Spring Resolution

Amman, Jordan

I’m spending way too much time on the Internet, and I think it’s making me stupid. In fact, I’ve been reading and watching PBS Frontline videos on the Internet about how Internet makes us stupid…. The irony is not lost on me.

Jason and others have been pushing me to start writing again, but I’ve been wallowing in my rejections: manuscript rejections, resume rejections, vacation request rejections…. I’m also using that as an excuse not to study Arabic; it seems entirely useless when the only work I seem able to get is teaching English, anyway! Mel keeps giving me books to read, and I’ve got a stack of poli sci and Mid East history books sitting around courtesy of Ryan and Lowen, but I’ve been watching episode after episode of bad sci fi on the Internet instead.

But that’s going to change. The weather is improving, so there’s less and less reason to be curled up under the covers in bed. Shauna’s book contract and her wonderfully lyrical blog have inspired me to start writing again. My tightening pants are giving new urgency to the desire to get more exercise, which would be much cheaper than a new wardrobe!

I’m hoping that my impending move to Aqaba will help to push me into a change of lifestyle, too. I’ll be teaching down on the Red Sea for 5 (maybe 10) weeks starting a week from tomorrow. It’s an awesome responsibility, with the potential for huge contracts resting on my performance down there, but for the moment I’m more excited than nervous.

Best of all for my resolution, my Internet in Aqaba will be pay-as-you-go, not a monthly plan like I’ve got in Amman. I’m hoping this will restrict my Internet consumption, and get me to diversify my private life a little. I want to do yoga 3 days a week. I want to cook again. I want to swim as much as possible. I want to get back to writing. If I’ve got satellite in Aqaba, I want to watch “itijah al-mu3akis” on Al-Jazeera Arabic every week. I want to walk regularly at dusk. Flat as Aqaba is, I almost wish I had a bike.

I know that if I can do just 3 of those things on a regular basis, I will feel much better, physically and mentally. And I’m hoping that, by putting it on my blog, I’ll feel like I’m accountable to someone for whether I keep my resolution or not. Wish me luck!

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