2018 Goals

I liked having a list of goals last year. I wrote them down, hung them where I could see them every day, and tried to plan my week so that they were included somehow.  I didn't finish all of them, and some turned out to be not very realistic, so I took that into account when thinking about this year's list.  Here goes!:

Nanchang CJ6

 - PASS MY FLIGHT REVIEW and take a friend for a ride (or visit one). Yeah, "learn how to fly again" was a 2017 goal that was waylayed for all kinds of reasons (a broken airplane being one of them), but yes, it turns out I DO still want to be an active pilot, and this year I am going to make it happen, dammit.

Writing drafts folder

- BE A WRITER.  Since I've started blogging more often, I wonder about revisiting some of the pieces I've written.  Maybe they could be shaped into more polished, finished essays...?  Dunno.  But I want to shift how I think about writing so that it's not just something I do in service of another project. I want it to be something I am.  Or at least am becoming.  A writer.

My desk

- CREATE GOOD SCHEDULES, routines & systems. And make sure I take a "weekend". I love freelancing, but now that I have more projects I'm juggling at once, I really need to get organized. Not just with physical spaces (see my happy desk photo above), but with my time and daily routines, and with the steps I take to get a project done. I need a weekend too.  Two days that are somehow different from the rest of the work week.  I always seem to put off personal projects to work on "work," but then they just keep getting put off.  Maybe if I actually scheduled a weekend, I would look forward to that time and not feel guilty about not working. I guess it's a good thing to love what you do for work that the line between it and fun gets blurry. Any freelancers out there with advice? Let me know!

Mom and Dad and our family photo wall.

- SORT THROUGH MY BACKLOG OF PHOTOS.  I have YEARS of personal photographs that are sitting on my hard drives.  It's terrible, and I am DONE with that!! This year I'm going to sort through them all (or at least make a big dent) and then start making actual physical photo albums (remember those?) and prints to put in frames on the wall.  I grew up with a family photo wall  and I want one of my own.  (That's my Mom & Dad with our family wall, now split up between my brother and me.) This task completely overwhelms me, but if I do a little bit every day...

Ana Luisa, our ChildFund sponsor-ee.

- BE A GOOD PEN PAL.  My Mom and Dad sponsored children through the organization ChildFund ever since I can remember, and when they died, my brother and I decided to continue their sponsorship.  We send our monthly contributions and occasional cards, but I really want to write letters more often.  It feels a little frustrating sometimes because there's such a time lag between correspondence, but what a dumb excuse. So this year I want to do a better job of keeping in touch with our sponsored child, Ana Luisa.  My brother's not a big letter writer, but this is my chance to be a pen pal again. 

Reading on the couch

- READ DAILY, AND NOT JUST AT BEDTIME.  Last year my goal was to read 25 books.  I got through that and a few more, but I found out that I feel guilty sitting down to just read during the day.  I wind up waiting until bedtime, and then I'm sleepy and can't always keep my eyes open.  Why do I feel guilty taking time out to read? I think part of it is that it doesn't feel "productive."  But I don't feel that way if I sit down to watch tv, so what's up with that?  A friend finally pointed out: "Writers read." Enough said!

Ohana tenor ukulele

- DAILY UKULELE.  By the end of the year I want to get through my lesson book and be able to play the Spanish guitar pieces that are at the back of it. I will get farther along if I practice even a tiny bit every day than if I lump it all into long sessions not as often.  It's really about creating a new habit: slow and steady wins the race!

- LEARN SOMETHING NEW.  My friend Kathleen is taking a stilt-walking class and it's inspired me to think about what I want to learn this year.  There are a handful of things I'd like to try: baking bread, learning Italian, etching & monoprint, crochet or knitting, sign language... ? 

Miss Kid with my fabric pattern pieces.

- FINISH 12 SEWING PROJECTS.  One of last year's goals was to sew through my stash of fabric, but I think in the end it wasn't really what I wanted to do. I decided that instead of keeping it all in a box in the closet, I am going to give it visible shelf space in my studio, where I can be inspired by the colors and textures every day. Kinda like keeping your paints and canvas out where you can see them.  My new goal for the year:  12 projects. That's one a month.  I think I can handle that (especially now that I will schedule a real weekend every week.)

Bicycle wheel and tires

- FIX MY BICYCLE.  While I mean this literally (I sooo miss having a working bicycle and I didn't get around to fixing it last year), I realize it's also a metaphor for keeping my body moving and eating well. 

Whoa there!

Whoa there!

- FINISH CLEARING THE HOUSE and finally have a housewarming party.  This was on my goal list last year and, no, I didn't complete it. I did a few bits and pieces and then all of a sudden it was December and my brother was going to come up for a visit. The guest room could no longer serve as a storage unit!  Panic!  I worked like crazy to get it done, and then my brother couldn't come after all.  Although I was sad I wouldn't see him, I was SO PROUD of finishing that room!  "See? You CAN get sh*t done when you put your mind to it." On New Year's day I walked around the house with a clipboard and came up with a list of 48 projects that also include things like "organize laptop files" and "sew up the hole in your coat."  Yikes. But I've finished 7 things so far!

Maybe it's my vagabond heart that makes me keep things in boxes forever. I've moved so often that maybe I don't trust anywhere to be really be HOME for more than a few years. Or maybe it's that going through old stuff is just hard sometimes. And also time consuming.  Regardless, stuff is literally standing in the way of my creativity. (see photo of my studio closet above... how am I supposed to get to my printer?!)  After finishing the guest room, I feel like I can tackle pretty much anything, so I'm going to unpack boxes, get rid of stuff I don't need, hang up artwork, and then celebrate with a -- FINALLY! -- housewarming party.  You're invited!

Artwork displayed on the wall

I hope your January is going well so far!

2017 Goals

I'm not really a New Year's resolution person, but I like the idea of thinking ahead for the year and asking myself what I'd really like to accomplish.  If I pin this list over my desk it will inspire me every day.  If I post it here then it's even more official!  Except for the first goal, which feels the most important to me, they are in no particular order.  Here goes:

Bird in a hand

 - HELP OTHERS. I'm still working out what I mean by this.  It's pretty easy to donate money to good causes (and I need to do more of this regardless), but I think it's time I got more involved. I'd like to start an ongoing relationship with at least one organization that's a good fit. 

Books on a shelf

- READ 25 BOOKS.  I used to be a "take-a-book-with-me-everywhere-I-go" kind of girl, but somewhere along the way I became more of a bedtime book reader (which doesn't get me very far because I fall asleep).  I think I have a hard time stopping "being productive" to sit down and read a book during the day.  It feels so decadent and maybe even lazy.  But that's ridiculous!  So I am vowing to become a book girl again.  I have so many books of my own, and I've since added a huge chunk of my Mom & Dad's collection, so I have plenty of material to get through. 

Red velvet dress

- SING.  You know that question: "If there were no money, what would you do if you could do anything?" Well, it's a no-brainer for me.  I'd be a jazz singer.  So, this year, I want to dust off my red velvet dress and get out there.  Since goals need to be specific, I want to have five songs ready to go and I want to sing in public five times.  More would be nice! 

Pile of fabric

- SEW THROUGH MY FABRIC STASH.  Since setting up my Mom's sewing machine and figuring out the basics, I've made a few pairs of pajama pants, a new favorite skirt, a jersey long sleeve t-shirt, and I've altered a bunch of other things so they fit me right.  I've also spent many giddy hours in New York fabric shops and at Sew to Speak up in Worthington.  I LOVE that we have such a great independent shop close by.  Anyway, I have now amassed a (still growing) collection of fabric-waiting-to-become-something-grand.  It's terrible but I can't help it:  What if the store runs out of this beautiful (insert coveted fabric here) before I know what I want to do with it?  Buy it now!! *Sigh*  The stack in the photo is only a selection of what I've got in the closet, BUT it is my goal this year to make something out of everything in that pile. 


- LEARN 5 SONGS BY HEART on my ukulele and play them in front of people.  I can sing jazz standards for an audience until the cows come home, but for some reason I am soooo nervous playing an instrument in front of people.  It was the same with piano.  The shaky hands!  Ugh!  I loooove my ukulele and I'm getting better at playing it, but I want to get over my stage fright (I even messed up playing "Happy Birthday" for my brother!?) so I gotta play in front of people more often.  Look out... next time I see you you'll get a shaky-hands concert!

Black three-speed bicycle

- MOVE MORE. Okay, I admit it, I'm sort of a couch potato.  I work at home doing things that involve sitting, or only small bits of moving around, and I don' t like the word "exercise."  In seventh grade I did aerobics until my legs practically fell off but now, yeah, not so much.  I used to do a lot of yoga too... dunno what happened to that either. No, I don't need to lose weight, I just want to be healthy, so I want to do every day (or at least most days) that involves moving my body for a little while.  A walk, a bike ride, polka dancing... whatever.  One of the projects I started last year but didn't finish was fixing up my old three-speed.  It doesn't look as bad in the photo as it does in real life but it's pretty busted.  I took it apart to clean the whole thing and now I can't remember how it goes back together.  Hello, bicycle repair shop...?

My Aeronca Champ

- LEARN TO FLY AGAIN.  It's been a looong time since I was up in the air by myself.  It was hard to find time to fly regularly when I was helping my brother take care of my Mom and Dad, and eventually I just let it go.  It's okay.  I now have "my" little Aeronca Champ and spring is just around the corner...


- PLANT A BETTER GARDEN.  I learned a lot from my first year of keeping a garden.  So this year?  More flowers, more herbs, fewer vegetables.  We just didn't eat enough of what we grew to make it worth the effort.  

Books and globe

- FINISH UNPACKING.  It's been a year and a half since we moved.  It's time to open the rest of the boxes and also put away the things I've already unpacked but are just stacked in piles all over the house -- it's hard to keep a clean house when every available surface is covered with something.  Besides, I finally want to have  a housewarming party.

Framed prints in a box

- HANG UP ARTWORK & FINISH DECORATING.  I finally put up some of my photographs and a few of my Mom & Dad's prints and paintings, but I want to finish putting books on shelves and hanging my artwork on the walls.  It makes me sad that some of my favorite pieces are still living in a giant box behind the sofa.

The desk in my studio

- COME UP WITH A GOOD STUDIO/OFFICE ROUTINE.  It's a catch-22:  I'm a night owl, but that means waking up late and feeling like the day's already passed me by.  Then I put things off because there's no official deadline for projects.  Or I'll get distracted by my sewing machine.  Or -- Ooooh! It's a gorgeous day! -- I'd so much rather be outside!  Artists & freelancers out there, you KNOW what I mean. Ugh. I gotta figure out what works for me.

Flying Adventures  book reading

- FIND 25 GIGS FOR MY FLYING ADVENTURES BOOK.  Readings, workshops, exhibits - whatever. I want to make a concerted effort to get the word out, and if I don't have a specific number goal, then I'll be lazy about sending out queries.  I think 25 is a doable number... they don't have to be all in one year, just 25 places that say yes and put me on the calendar somewhere.

Airplane window

- USE MY PASSPORT.  Life is short and the world is big.  I know I will never see all of it, but I'd like to make a dent.  

So those are the big ones!  I have a few smaller ones: drinking more water, keeping a neater house (which should be easy once boxes are unpacked - ha!), and coming up with a system to stay on top of editing, archiving, and printing my own personal photos.  Oh yeah, and keeping up with this blog!  I'm proud that I've kept up (mostly) with my weekly posts.  

I know I'll find some things to add to the list along the way, but for now this is a good place to start. I wish you all the best with your own resolutions and goals for 2017... cheers!!