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, dearest fellow travelers! I hope you had a nice holiday period of stuffing your faces and taking many naps. I had a lovely, quiet time with family and friends during the last week of 2015. Now that we’re fully into the new year, let’s jot down some New Year’s Celebrations. I enjoyed a lot of my celebrations from last year (I’ve really come ’round on real ale, for example). But although I had a lot of fun last year and saw a lot of new things, I still didn’t get out as much as I’d thought I would/hoped to. So for 2016 I’m hoping to:
- Go somewhere new to me in London a couple of times a month (museum, landmark, park, etc.)
- Get out of London and see another part of the UK once a month
- Every 2-3 months, take advantage of my proximity to Europe and visit somewhere on the Continent
- Also, as I look forward to every year, spend at least one entire day reading
Last year, I made good use of my English Heritage membership, and since I’ve had it renewed for Christmas, I can do more of that in 2016. Bring on the stately homes and drafty cathedrals! (I promise I’m 32, not 82.)
I saw a lot more than I managed to write about last year, but as ever, I’m playing catch-up. I have more to tell you about South America, for example, and I left there in 2014, but no matter. If I were in the mood to make real resolutions, this year mine would be to give you a written post a week, in addition to your Where in the World Wednesdays. I’ll do my best.
How about you, any New Year’s Celebrations you’re looking forward to?
Happy New Year!
Here I’m decked out in red for Chinese New Year 2013 in Singapore.
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!