Monday, February 4, 2013

2013: Back to Basics

I don't normally do resolutions for the new year.  So often resolutions take shape as a list of chores.  Chores that seem like they really should get done, but that no one ever actually wants to do.  I've decided to make a list this year of things I actually enjoy doing but usually push off to the realm of oh, when I get the house cleaned up or maybe after the girls are in bed if I still have any energy left.  I want to tend to these things again in a more deliberate way, chores be damned. 

The things that bring us joy are the things that are basic to our selves.  My goal is to make more time for my personal basics, to focus less on the "should do" list and more on the "would do" list.  This is what I "would do" if I only had more time, more energy, more reserves of creativity at the end of a long day.  Of course, time and energy and reserves of creativity have to be found somewhere for the "would do" list to happen, but I'm going to let that evolve as it needs to, rather than make my goals things like...manage my time better.  That's boring, which makes it a chore.  Which means it might not happen and since it's boring no one really cares all that much if it doesn't.  It's a recipe for failure.  So my goals are to do the things that bring me joy.  If that means I manage my time better and get all my chores done and the fun stuff too, great!  If I don't end up managing my time better, it means I let the laundry pile up and get dinner started late and don't ever make the beds again.  And, well, that will have to be fine too.

This might be my most basic basic.  Since I can remember, I've loved books.  I feel very much myself when I'm reading something good.  I'm not sure how it works, exactly, but immersion in a fictional world, surrounded by fictional characters, solving a fictional problem...somehow this feels like the least pretending I have to do in regards to my own person.  Maybe that's sad.  But it brings happiness to me, so it's on the list. To make things more concrete, I'm setting a goal of reading at least a book for every week of the year.  Obviously, I may not actually get a book read every week.  Some books are slim and quick, others are great big tomes.  But 52 weeks, 52 books.  I've already read ten.

One of the gifts that reading so much as an impressionable young thing gave to me was the desire to write things myself.  If all these other writers could create such amazing stories, couldn't I?  Well, I don't know how amazing they are as of yet, but NaNoWriMo these past couple of years has shown me that actually just writing, whether it's amazing or not, does still bring me joy.  In fact, it's taught me to write for the joy of it and not even notice whether it's amazing.  That's something that has held me back for a lot of years, and it's been fun to learn how to let go of it.  The writing is fun.  The amazing, if it needs to, can always come later.  Isn't that what the re-write is for?  Anyway, the concrete side of this goal is tri-fold.
  1. Finish the fairy tale I started for Millie in November 2012.  This is almost done and shouldn't take long.  Shouldn't take much editing either as it's a pretty simple story and my intended audience of one is not yet much of a literary critic.  She's going to love it, no matter what.
  2. Finish the rough draft of the novel I started in November 2011.  This one is not as close to The End as the fairy tale, but it shouldn't be too hard to bring it to a close.  It's very rough already and I'm willing to let the ending be very rough, as long it's roughly complete in its roughness.  Ahem.
  3. Start to outline and build background for the story I really wanted to write for this last NaNoWriMo but wasn't ready for.  I'd like to have a good foundation of notes to start with come November so I can really dive into this one for the next NaNoWriMo.
Yeah, I don't love math.  I'm just calling this that because it goes so well with reading and writing and the idea of basics.  It's actually knitting.  But, you know, knitting does use a lot of math.  Counting, multiplication, division, even geometry.  It works.  I like to create something with my hands.  I like fibres and textiles. I like to create a fabric just the right shape and size and texture and color for the garment it will become.  There's so little waste and you can sit back in a soft place while you work.  And I'm good at it.  I had a really expert teacher (my mom) and my finished objects always turn out alright.  So it has become something I really enjoy.  I made a number of knitted gifts for people in 2012 and was really happy with them.  Here's some:

I also made a hat for Essie and a cowl for myself and a summer sweater for Millie.  This year I'm knitting a sweater for myself and have another golden snitch planned and another hat, and that's just to start things off.  There are also several babies being born who might need some tiny soft stitches and Millie's Molly doll needs a few things and...I'm excited for more knitting.  So that's on my list.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic in 2013.  Happy New Year!

No comments: