As hard as it is for me to believe, 2014 is drawing to a close, and 2015 is almost upon us.
To be sure, 2014 had its challenges. The wave of losses didn’t stop. In 2014, a dear friend of mine passed away. Two of my beloved cats (Brainball and MaoMao) ran off to the Rainbow Bridge. But 2014 had its joys, as well. I got a delightful and fulfilling job as church pianist. And my family was blessed with a precious new feline member, a little baby girl named Solstice, whom we rescued on June 21, the day of the Summer Solstice, at only four weeks old.
In what has become a yearly ritual on this blog, I’ll offer the New Year’s goals I made last year at this time, in bold type, with commentary (in regular type) on whether or not I accomplished each goal. Then I’ll present my New Year’s goals for the coming year. Without further ado:
1. Take better care of myself so that I can regain my resiliency and my positive outlook. I miss both. That means going back to daily meditative practice, re-establishing an exercise routine, prioritizing good sleep, resisting my tendencies to spread myself way too thin, and kicking to the curb my tendencies to want to turn to fatty food for comfort.
Hmm. Well, I think I’ve done okay with this, on the whole. I haven’t gone back to my daily meditative practice. I need to, though. It’s extraordinarily good for me, on every level. I’ve gotten a lot better about not spreading myself too thin. There’s only so much one person can do, and when I try too hard to please everyone, I only wind up pleasing nobody (including myself) and running myself ragged. I have gotten much better about saying “no” when needed. And I’m doing better on sleep, exercise, and diet.
2. Cultivate more gratitude for the good things in my life so I don’t suffer in the grip of a myopic obsession with the bad and the difficult. Yes, life has delivered mucho wallops this year, all in one short space, but there are still plenty of things to be grateful for.
I’ve done pretty well here, too. 2014 had its share of wallops, to be sure, but I don’t think I ever lost sight of the good things and blessings in my life. In a funny way, I’ve cultivated even more gratitude for them, because I know how quickly things can change.
3. Renew my commitment to my artistic endeavors. Music: I want to finish recording Reflected Moon in 2014 and hopefully release it. I also want to write new music. Fiction: I need to make friends with my fiction muse again. I have become more estranged from her than from my music muse. Yeah, they’re two different muses. In 2014, my goal is simply to find my way into at least one story I love and truly want to finish and share with the world. Maybe add some blogging to the mix, too, as I feel moved to do so.
2014 has been a mix on the creative level. I still have not recorded Reflected Moon. I don’t think I even completed one track. And I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t written any new music. I’ve fiddled and improvised and noodled, certainly, but no new compositions that are ready for prime time. No new fiction, either. My creativity was AWOL for much of 2014 as I worked on re-centering myself and getting back on an even keel after the difficulties of 2013.
The good news: my creativity is coming back, bit by bit. It’s nurtured and encouraged by my wonderful church pianist job, which keeps both me and my muse happy. Fiction writing was pretty much flatlined for most of 2014, but in November, I participated in NaNoWriMo in honor of my dear friend who passed away. And I kicked NaNoWriMo butt, which showed me that I can still rock and roll as a fiction writer when I give myself sufficient motivation.
Which brings me to….
My (Very Simple) Goals for 2015.
1. Keep flying high on the music and enjoying my church pianist job. It truly is such a blessing in my life. Write new music. And make progress on my next album, Reflected Moon.
2. Make a serious commitment to my fiction. Get productive again. Finish my projects. Get them out there. Believe I can do it.
3. Blog. Yeah. More than twice a year *ahem.*
4. Take good care of myself and count my blessings.
Happy New Year, everybody!