Goals (2022)

I have decided to retire the ‘less, more, none’ format((The ‘less, more, none’ approach was useful when I first started using it but I found myself shoe-horning items in to the format. I feel that a simple list is more flexible.)) and replace it with a simple list of what I hope to do/achieve in 2022.

  • Be as attentive as I can possibly be((Focus on one person / one task at a time.))
  • Exercise regularly((I failed miserably with this in 2021 yet I know how much it helps me both physically and mentally. ))
  • Travel((It’s been far too long since we (Jennifer and I) stepped foot in another town let alone another country. Keeping all fingers and toes crossed that we can get back on the road this year.))
  • Visit galleries and museums1
  • Read as many books as possible((Reading more books over the past two years has undoubtedly had a positive impact on my mental health.))
  • Take steps to support and advance my career((I completed an M.Ed in 2013 but as I continue to consider whether Headship is something I want, I am thinking about completing an NPQH.))
  • Write regularly((As noted in my review of last year, I am adding this but I need to give some genuine consideration to what I mean by ‘write regularly’? What type of writing do I want to do? Who am I writing for? What should I write about? Does it need to be published on this blog?))
  • Upgrade our tech((Neither of us seek to replace our devices when the latest and greatest phones/computers are released but both our laptops and phones are really starting to show their age. This looks like it will be the year to invest in replacing them.)).

There will be a whole host of other things that we do this year. For example, keep doing the crossword every morning and continue to buy more ‘grown up’ furniture((We finally replaced the IKEA bed that we’ve had since we got married. It only took 17 years!)) but the items above are the most immediate list of personal and shared goals that came to mind when I sat down to write this.

  1. It’s also been far too long since we experienced art and culture without a screen being involved. []

I ran all night and day…

Mr Skosh St Leonards

One of the things I love about running are the unexpected sights that you encounter along the way. I haven’t run on the lower part of the prom for a while and I discovered this great new piece of street art this week. The purple and neon-pink are evoking total 80s vibes. I feel like they should install speakers and play a constant rotation of synth-pop and new wave music. A Flock of Seagulls anyone? 😉

Art work by Mr Skosh.

Time Travel

“The precipitous time travel of literature never ceases to make my head spin. To discover these things all out of order and yet find them in conversation with each other — so close they could be touching. A thought moving at the speed of light, yet also crawling forward with impossible slowness.”

~ Bellwood, Lucy, Make Haste Slowly, 2021

I, too, marvel at those serendipitous moments when ideas appear to echo across time and place; connected as if they are “in conversation with each other”. It is one of the true joys of reading widely and regularly.

The Whole of the Moon

I think I needed to hear/see Fiona Apple’s fantastic cover of The Waterboys’ classic: ‘The Whole of the Moon’.

Zelda Hallman captured her performing the song live in the studio. The raw energy and focus that Apple displays, losing herself within the song, is deeply compelling. It has provided some much needed catharsis during what has been a rewarding but very challenging week.

I am posting it here for posterity. Maybe it will help you too.

Hat tip to Phil Gyford for sharing it.

Morning Reading

A daily ritual that I have observed for several years now is to begin each day by reading from selected philosophical and theological texts. Last year, alongside revisiting the Stoics, I managed to give myself a grounding in Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. I supplemented these with some early Christian monasticism and the maxims of the 17th Century philosopher Baltasar Gracián.((Hat tip to Doug Belshaw for that one.))

  1. Aurelius, Marcus: Meditations (r(((r) Indicates ‘re-reading’.)))
  2. Confucius: The Analects
  3. Epictetus: Discourses and Selected Writings (r)
  4. Gracián, Baltasar: The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence
  5. Mascaro, Juan: The Dhammapada
  6. Seneca: Letters from a Stoic (r)
  7. Tzu, Lao: Tao Te Ching
  8. Walker, Brian Browne: Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
  9. Ward, Benedicta: The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

I have begun 2021 with fewer texts, covering a wider range of subjects and ideas. Alongside Aurelius and Seneca, I am going to re-read specific sections of the bible; take a broader look at Western philosophy((I feel that I have a firm understanding of Stoicism. And from sixteen years of teaching A-Level Literature and Media Studies, a sound understanding of more modern philosophies, particularly romanticism, modernism and post-modernism. My knowledge of various religions is good and I have a reasonable grounding in Eastern philosophies and theology but there are significant gaps in my understanding of Western philosophy. I hope that Bertrand Russell’s much lauded (and criticised) book can help begin to plug those gaps.)); and also read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing‘ which has been sitting unread in my Kindle Library for over a year. Not a philosophical text per se, but one that I hope will go some way to helping me achieve one of my goals for 2021.

  1. Aurelius, Marcus: Meditations (r)
  2. The Bible (NSV)
    • New Testament:
      • The Epistles of Paul
      • James’ Epistle
    • Old Testament:
      • Psalms
      • Proverbs
  3. King, Stephen: On Writing
  4. Russell, Bertrand: History of Western Philosophy
  5. Seneca: Dialogues and Essays