Blogging, Eating, Food, Travel

What’s In Your 2014?

So, I ate pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day.  That means my 2014 is going to be amaze-balls, right?  Or am I screwed because Keith didn’t bring the black-eyed peas?

To 2014 - Because It's Not About the Pork and Sauerkraut

To 2014 – Because It’s Not About the Pork and Sauerkraut

Last year, I posted a rather entertaining blog to ring in 2013 sharing my 2012 blog year in review.  As 2013 wound to an end, I anticipated my yearly WordPress results.  I put much dedication into The Wandering Gourmand over the past year and expected improvements.  And improve I did!  I was outright giddy with my results and ready to share them with the world (a little bragging isn’t bad, right?).  Then I read reports shared by friends in the blogging community.  Much like Keith in high school gym class, I suddenly felt inadequate.  (Sorry Keith, but you had it coming.  You did, after all, mess up the black-eyed peas and subsequently my 2014.  Damn you, Keith!)  My 13,000 hits paled in comparison to the 70,000 and 360,000 hits I read others had accomplished.  So I sat on the results for a week wallowing at my failures.  Should I even keep this little blog going?

Maybe you feel the same about your blog?  Or maybe you feel the same about another perceived failure in your life?  To help you feel less like me over my abysmal blog results, I wanted to share a post from my monthly column at Warehouse 242.  Just some thoughts to consider as you ponder new beginnings in the 2014.  Cause after all, it’s not about what you eat on New Year’s Day.

Happy 2014!!!

Each year I spend great care crafting my New Year’s Resolutions.  And yes, that’s a plural you are reading.  First, I create a theme for the New Year.  Once I have settled on a theme, I then create goals based upon that one overriding idea.  I know.  I probably deserve a pat on the back for this tremendous effort.  Unfortunately, the same effort used to draft my resolutions rarely goes into achieving them.  As I sit down on New Years Eve for my year in review, I normally find myself falling miserably short with seldom even a single goal accomplished.

2013 was different though.  My overriding theme for the year was Focus.  After reviewing the failures of 2012, I decided that I was spreading myself too thin.  There wasn’t enough of me to accomplish each (or any for that matter) resolution.  I took a hard look at my life’s interests and began to pare down to just the essentials.  From what was left, I came up with three resolutions.  All three of which I am proud to say that I achieved, or at least came darn close.

  • Lose 15 pounds – Watching my scale approach 200 pounds and realizing that only one pair of jeans still fit me, I decided enough was enough.  I needed to healthy up my lifestyle.  And I succeeded losing exactly 15 pounds in 2013.
  • Increase my Blog Followers to 1,000 – I’m not really sure where this number came from but the importance was to prove to myself that someone other than my parents and my neighbor Dee actually read my blog.  Boom!  I exploded this number to 1,029 followers.
  • Read 15 Books – I realize some of you are scoffing at this number.  15 is the amount you read in one month, but cut me some slack.  I work long hours, spend time writing a blog and a novel, and read many periodicals.  I came close to the number 15 with 12 books read for the year.  I feel I deserve some additional credit though as I am halfway through 2 books and a quarter of a way through another (So much for that focus theme).  Depending on how you look at it, that counts for either 13.25 read or 15 attempted.  I chalk this up as a success.

I am already anticipating your congratulatory comments and emails.  Go me!  But do I feel that 2013 was a year fulfilled?  Hardly.  While the year started out on a high, it ended on a low.  In late October I lost my grandfather to a sudden and quick illness.  His funeral was a beautiful display of his life.  Hundreds of people lined up outside the calling hours to pay their last respects.  Fond memories and compliments to his life well-lived were shared.

Looking at who he was and how he was remembered made me question my own life.  Did it matter that I lost fifteen pounds?  Sure, I felt healthier.  But was I happier?  Did I gain anything by increasing my blog followers?  How did that help my writing?  Did I feel any smarter from the 15, er, 12 books that I read?  Not really.  Did I live up to grandpa’s well lived life?  Not at all.

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Happy New Year from Charlotte, NC - Brad, Bryan, and Keith

Happy New Year from Charlotte, NC – Brad, Bryan, and Keith Celebrating in the Neighborhood