2020, here we go

Once again I find myself facing a year that is already looking insane. Half of last year’s list didn’t happen but it’s highlighted some stuff that I think needs to be prioritised this year: health, sanity, financial stability. I feel I’ve come so far since I started doing these, needing to schedule in targets of getting something, anything performed. Now composition and performance are the structure around which I need to weave the basics. Work is a bit of a problematic one for me at the moment. I’ve got so much achieved on that score in the past few months that I’m feeling a real need to just consolidate achievement and strengthen new habits rather than tick off new things.

Last year’s 10 goals seemed like a manageable format though, so let’s go with that again.

  1. HEALTH: Weight. Again. This one’s a straight transfer from last year – to reduce my weight to be merely ‘overweight’ rather than ‘obese’. Oh LOL lockdown.
  2. HEALTH: Nutrition. I’ve been feeling like the way I eat is a bit unbalanced. I feel like I used to eat far too many carbs, now I feel I eat far too much protein, so I want to address this imbalance and try to get into better habits to include more veg in my diet. Ideally I’d probably want to get to a point where I’m happily eating vegetarian once or twice a week, but if I can at least rebalance the proportions of what I’m eating that’ll be fine. Actually this ended up better than I thought. I’m actually perfectly happy to eat vegetarian on a regular basis now. Still need work (need to find easy vege recipes that don’t require a ton of work to prepare) but this is working MUCH better now.
  3. SANITY: Leave Some Gaps. I had to work out how much time I have spare for paying work the other day and came up with a careful plan to fit in as much paying work as possible, and was very pleased with myself. And then yesterday I remembered that next year I’m going to need to fit in 30 hours of teaching on top of whatever work I commit myself to this year, and that there is ALWAYS something that messes everything up – whether it’s random extra rehearsals, a sudden offer of unexpected other work, or (let’s hope not) getting horribly ill. If I under-schedule and then these things don’t happen, then hey! I get to nap! Or play! Or sew! Or do laundry! Um… So that one doesn’t deserve an exclamation mark. But yes: LEAVE. SOME. GAPS. Or I could end up with four jobs as well as the PhD and the teaching qualification and no gaps at all.
  4. FINANCES: Saving. I’d like to do some. It’s been literally years since I’ve been able to save anything. I don’t care how small an amount but by the end of the year, I’d like to have established a monthly amount that I’m squirrelling away somewhere. Probably need to set up a new bank account or an ISA or something for this. LOL pandemic, no work, J still unemployed.
  5. SANITY: Tidiness. The state of the house is driving me nuts, so I really need to prioritise ways of reducing the mess here – culling stuff and ensuring everything has a place to be in. I know this was part of last year’s list and I totally didn’t manage it, but I’ve really been feeling the effects of not managing it and it absolutely needs to be done. Starting points: There’s a book that sounds like it might be useful, so I’ve ordered that (should arrive by 4 Jan) and will see if it’s got any useful strategies; also, I’m planning to focus on using up some of my sewing stash so the bits that don’t fit don’t drift all over the studio. And I’m going to prioritise all that crap in the hall, basement and spare room that needs to go to charity… Book was useful, but see above re: no gaps has meant pretty much zero time to keep things under control since the pandemic started.
  6. SANITY: Clothes. The endless travel creates a huge stress of laundry needing to be done and then perpetually worrying about whether everything’s going to be dry in time for the next trip, so there’s two parts to this: 1. I really need to just make more clothes so I can go from one trip to another without needing to wash and pack all the same garments; and 2. money permitting, I really want this year to be the year we get a dryer. All of which would have been nice but there’s been no time to make anything, no money to buy a dryer, and nowhere to go has minimised the need for many more clothes.
  7. WORK: Publication. I’ve got my first solo conference presentation booked in, and I’d really like to follow it up with a proper publication this year. Now, there’s a chance that that presentation may be selected for the Orpheus publication that they’ve already said they’ll make, but maybe it won’t and I need to pursue this on my own. Either way, I’d like to sort out at least one publication this year. WOOT! A WIN! TWO publications in the works!
  8. WORK: Commissioning. I’ve taken the first step on my commissioning project, and that’s going to start in April, so I want to ensure there’s funding for this piece and a performance of some sort (Bastards would be OK but I’d like to try to set up an actual solo set somewhere too). That piece should probably be done by mid-year, so if it goes well, I’d like to have a second composer at least approached for the next piece by the end of the year. Whoops pandemic.
  9. WORK: Consolidate good habits. I’ve managed to begin better habits of making myself be more confident and acting on opportunities as they come up and I think it’s important that I really make these into habits – not just something I’m doing because I’ve signed up for this particular module at uni, but actually build them into how I operate – I’m seeing the benefits already and I want to continue with that! Think I’m doing OK with this, actually, and it keeps getting easier to do.
  10. SANITY/WORK/HOME/HEALTH: Timeliness. I feel that all too often I delay on things, usually with the phrase “I just have to get through this and then I’ll…”. I’ve been doing this for years and it has awful repercussions for everything I do – I miss opportunities, my free time gets filled in with stuff that’s been put off, my finances are a mess, I eat all the wrong things rather than put in a little effort upfront. It has to stop. I’m not sure how to make it stop, but perhaps the first step is to recognise this thinking when it happens and either reject it or at least modify it – perhaps pause a moment and think about what it is I’m shoving aside and why – is there a way I could at least do part of it? Is there a way I could have anticipated this moment so it wasn’t so bad? I think I’ve been doing better with this – I’ve been very aware of when I’ve been thinking “I just have to get through this…”. I think there’s been one or two things where I’ve allowed myself a pass, but it’s been a conscious decision to prioritise one thing over another rather than a panicked shoving-away of stuff I should be paying attention to.

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