I realize it’s mid-february, but given in the past years I never got around to this until well after Macworld, anyway…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to accomplish moving forward. 2006 was about trying to make the lifestyle changes I felt I needed to make within the context of Apple, and when I couldn’t, make the decision to move on. 2007 is about taking advantage of the opportunities the move have given me, and moving forward.

I wanted to really refine my goals for this next year or so, not overdo it and screw up the “life balance” bit by simply loading up life with self-generated stress (hence he reason why Outsider’s Guide’s launch is “soon” instead of “late”).

So for me, fewer goals, more long-term views than “this year, I’ll” — 2007 really is turning into the start of the next phase of life for me.

1) lose weight, get back in shape. I’m down 10 pounds since I left Apple. I was doing fine to start, then Laurie got sick, and with holidays, new job, etc, etc, I’ve been right around -10 +-3 since. Now that it’s all settling down again and I feel like I’m in a rhythm at work, it’s time to get the weight loss down, and get myself back in some decent shape. My soft goal for 2007 is another 50 pounds.

2) excel at work. Yes, work is my second priority, and I’ve committed to myself that if it comes down to my health or my work, I’ll take my health. I also fully believe that my new job is compatible with this, so I won’t have to make that decision. It’s too bad I couldn’t do that at Apple, but that’s okay. This new chapter is just as interesting…

3) launch Outsider’s Guide. I’m really jazzed about the potential of this blog. Hopefully, when it launches, you will be, too. And it ties in nicely with the first item, and the whole life-balance thing, as well as being a jumping-off point for item 4:

4) reboot my writing. time to dust off the novels and restart them, as well as look for other opportunities to write. It’s be nice to ahve the first draft of my novel done by end of the year, but it’s really more of a “start this next phase”, without any hard goals this year. A good start is enough, get the writing habit started again. (and yes, blogging is sometimes writing. And sometimes, it’s typing… mostly, it’s improv…)

One reason I haven’t blogged here more recently is that I’ve been doing more offline stuff — like (gasp) reading books, or sitting and watching TV with Laurie without multitasking. The lack of multitasking alone is a big win for me… (and yes, book, movie and TV reviews will start arriving RSN.. I now have a nice little stack built up); of course, I’ve also been blogging hockey a fair amount. (If you haven’t noticed that, you need to keep an eye over here at Two for Elbowing).

As part of the first priority, I’ve been talking to my doctor, and we’ve been running the normal tests. I’m happy to note that I still have no sign of diabetes (or any trend towards it), and my total cholesterol is a solid 165, down and in happy land (especially noteworthy because my father is a factory, and struggles to keep it under 300 on drugs — I got my mother’s cholesterol gene).

On the “not so” side, the arthritis in the shoulder’s continued to increase enough so that I’m going to go in for a formal evaluation, and for some advice on range of motion exercises. And we’ve been chasing something that’s popped up since I left Apple — I’ve been having some intermitted periods where I simply don’t have any energy. It’s not tired or fatigue, it’s just sudden drop-outs of my energy levels. Because of this, I’m going to be doing an apnea sleep study next week, although I don’t believe that’s “it”, with my weight, it’s a logical next step to check and (hopefully) eliminate (or deal with). It’s very possible it’s simply related to my being so heavy and out of shape, and given the test results are so clean, I’m moving forward on that thought while evaluating other things as they come up.

overall, it’s minor. I found that dropping Melatonin, which I was taking to stabilize my sleep schedule, solved 90% of it; now that I’m not at Apple and sort of working a crazy/random schedule, I’ve found I really don’t need the melatonin, either. As long as I’m careful to get to bed at a rational hour when I know the alarms’ going to go off, I’m fine (and since work isn’t encouraging me to work late to catch up on stuff I didn’t get done during work hours, it’s easier…). if I crash around 11, getting up around 6 is no problem.

the one semi-serious negative is that the old blood pressure continues to creep, so I’ve started taking something to moderate it. It finally moved into the high 140’s and stayed, and I can’t blame work, stress, or anything else. oh

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been evaluating and to some degree revamping my diet — I was in the 2500 calorie range, more or less steady state for me. I know if I go down under 2000, I lose weight. I seem to lose weight around 2200 calories right now, actually. Now, the plan is to move to 1600-1800 calories a day, and get the exercise going again. My doctor’s encouraged me to not only do cardio, but get going on the weight work again, so I’m looking into that. Unfortunately, my work’s fitness center is on the wrong side of my commute (and/or I’m not really interested in waking up at 5AM), yahoo isn’t open to spouses, and in general, I hate going to a gym to work out these days. That kind of limits options… Or you can choose to see them as opportunities…

When I was getting checked out, the nurse looked at my chart, and suddenly smiled and said “you turn 50 next year! you know what happens then, right?”

Yeah, right. Colonoscopy goes on the schedule. I do want to believe that her smile was a friendly one, not a “and then you’ll get yours” leer…