A bit of context:
It’s New Year’s Day, and I’m seeing a lot of expressions of 2022 being a year worth forgetting for many. It wasn’t for me; it was actually a pretty great year.
It’s also a day in which many set intentions, make resolutions, state their goals. Crack open new planners and start tracking new habits. I’ve been carrying paper calendars for a while, mostly to prevent myself from double-booking, but the planners with promises of “crushing your goals!!!” make me squeamish. Goals feel binary: you achieve them or you don’t. I’ve been telling myself improvement and iteration are my preferred mindset instead. I think, in retrospect, that I had enough significant events thrown my way that were beyond anyone’s control, and that made the idea of having a fixed goal and timeline feel like part of a cruel joke.
But maybe I have to look at that and see where that fits in with feeling stuck in some places. I haven’t set a destination. I’m making improvements, but towards what end.
I do like the idea of having a word for the year. Last year was connection. This year, I’m thinking about capacity, which I’ve treated as a synonym for load-bearing stress test for a long time. There are so many other ways to consider this word: volume, ability, availability, skillset, role. My modus operandi for a long time has been saying yes; maybe it’s time to look at these other facets to the word and how they require a little space, some planning, some definition and clarity. Which… sounds a bit like setting goals, so you know when you’ve reached the outcome.
To that end: I signed up for an additional layer of cello instruction that is intended to help define my goals, so what I’m doing with the limited time I can expend is working towards something. I’m also looking at the contents of my house, and feeling ready to let some things go. I brought a garage-full of things back from my parents’ house, decisions made somewhat hastily and emotionally, and they’ve been sitting in a daunting array of boxes ever since. I need the space back. I’ll be thinking of how to apply this to my other pursuits as well.
And to some degree, this space: it took a while to untangle the backend, and I tended to throw my hands up and figure if it was important enough, I’d get to it eventually. I need space for my thoughts, something that isn’t social media. I thought I’d be journaling, and that either a blank book or my paper calendars would give some space for that, but what happens with that is a fairly predictable pattern: the journal comes out when I sit at the pub, there’s a few sessions of writing, but I wind up talking with people instead. Especially the bar staff.