I’m happy to report moderate to great success on both of my June resolutions.
First, the nightly touches. I thought it would be a good idea to spend 15 minutes every night picking up the house and getting ready for a clean start (literally and figuratively) in the morning. I was right. The morning AFTER evenings I have done this are much more smooth and enjoyable. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that those entire days are more productive and happier as well. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach 100% on this resolution – nor am I certain I want to. Sometimes being open to spontaneity means that I will be busy until 11:00 PM and then want, immediately, to go to bed. My life is not so complicated (no partner, no children, no commute) that I can’t manage when my house is a bit untidy or I haven’t planned my lunch for the next day. Overall, though, I like the idea and will try to remember how much mental energy is saved the next day by 15 minutes the night before.
So, lets move on from this boring resolution and get to what’s really interesting:
my ability to make an information management project out of ANYTHING.
Yes, it’s true. I can take a resolution about getting outside into the woods and communing with nature into a database opportunity.
You heard me.
Here’s how it happened.
I went on a hike at Bald Eagle State Park. Yay!
It was a great hike, but it was shorter than I had hoped for two reasons. One, there was a bald eagle nest somewhere on the trail so the park had closed it to hikers. Nothing I could do about that. But two, I left for this hike later than expected because it took me an hour to read about hikes in the area and pick one. Had more time been available to me, I would have found another trail to supplement my initial hike with. Instead, I felt pressed for time and added only a short (but lovely, I admit) walk on a butterfly trail in the main area of the park.
This isn’t all that uncommon. I set aside a day for hiking but I forget that it takes me a while to determine where to go. I have about 100 hiking in PA books (ok, a slight exaggeration, but I have a lot). Some are better than others for identifying where the hikes really are or how to get there. So in addition to picking a hiking distance (usually between 5-10 miles), difficulty (usually moderate), and region (north, east, west), I have to spend time with PA maps, a Gazetteer, and sometimes notes from previous hikes. So I wake up on Saturday morning, gather my supplies, and then spend an hour researching.
I have a great idea!
What if I picked about 20-25 hikes I might do this summer and did all the research ahead of time?
Great, I can read books and put post-it notes on the pages of hikes I like!
But wait! What if instead of putting post-it-notes in books, I created an excel spreadsheet with hike information so I can easily find the hike I want?
That would be AWESOME!
But wait! What if I defined the regions of PA once and for all (each book uses a different way to divide the state), and made a large PA map with regions and flags for each hike I could hang on my wall?
But wait! There’s a GOOGLE Maps API that would allow me to make a map online with links and…
But wait! if I’m going to do all this work, shouldn’t my friends benefit from it?
I could make a web page for people based in Lewisburg, and link to all the other cool sites about things to do outside…not just hiking, but camping, and canoeing, and cool day-trips and….
Maybe an intervention is in order.