Spending more time reading for pleasure and reading what I need to read. I read just one book this year, unless you count the Bible and Jon Stewart’s "America." Failed.
- Improve my Korean. Although my vocabulary digressed, I am more fluent in Korean than I was when I arrived in Korea. Goal met.
- Take a real vacation. We went on a two-week trip to China and spent two weeks on vacation in the U.S. visiting family. Although I ran my parents ragged cramming as much as I could into two weeks, it was still a vacation. Goal met.
Well, three out of five ain’t bad. What are my goals for 2007? I’ll carry over the goals I did not achieve in 2006.
- Lose 10 pounds. I plan to focus more on weight loss in 2007. I will ride my bicycle to work in the U.S. from March through June, and I plan to be physically active in Paraguay. Time to stop dawdling and get serious about losing weight. The slower pace of life in Paraguay will increase the probability that I will lose weight.
- Spending more time doing things away from the computer. This goes in tandem with the first goal. I broadened this goal from merely reading more literature. In Paraguay, I plan to do more volunteer work, participate in soccer and other activities such as golfing or tae kwondo.
- Achieve fluency in Spanish. This is not a wish–this is a requirement. I cannot work in Paraguay if I don’t speak Spanish fluently before I head to Paraguay.
- Increase our net worth by 10%. The percentage growth in our net worth will slow because the base net worth is higher in 2007, and we will become a one-income family again. 10% ain’t bad, though.
- Take two trips to other countries in South America. We’ve already planned to take trips to destinations such as Buenos Aires next year. We have six months to do it.
Happy New Year, Dear Reader! I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous 2007. If you make any resolutions, I wish you all the best in fulfilling them.