2011: The year of growing

Last year I made a few resolutions for 2010. I kept them mostly private, only sharing some of them with friends and family in person or protected online spaces. This year I am not making resolutions. Instead, I am announcing my intentions in this public space. My main intention for the year is to grow in a balanced way.

My wife and father believe in the power of affirmations. I am ambivalent about them, but will attempt to formulate my intentions as affirmations. The list below is organized by priority, the first being the most important.

Financial: By the end of 2011 I will have enough money in reserves to sustain us for 3 months.

Explanation: I am not willing to disclose on this public blog the details of my financial situation, but suffice to say that our reserves are not there yet. In order to be able to set aside that sum I will need to generate much more income, beyond the current level.

I am trained as a librarian but the local job market is disheartening. In the last three years I applied to every library in the county that had an opening and failed to attain a position. Meanwhile, I worked a year as a part time librarian in a small library and have been volunteering there since funding for the part time position ceased to exist. I will keep applying to positions that come up, but I have to accept that pursuing other money-making avenues is inevitable. The best short and long term opportunity I know of is becoming a Drupal* developer. Hence the next point.

* According to its website: “Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world.”

Technical: By the end of 2011 I will be a proficient Drupal developer.

Explanation: Learning Drupal was first suggested to me in early 2005. At the time, after about 10 years of being a web-developer, I was not open to investing more of my time in learning new web-technologies as I was moving in other directions. Back then, I was finishing up my double BA in Religious Studies and Sociology and getting ready to start working on my MLIS. Now, 6 years later, I am ready for Drupal. I am already working on a number of projects and actively learning Drupal. More about that in a separate post.

Part of my “growing” this year will be achieved through becoming more conscious of my learning. In order to accomplish that I intend to keep a journal here about my Drupal related learnings. Thus, the nature of this blog may change, and it will include more technical posts. This may happen at the expense of my book and film reviews. This year, if I am short on time and have to choose writing one or the other, I will choose the learning journal.

Scholarly: By the end of 2011, I will have formulated the outlines of three original essays in the realm of religion online.

Explanation: Right now I have three intellectual/academic interests: Religion Online, Kabbalah, and Film and Religion. As my primary focus for 2011 is to become financially balanced I suspect I will have less time to pursue my intellectual pursuits. Nevertheless, I want to make sure that I devote some time to things that provide me with the intellectual stimuli I am interested in. So I picked the newest of the three: Religion Online. These are my intended steps to live up to my affirmation above:
A. Keep reading. I’ve already accumulated several academic books on the topic and almost one hundred articles. I want to at least read what I already have, not to mention new materials coming out or older books I don’t have yet.
B. Keep monitoring: I keep my channels open about the topic and post pointers on my socrelig.com site on new developments. I want this site to become known as a clearing house and main resource for scholars interested in this topic.
C. Keep thinking: As I keep reading and monitoring the field I want to document my personal learning journey and reflections. I believe that I have ideas that will be considered original contributions. I want to use these as the base for my essays mentioned in the affirmation.

To summarize, by the end of this year my financial situation will be balanced, I will be a knowledgeable and well-paid Drupal expert and a recognized contributor in an academic field.

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