Resolutions on the Fly

I feel like I’m neck-deep in 2013, like I’m awash with it, like it’s raining 2013 and there are holes in the roof and holes in the bucket I’m trying to bail out with.

A lot of the traditional goals people usually talk about going into the new year are already a part of my life.  Just by deciding to be more participant in my own life, things started falling into place mid-2012.  I started writing again, I work out 4 times a week, my abs are feeling awesome, I eat healthily, I cut down on excess expenses, I got my mental health on track, I moved into a great apartment with great people, and I met a huge amount of goals at work and got promoted twice.

So, other than to keep doing those things and being awesome, what’s left?  Some stuff that kind of feels superficial to me, actually… but for quite awhile I’ve been lamenting the fact that I’m not “interesting” enough.  The problem is I pour a great deal of money into feeding myself well (i.e. buying fresh, good food and not eating crap) and into my student loans (let’s not talk about this further, I’m gonna cry).  So, I can’t do a lot of the things that people say you “should” be doing if you’re young and in a city.  I can’t go out drinking (not anywhere posh, anyway. Dive bars? Sure, every couple of months, and I stop at 2 drinks), I can’t take classes ($$$), and I can’t go see shows (unless people buy me tickets for my birthday, which they have done in the past).  I can’t travel very often (my travel home for Christmas was a gift from my father, wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise), I can’t buy new clothes very often, and I tend to save going out for dinner for special occasions.  I can walk around, sit in coffee shops nursing free refills, and go to my super-cheap gym to run, and I do!  I don’t want to say I’m unhappy with my life at all, because I’m not.  But my routine doesn’t make me feel cool or like I’m challenging myself.  It feels like… a routine.  A rather hermit-like one at that.  Writing has made me feel better in this regard, and I will be setting some concrete goals for myself in that realm.  I want to do more, however, so I came up with the below 2 goals.

Make More Things

1. I’m a writer, so “write more stuff” is not a yearly resolution for me.  It’s integrated into my state of being.  Looking forward to picking up my pens and paper and laptop again this weekend.

2. My mother was an artist.  She worked in pencil and paint and fabric.  I was always amazed at how effortless she was when we would sit and color together.  I’m receiving a couple of pieces of hers from my grandparents’ house, courtesy of my aunt, in the mail, and it made me feel a bit like I want to try channeling her through some visual art.

3. I’ve been wanting to improve my handwriting for a long time, a few years anyway.  Everyone used to say I have beautiful handwriting, but I think it’s fallen off in the last few years.  More computers, more achey-hands, and a focus more on the ideas that I’m putting down than how they look.

So, I want to create a project to do some hand-lettering.  This is heavily inspired by Lisa Congdon’s 2012 project. Instead of quotes, though, I want to do 52 short poems.  I already have a bunch in mind – old favorites – but I think it will be just as exciting to try to find shorty poems to work with!  Plus, I can’t resist good pens and markers and all that stuff.  I don’t want to blow a ton of money on supplies, but do want to get a few different types of media to practice with.  I’ll definitely be putting these experiments up on this site, assuming I can find a suitable scanner to get things from paper to screen.  I’m thinking I will do 50, since it seems to be a standard-length for sketchbooks, and will give me a couple of weeks early-on to get settled in.

4. I’ve also been wanting to teach myself embroidery.  I have a ton of thread already, as well as a hoop, so now all I need is some fabric.  I’m thinking of using thrift store stuff or any cheap, funky fabrics I can find.  I’ve been sewing a costume for PAX East (which I also have to finish, gah) and find that I actually love the little fiddly finishing parts.  No concrete goal here, keeping this one open-ended!  It will also be a good activity to do during my second umbrella resolution.

5. Ok, one last concrete one.  I want to make a stuffed animal.  I have never done this before, and think it would be fun.  If it works out/is not a pain, maybe I’ll even make more!  This was inspired by a friend of mine, who made an adorable teal kitty cat recently.  (Essentially my goals are a covert attempt to be more like this friend, in general.  She is my friend-idol).

Watch Movies

I have already started on this one, and you can follow my progress over on my tumblr.  Will I get to 365 films? PROBABLY NOT. Am I OK with that? DEFINITELY.  I do think I will get up to at least 200, possibly even 250.  My main problem is that I can’t find that many movies I actively want to see… I’ve already gotten some advice from others and had movies shown to me by friends, so hopefully I can get up there!  I’ve been a movie buff since high school, but there are a lot of gaps in my viewing history, so I’m primarily looking to fill a lot of those in.  I’m set to put up the next “to watch” batch on my list (which I expanded a lot) on the site I’m maintaining.  I also want to see more movies in theaters, even if it means going by myself sometimes.  I think that’s an expense I can afford to work in if I save for it, and if I ask for movie vouchers for my birthday!

Feeling good about this, about getting started on some new stuff.  I only want to give myself one last reminder, and that is this: to not get frustrated if my arty things are not perfect on the first (maybe the many many first) go-rounds.  The goal is to improve, not to be perfect from the start.  Like writing, you can let go of the mistakes and start again, or edit and make better.  Don’t get discouraged by early, shitty, attempts and failures!