Hello, dear readers! Here we are, the last day of 2020, a year that has been… *gestures vaguely*…something.
Last Monday, on the Winter Solstice, I did a little looking back on the past year, on the goals that I set at the beginning of 2020, at how much progress I made (or didn’t) on those goals, despite (or because of ) everything 2020 threw at me. I made a similar post last year, so let’s follow that same format and take a minute to glance backward and look ahead, shall well?
Goals I had at the beginning of the year, and progress on those goals:
- Write. Songs, yes, but also other things, poems and short stories and maybe even games.
- I wrote 42 songs, including one spoken word piece and something for every card in the Major Arcana of a tarot deck. I did not write poems or short stories. I started noodling around with writing a game, got overwhelmed, and set it aside.
- Read more, especially poetry and other things that inspire me.
- I didn’t read more – I read 13 books, contrasted with last year’s 23. But I did read more Mary Oliver poetry, which was an excellent choice.
- Make music often, as close to every day as possible.
- I did not make music as close to every day as possible. But I still made music, and in a year that tried to totally derail everything, I’m calling that at least a partial win.
- Do the work, in therapy and on my own, to be an adult that my inner child can be proud of.
- This is lifelong work, but I have done a lot of work in this arena!
- Take care of my body and my brain and my spirit.
- This hasn’t been a resounding success, but…you know what? Fuck it. Given everything that 2020 was, yes, this was a success. I got myself medical care when I needed it, I have a better awareness of what I need to do to take better care of my body, I’ve continued therapy, I’ve found ways to learn and grow despite *gestures wildly at the year*.
- Follow through on the plan to have my credit card paid off in June.
- I did this! I had it paid off in May, actually. This was a very big deal.
- Create more routine and space for ritual in my life.
- I often feel like I have failed at this, but in reality I have established some important routines and rituals this year. They just don’t look like I thought they would a year ago.
- Get a new, better-paying job.
- I didn’t post this one on the blog last year, because I knew some of my coworkers read the blog and I didn’t want to cause unnecessary alarm. But I did this! I started my new job in March, four days before we went into lockdown, and it came with an approximately 60% salary increase. I am so much happier where I am now (which is not to say I don’t miss my old coworkers, but this job is a much better fit for me).
Other things that happened:
- Took a mountain dulcimer class, a couple of mandolin classes, three songwriting classes, and a handful of songwriting workshops.
- Tried Tai Chi (for a couple of months, in the Before Times).
- Cowrote a song with someone I met on the internet. Also cowrote with my partner.
- Bought a gorgeous new octave mandolin that I’m absolutely in love with.
- Got married!
- Hosted write-alongs for Song School friends the week that Song School would have happened.
- Performed with my partner at a virtual open mic.
- Decided to take an indefinite break from Facebook.
- Bought a Nintendo Switch Lite and played many hours of Stardew Valley.
- Played a lot of D&D along with a handful of other delightful games.
- Established a number of (virtual) social routines.
Goals for 2021:
- Keep writing.
- “Yes, and…” opportunities at work.
- Keep investing in the communities and relationships that allow me to thrive.
- Try to internalize the notion that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be good or valuable.
- Keep doing the work to be an adult that my past selves can be proud of.
May 2021 be a gentler year than 2020 was. May we keep finding reasons to hope. And may the lessons 2020 brought us not need to be repeated.