March 22, 2017 (Noginsk)

Welcome to my new blog.  With it, I hope to be better connected to family and friends.   

The New Year is a good time to reflect on the old and look forward to the new.  After a month of Xmas themed lessons and tracing some old steps in Prague I’ve reflected plenty.  2016 was a good year, but too busy and turning 40 has given me a sense of urgency I’m unaccustomed to, but somehow appreciate.     

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t have too many resolutions, but I’m bucking the trend a little.  I don’t think I have too many, because I can visualize them coming to fruition at year’s end.  See it, plan it, be it. 

Communicate better.  I think this may be the hardest to maintain, certainly to quantify.  Alas, I’m starting with a blog.  I hope to write monthly, but you know.  It pains me to think how I’m losing touch with so many good people.  I hope to avoid the awkward long-time-no-see conversations.  The symbol of a good friendship is picking up right where conversation left off, and the next time I see you, I hope it will feel like we haven’t skipped a beat.   

I can’t say that I like writing, but what’s on tap?  What will I write about in upcoming blogs?  What do I know?  I’ll probably write about running a language school in a small town east of Moscow and other interests between here and Wausau, Wisconsin.  5 hours a week

Start learning Russian, again.  If I knew better, I’d feel a lot more ashamed.  People tell me how great my pronunciation is and how well I’m improving until they find out I’ve been in country for 8 years.  As a language teacher of 13 years I know where my Russian is, mid-elementary.  In 2017 I want to be a solid pre-intermediate.  7-10 hours a week   

Run a better school.  I don’t want this to be the blog that people turn to when they have trouble sleeping, so I’m not going into details.  2-3 hours a week  

Get fit.  I’m 40 with a hefty beer belly.  It’s time to stop looking like pregnant Justin.  I want the wrestler back.  I need exercise and good food.  If I’m going to exercise I have to put core first because of my rubbish back.  Then it’s lifting, cardio, a fresh mix of sport and cross-training.  I’m 232 pounds (106kg) and my goal is 200 pounds (90kg) by next Merry Christmas.  10 hours a week

Read the shit out of books.  I read voraciously from age 16 – 30.  Now I read a book a year.  I want to consume 12 good books.  2-3 hours a week, but more on holiday

There they are, 5 resolutions for 2017.  Wish me luck and stay tuned for more news about Justinian and the Cool School.