Longtime readers will be aware that I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions. It’s too easy to cloak “restrictive rules” in the guise of “goals,” and I’m wary of doing that to myself. But this year, I’ve decided to try one of those daily accountability projects that are so popular. I take in a lot of pop culture and politics, but in recent years I’ve been putting out a lot less of my own stuff — writing, singing, things like that. This year, I joined a small community choir, which has made me happy and reminded me that being creative takes many forms, and that I want to do more of it.
So for 2018, I’ll be keeping a daily record of what I take and what I make. I may take in an album or movie or book or comedy night or an essay or play, and so on; I may make a blog post or song or poem or a good dinner, or I might make someone laugh or make a mess of something. The idea is to pay attention to what I’m creating and consuming, and not get lost in social media scrolling and procrastination. I’m not setting specific goals for what to create, just asking myself to be more proactive about the act of creation; there are no rules for what I can consume, just that I be more conscious about what I take in.
Here we go!
I took in:
Jessie Ware’s album Glasshouse (I particularly love “Your Domino” and “Alone”)
Traci Brimhall’s poem “Love Poem Without a Drop of Hyperbole in It” (from The New Yorker)
a NYE dance mix from Spotify
the “Hang the DJ” episode of Black Mirror (I kind of want that system for my dating life, if that’s the ending it’s going to have!)
the movie Belle (an excellent period piece that provides the simmering passions you love in a Jane Austen and also thoughtful, nuanced discussions of race and class that work as well for today as they do for the 18th-century setting of the film).
this blog post
a goofy dance to the Spotify dance mix
no attempt to be productive on this holiday.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a year more just and kind than the last. May the fight against systemic injustice grow stronger, and may those who try to uphold those systems change their minds and their ways.
For 2015, I’ve got another list of New Year’s Celebrations to look forward to:
- Go to several of the museums in my new city
- Spend an entire day reading
- Explore a part of Britain I’ve never been to before
- Bake a pie
- Find a real ale I can really enjoy (Britons are obsessed with it and I’m getting used to it)
- Pick an event at random from one of the weekend guides and go to something I’d likely not have considered otherwise
How about you? Any non-resolutions this year?
Comic from the ever-wonderful Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North.
As I wrote in my Thanksgiving Day piece: “I’ve spent seven months of this year on a trip around the world, gone to the weddings of some of my most beloved people, celebrated my grandmother’s 80th birthday with the whole clan, and published a piece on a major website. It really has been a terrific year, and I’m grateful for every day of it. Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.”
I don’t have much to add to that except to say that my New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to post five times a week for the whole year–and I did it! Every Monday through Friday, I posted something from my travels–a photo, a diary entry, a reflection on travel, and only occasionally a “ahh I am too busy to come up with anything today, but I haven’t forgotten you” post. People who work in media have to generate content (that’s the key phrase) all the time, but this is not my job, it is a side project and labor of love. Thus, the challenge of my New Year’s resolution, and my happiness in meeting it.
I won’t be posting every day Monday through Friday for 2014 like I did for 2013, but I will post often. I can’t say what the new year will bring, but plans include: traveling to South America, meeting up with my goddaughter somewhere this summer, posting at least twice a week on Stowaway, gaining more freelance editing clients, and writing for more publications. It’s going to be a good year.
Climbing literal mountains in 2014. Happy New Year!
Joy on Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Happy New Year from New Zealand!
May this year be full of peace and joy.