Moving Forward

Today is the last day that I’ll be on holiday “vacation”, and that means when we get back to Dallas it will be time to start the routine again and ring in the new year. While on this break I intentionally neglected a lot of my habits as a reward to myself and as a way to minimize my stress and guilt that comes from holiday gorging, playing video games, and slacking. The three notable exceptions are that I still took my daily nootropics/supplements, I did some Duolingo German work daily, and I completed the work and classes for my writing Coursara course. Other than that, I just let myself roll with each day and didn’t worry about exercise, meditation, etc. Thanks to this break I have a clearer idea of what and how I want to make 2016 my best year yet.

First, I am going to take my health more seriously. That means not making excuses for bad eating habits. Just because I am biking almost daily that does not mean I should consume unhealthy foods or lots of beer. I also need to make time for strengthening exercises using body weight or the equipment I have available. I should be able to easily improvise weights with what I have on me.

Second, I want to really learn German. I have a three-pronged approach that is cheap and should be successful. I will continue with daily Duolingo, I’ll listen to the Pimsleur lessons on Audible, and I will watch a German language film 1-2 times per week. I am also going to research other free options online to see if any would fit my lifestyle.

Third, Anna and I are going to get started on “The Adventures of Higgins” (tentative title), a series of children’s books about our bike travels from the perspective of our dog. It will be a picture book that tells his stories exploring the US and will have basic lessons about geography, different cultures around the country, history, fitness, etc. I am going to use the “Isaac Morehouse Method” and try to do one thing daily to keep this project moving forward. This will provide me with an outlet for creativity, writing, and entrepreneurship. And maybe if it is a success it will bring in some cash too. I hope to have our first short book out this year and ready to send to friends who have kids for product testing.

Fourth, get into a regular meditation practice. Meditation, like flossing, is one of those things that I know I should be doing but somehow have a hard time getting into the habit. I know there are incredibly health benefits to mindful meditation and I have time to do it. I need to make it a priority.

So, those are my goals for 2016. I might create some sort of milestone for each with small daily or weekly tasks, or maybe I’ll just wing it. My current spreedsheet that has a point system seems to be working well for me so far. 2015 was the best year of my life and was filled with incredibly adventures and wonderful growth that comes from trials and success. I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring me.

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Ohio Should Legalize

Next week Ohio will vote on a shitty bill to legalize marijuana. From my understanding of the bill, if it passes it will grant 10 companies the right to grow all the marijuana in the state. It is a shitty bill, but I think it should be supported. I can’t think of anything that is worse than prohibition and Ohio may end up waiting a decade for another chance to vote on legalization.

Each year close to 20,000 people are arrested in Ohio for possession alone. That is 20,000 people who may lose their freedom, their educational opportunities, and possibly their freedom. That needs to change as soon as possible. We can’t keep sacrificing people’s future while waiting for a perfect bill. This terrible crony capitalist wet dream of a bill is better than the police state that exists in Ohio now. With people literally being shot and killed by police for possession of a plant we need to change the laws to take law enforcement out of the drug business for good.

The Ohio measure could also have some far-reaching national effects. Ohio is a swing state and with a presidential election coming up in 2016 a vote for legalization will force the candidates to address the issue. Many of them may be reluctant to come out against marijuana legalization when campaigning in a state that voted for legalization, it is just a bad political move to disagree with over 50% of the voters in a swing state.

I also think it is beneficial to keep up the momentum. We don’t want drug-warriors to win another battle. The donors who support anti-legalization campaigns need to feel like they are wasting their money on an effort that can’t be won. We can’t let them up to catch their breath until the drug war is completely over. A small victory for prohibitionists in Ohio could breathe new life into their cause and give them optimism, stretching the war out even longer costing countless lives.

The bill is far from perfect. In fact, it is pretty terrible, but it is what we have now and we don’t have time to wait for a perfect plan. There will be plenty of opportunities to change the bill in the future. But even if the bill never changes allowing individuals to have greater freedom is still a major victory. Eventually neighboring states will see the tax revenue flowing into Ohio and change their laws, which will for Ohio to be more competitive. Ohio has the opportunity to be the first state east of Colorado to legalize, meaning they will be closest to consumers in New York, Chicago, Boston, DC, St. Louis, and many other urban centers. This could be a major turning point in the war on drugs as long as people don’t insist on perfection above progress.