The last song I heard in the last year of the previous decade was David Gray’s Birds Without Wings. The song is at once deeply saddening and inspiring, and it felt like a poignant symbolic encapsulation of 2009. “Birds without wings,” in my head at least, are ideas or dreams that are prevented from flourishing, and I have a horrible habit of crushing ideas before they’ve hatched. Give it a listen and think about your last year and where you’ve come on your journey, whatever that might be. Does it speak to you?
Sarah and I eagerly anticipated the next song, the first song of a new decade. We had already assigned superstitious values to the songs randomly playing on the iPod. Coldplay’s Lost! blared from the stereo. Was this an omen? It made sense given the plans coming together, and the message in Lost!, that everything is temporary, was powerfully resonant.
The next song was very important. Would the final chapter of this audio horoscope bring hope and success or despair and failure? As the closing seconds of Lost! faded away, the most upbeat notes began. It was a Coldplay coup as Viva La Vida sent the house into a frenzy. All two of us. But there was a giddy sense of affirmation as if we had stolen a glimpse of the future and found it be filled with personal growth and professional satisfaction.
In times of uncertainty we look for signs in the mundane for support and justification and comfort. It’s a natural reaction, but it’s important to realize that you’re just playing a game with yourself; true change requires hard work and determination. In that spirit, I’m actually going to set some personal goals for 2010. This is a first for me, and, frankly, I’m not very good at following through on goals (could explain a lot!). All the more reason to do this.
- Define and execute “the plan.” I’m moving along and putting pieces in place, but then the puzzle changes. I need to spend some quality time clearly defining a timeline with goals and tasks to achieve those goals. You can’t successfully complete something that hasn’t been clearly defined.
- Save money. This part is planned and looking good. We just need to stick to a strict budget that allows me to stockpile cash while not sucking all the fun out of life.
- Find my voice. Who am I writing for? What am I writing about? There are ton of travel bloggers all carving their own niches (believe me, I’m subscribed to most of their feeds), but I haven’t read someone that sounds quite like me. What’s my niche? This is about service to the general Web-using population and satisfying my own desires.
- Get 500 RSS subscribers. I’m shooting for 500 regular readers. Seems like a challenging goal that should keep me busy.
- Crack the top 100,000 sites on Alexa. I’m currently sitting somewhere around five million and it’s what I’d expect at this point. Another traffic/publicity goal.
- Travel. Simple as that.
These goals will be fleshed out more in the next month, and it will be several months before I’m blogging on the road. Thanks to you if you’re reading this and following along for the ride. I appreciate the support!
Here’s to getting lost in 2010.
Original photo by Bill Gracey