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    17th January 2020

    2020 Resolutions…

    I was talking with someone about New Year’s Resolutions recently, and I said that I don’t normally make Resolutions because it seems kind of arbitrary and fake to come up with something just because it’s a new year. I explained that I’m always setting goals, working towards them, and then evaluating progress, setting new goals, working towards them, and so on.

    I’ve always been motivated by completing challenges, whether it was reading books above grade level in elementary school (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are a few I remember reading in 4th grade), setting a goal of running under 5 minutes for the 1600m in 7th grade (I ran a 4:59 in the final race of the season, but it was a Pyrrhic victory in that an 8th grader from a different school beat me to the finish line by a split second), other running goals in high school and college, climbing fourteeners, going back to college after my accident, or doing my masters in teaching at USC.

    There area a few things that I started that I never finished, and though I don’t think about them often, when I do, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and my stomach sinks. One is the masters program I started at Denver Seminary in 2006. I did all the coursework, passed comprehensive exams, and started working on my thesis… but then I never finished because I started substitute teaching, discovered I like that more, and ended up going after my credential and now here I am, nearly 12 years after I began working in schools as a sub. But I still had a little hope that I might finish the MA in Biblical Studies. Unfortunately, a couple years ago I timed out on the program, meaning my original credits were too old to count towards a degree.

    I have some goals in my heart currently, and I don’t want to miss out and look back on them the way I do my DenSem days – I learned a lot and nobody can take that away from me, but there was unfinished business.

    To the end of knowing that spoken dreams are harder to let go of, I’m going to put a few goals I have for myself out there into the universe:

    1. Swim a 10k open water swim.

    I’ve done the 3 mile Naples Island Swim, and the 2.4 mile Waikiki Roughwater swim, but I want to do the distance that’s often called the swim marathon. I wanted to do one last year, but didn’t end up training consistently enough to do it. I think this year is the year. Edit: Resolution 1A is to do a 100 mile handcycle ride, but that doesn’t need to be in a race or organized event – I’d just like to do it. I never actually did a century ride before my accident, my longest ride ever was 93 miles and I was totally done at that point and couldn’t make it to 100 miles.

    2. Write more music and record songs that I’ve written both new and old.

    I’ve been telling myself and other people I would do this for years… but haven’t done anything about it.

    3. Write down more of my ideas for stories and essays.

    I’ve been teaching writing to students at Poly for four and a half years, and in that time I have hardly written anything besides emails and text messages. I have creative ideas all the time, and think, “I should write that down…” and then I get busy doing something else, or distract myself with the infinite world of digital entertainment. Can I be more than just a consumer of content?

    4. Read some of the books that I have piled beside my bed. No further explanation necessary.

    5. Keep in touch with friends. I started writing an explanation for this but I don’t think I need to explain this one either.

    Ok, that’s it for now. Who knows if I’ll do any of the things listed above this year, but they aren’t New Year’s Resolutions, anyway, they’re just goals.

    18th November 2011


    It’s almost Thanksgiving week and I’m in the middle of a lot schoolwork – or at least I’m trying to stay focused because the quarter for the MAT program ends the Sunday after Thanksgiving. But it is hard to stay focused with so many interesting and exciting opportunities. I have friends going to Las Vegas this weekend and friends going out and other friends going to the ocean or Hollywood. And there are people asking me for help – on of the occupational therapy professors asked me to come teach wheelchair skills to the grad students in her class, and then other OT students wanting to interview me for their projects.

    And there are things that I need to do to take care of myself, like get in a swim every once in awhile, or ride my handcycle (I set it up indoors – video/post to come soon), or go grocery shopping because I have no healthy food in my cupboards or fridge right now and I’ve eaten out 3 times this week because I’ve been so busy between going to the high school, the USC health science campus for the above mentioned wheelchair skills teaching, and my own classes at the AT&T Center downtown and I haven’t gotten to that grocery store so I don’t have enough variety to pack both lunch and dinner.

    Oh, and I just am not really that excited about some of the assignments we have at the moment. They’re ok. But only one of them gets me really excited – a case study of a particular student – and I can’t tell the world anything about that one!

    And this time of year I also tend to think about some other things. As part of my time with the OT classes this week I took time to tell them a little about my story and showed them some pictures of me before November 24, 2004, and a few pictures of myself in the hospital and after. I get to talk to people about myself a lot, both formally and informally. I’m always thankful for the opportunities because I generally come away from the encounters thankful for life and for how far I’ve come, the abilities that I have, and all the things I have done and will do, God willing.

    It also makes me miss my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I think about them often. But all of the above mentioned activities generally keep me from really missing… home. This post really got started as a playlist that I was going to give you guys based around the word and idea of home, but I wanted to push myself to reflect a bit more on the idea because I haven’t written much about my thoughts lately.

    “Home” for me, at the moment, is still northern Colorado, where my immediate relatives are, where I’ve spent most of my life and have the most memories, and where my soul used to commune deeply with nature. And if I pictured a personal heaven for myself, it would be an able-bodied me exploring and hanging out in northern Colorado (without a few thousand recent houses encroaching on the foothills, and probably no Centerra either, no offense to those who live in these recent developments). So many beautiful trails. Such great weather. I wouldn’t even mind the snow because I could do back country and cross country skiing – and my legs wouldn’t get all spastic in the cold.

    But I’m also starting to feel at home in southern California. I have some good friends here. I’ve found a church that I think I could go to and grow in for awhile. And I like living in a very different environment than I have ever lived in previously. I love diversity and Los Angeles is a diverse place. You could meet someone new or eat at a new restaurant or see something strange and wondrous every day for a lifetime.

    There are many facets to the idea of home, and so it is possible to be both “at home” and “not at home” at the same time. And that is how I feel right now. There are a few songs that I’ve been listening to lately that really reflect those feelings.

    “Home” by Nadia Fay (you might have heard the version of this song recorded by Girls Love Shoes that has been featured in a recent Lowe’s commercial)

    “This is Home” by Switchfoot

    “Home” by Marty Sampson of Hillsong

    “The Other Country” and “Mansions” by Burlap to Cashmere

    “The Other Country” reminded me – I’m not sure exactly what about it, vocal quality and a little ramp up chord progression maybe – a lot of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” which also should be on this playlist (it actually seems like a mix of “Tupelo Honey” and “Into the Mystic”)


    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.