I just finished reading “One man’s wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey”.  The book is based on the journals of Dick Proenneke, an amazing man, who at 50 years old retired to the Alaskan bush.  he stayed there for the next 30 years in a cabin that he built by hand, capturing photographs and 16mm film of the pure and pristine landscape and wildlife that surrounded him.

The book made me think about the way I want to live my life.  no, that doesn’t mean that I want to adopt a subsistence lifestyle and disconnect from modern society.  What it means is that I want to simplify my life and become more in touch with the world around me.  I want to affect a real change in my life by unplugging from technology and letting life slow down around me a little bit.  Sure, I’ll keep my high tech job, and stay up to date on the tech industry, but when I’m not working, I need to step back and focus on enjoying the simple things in my life.

In many ways, this is a simple re prioritization.  It is an attempt to find a healthy way to deal with much of the stress brought on by the artificial sense of urgency that has infected my life.  It is also a way to make sure that I spend the quality time with my family that I should, and that I am mentally and emotionally present for them.

One way that I plan to start is to begin journaling.  I am going to pick up a pencil and write.  I think it will be healthy for me to write about my projects, my thoughts, my family, and use my journal as a way to slow down and reflect.  While I type much faster than I write, there is something more natural about writing by hand.  I can slow down and think, and I am not tempted to constantly edit as I write, since my pencil doesn’t have a backspace key.

I still want to share what I am thinking and doing, and enable a conversation with friends, so, I plan to type up selected journal entries to post them on my website.

I am excited about this new idea to put my thoughts on paper naturally, and still be able to share those thoughts electronically.

Will my writing be perfect? No, but maybe that is something else that will help me grow.  I worry so much about making things perfect that it paralyzes me.  In this case, doing something, although imperfectly, is better than doing nothing because I can’t make something perfect.

It has been over 10 years since I last wrote in this journal.  Back then, I was apparently going through a rough time, or maybe I just only wrote when life was crappy, which is probably more like it.

In the time that has elapsed, I have gotten married to a woman who is more wonderful than I ever could have hoped for, changed careers a few times, formed new friendships, strengthened old friendships, and been blessed with the birth of my son last September.

These are the important things in life, and they are the things that I have decided I need to make sure I fully appreciate.

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post on my website about needing to make some changes in my life, but it is only now that I am finally able to bring those changes into focus and understand exactly how great an impact those changes will make upon my life.

This is going to be a great year, and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

Why?  Because I have decided to do so.