Today is my thirty-eighth birthday. We went out for a family birthday breakfast at my favorite place in Burlington, took a walk together, and now I'm getting some quiet time at my desk while listening to soothing, droning music (hello, A Winged Victory for the Sullen!)

This time of year, I like to take stock of things and think about habits and goals for the year head. Other folks can have their New Year's Resolutions and all, but for me I need a little space from the holidays before I can think clearly about my situation. My preferred guide is Alex Vermeer's 8,760 Hours, which provides nicely comprehensive prompts across one's life areas.

Lots of things are going well. My kids are thriving, we have a good environment at home. Work is generally rewarding. I've got fairly good habits and I'm continuing to get better at taking care of myself. The one gap is that I am still not writing anywhere near as much as I would like, for the sake of my own creative self-esteem.

I get grand ideas, but I have not got the hang of developing outlines, etc. to express them clearly in the margins of my other obligations. Since other tactics haven't quite helped me crack this nut, I resolve this year to blog more, but dumber. Because I can't readily tell the difference between useful editing and self-interference, I'm going to lower the threshold and give that a whirl.