Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve, 2017 Resolutions Review, and Other Thoughts

My 2017 Goals:

1. Learn to play the tin whistle

This is the one thing I failed miserably at. I've already explained why in another post.


2. Read all books and comics in my possession

ALMOST! I read all comics and most of my books. What I have left:

In progress:
Anam Cara by John O'Donohue
Fed, White, and Blue by Simon Majumdar

On the shelf:
Song of the White Swan by Aleta Boudreaux
Triorion: Awakening by L.J. Hachmeister


I read a ton in 2017. I'm proud of that, because although I'm an advanced reader, there are several factors (poor eyesight, migraine disorder with auras, and brain fog/ADD) that prevent me from enjoying it much. I'll talk about books (and audiobooks!) in further detail later.


3. Continue to declutter

While I admit anxiety and depression drove me to dive into some of these tasks, I feel that I've turned my art supply/storage room around. It wasn't awful, but I had stuff that needed dealing with, and I'm glad I finally tackled it. I gave a lot of things to the local homeless shelter thrift store, a little to relatives, and organized the rest.


4. Renovate Mac, backup files, and prepare for new system

Done! My fantastic friend Joanna gave me her old laptop and tablet because she wasn't using them. I love both and use them daily. What a gift! Bessie the MacBook, now the ripe old age of 8, has been downgraded to a storage facility. The Mac was an awesome system and well worth the discounted price I paid for it back when I was a teacher and student.


5. Organize and knock out art charity projects in progress 

Once again, I completed a piece for Twitter Art Exhibit and sent it to England. This coming month, I'll complete a new project for TAE and send it to Canberra, Australia. I always love being a part of this.

I had two other pieces and attempted to raise funds for a cancer charity in a more private manner, but no one was interested.


6. Tighten social media and continue to reduce public presence



This is the first thing I addressed on the list. I experimented with a name change, locked down some accounts, deleted others, and renovated one or two. I wiped out friend lists and started over. I installed an app called FB Purity, and shut down my news feed. Most of the process went better than I thought it would, although I eventually returned to my real name on Facebook. I'm still public in a couple of places (like here, obviously), but I am now in friends-only mode elsewhere. Even those folks can't see everything, but it's not an issue. I'm content overall with my decisions.


7. Take a watercolor painting class

I researched this for a long time, and finally chose Art Tutor, an art instruction company based in Liverpool, U.K. They have free tutorials, as well as very (I mean VERY!) affordable courses that cost little more than a lunch date. The content is thorough, and once you own it, it is download-able for offline use and yours forever. And let's face it - their fabulous "across the pond" accents make me smile. :-)


8. Figure out MawMaw’s seafood gumbo



I am so happy that I finally accomplished this. Gumbo is important in my Creole-Cajun family, and I miss my MawMaw and her awesome food. (Side note: I also nailed her roast beef and gravy.)

~

While I completed most of my goals, this year was pretty rocky. I lost three loved ones, battled systemic disease to little avail, and existed in a constant state of anxiety, pain, and exhaustion. The sadness has been overwhelming at times. 2017 was supposed to be a year of "allowance", a word I chose and wanted to embrace. However, it was more a time of analysis, devastation, and aggravation. As always, I hope the upcoming year will be better. In spite of the cesspool of current events. In spite of my pain and many ailments. In spite of myself.

If it wasn't obvious, I'm a list fiend. I'm forever seeking something to look forward to, as well as something to keep me productive.

Thus, my 2018 goals are as follows:

1. Stick to the diet most ideal for my systemic disease.
2. Read more and write more, with frequent updates.
3. Study minimalism and document my ongoing effort.
4. Sort all paperwork for storing or shredding.
5. Spend less idle time on the cray-cray interwebs.
6. Either utilize art supplies, or get rid of them (yikes).

7. Find effective methods for managing stress episodes.

As always, I'll spend some time explaining each goal in detail at a later date. May 2018 be a safer, healthier, happier year for us all.