It was one year ago that I committed myself to several New Year’s resolutions and held myself accountable by making them known to my friends and family. I’m happy to report that I accomplished all but one of these ambitious goals and had a great time doing so.
I dove right in learning to play piano, mentoring the high school robotics kids, and transplanting my engine. By early March, the robotics build was over, the engine transplant was complete, and I had rudimentary piano skills.
By late summer, I had solidified my kayak roll, kayaked The Numbers, survived a week with EJ on the Ottawa River, spent a week with the family in Cape May, and returned safely across the country in my van.
After a summer-long hiatus from the piano, I returned to lessons with the intent to play Coldplay’s Lovers In Japan, but based on my teacher’s recommendations, settled for Lost! instead. Having never been through music lessons as a child, I never knew the fear associated with a piano recital, and it didn’t take me long to freeze up in front of a bunch of parents and little kids while playing the Beatles’ Ob-La-Di at my first recital and vow to play much better at my next recital. Three weeks of learning and practicing Lost! paid off at the Christmas recital when I played smoothly through the song despite my paralyzing fear. As proof that I actually learned to play the piano, I recorded myself earlier today!
The only resolution that I didn’t make good on was taking a photograph from a tethered helium balloon, but recent events should make that possible in the next few weeks. Next week, some friends of mine and I are planning to launch one of my cameras to the edge of space in a helium-filled weather balloon where it will hopefully capture the curvature of the earth and the darkness of space. Afterwards, that camera will then provide me the main tool to take pictures using Kite Aerial Photography techniques which I hope will provide another tool in my toolbox on my adventures. And finally, I expect that my friends will be able to assist me in flying my gimbaled camera on my tethered helium balloon.
I suppose you are wondering if I will follow up with more resolutions after last year’s successes. I have thought about new things to accomplish, but the only unique idea I have had is to learn to wrestle alligators! So instead of doing silly things just for the sake of doing something new, I’m going to keep working on these existing goals. I have been having a great time learning piano, so I plan to continue lessons and learning new songs in the year to come. My van is working great and I expect that I will continue to restore it to better-than-new condition. Last September, I got certified as an American Canoe Association (governing board of kayaking) instructor, so next year I will be sharing my knowledge and passion for kayaking as I instruct others through the Colorado Whitewater association. And lastly, I will take a photo from my helium filled balloon!
Happy New Year!