How were your holidays? Mine were bonkers, as per usual. My daughter was born on the 26th and I was born on the 28th, so the week of Christmas is always a marathon. Still, I sort of love the way having all of these milestones at once makes the end of the year really feel like the end of the year. The end of being 28. The end of having a two year old. The end of 2017. A new beginning.
I take new year's resolutions very seriously. Not in terms of joining the gym or starting a juice cleanse (oh hell no) but in terms of reviewing what I've learned and envisioning what I want the next twelve months to look like. I really love Susannah Conway's free Unravel Your Year guidebook to help with this process, especially with candles lit and a warm beverage in hand.
I'm going to be working through that guidebook tomorrow, but I've been spending some time over the past few days thinking about the new year and all the things I want to do over the next twelve months. And it's such a long list that it can be overwhelming and disheartening, considering how little time I get to myself. It's also an incredibly wonderful problem to have. I've spent enough time in the dank pit of clinical depression to know that having too many things you would love to do is a blessing. A big one.
Back when I was working in the traditional sense, I was awesome at time management. I'd show up to the office, make a tea, make a list, and barrel through my tasks with nary a bathroom break. I find managing the hours to be much trickier now. First off, I have fewer of them. My daughter is in Japanese preschool three days a week, but by "day" I mean I drop her off at 9 and pick her up at 3:30. It's shocking how quickly that time is eaten up by my MFA classes, housework and Nest & Story. When I've also got a pile of books I want to read and people I want to see, it's very easy to get overwhelmed.
But I realized something this morning, hence the existence of this blog post. I've been trying to manage my time in terms of to-do lists and and prioritizing various tasks. In other words: here I am, I have a free hour, what am I going to do? Refer to list, etc. I think what I actually need to do is to create containers in my life that are devoted to particular themes, and then choose my activities on the fly within those particular containers. For example, an hour before bedtime can be a reading container. I can read whatever I want during that time, but that is where reading lives.
And you know what? I think it's time I actually start getting up early in the morning to write. I have been avoiding this for so long, and trying to squeeze writing into the margins of my life, but it needs to be the first thing I do when I open my eyes, even if it's still dark outside.
I'm also going to set some intentions right here and right now, because there's something particularly magical about posting them on the internet.
My Intentions for January:
- Finish reading The Odyssey (Emily Wilson translation -- you need to go buy this book right now, side note.)
- Finish reading The Passage by Justin Cronin (this month's Dystopian Book Club pick.)
Writing & Creativity
- Get up at 6 a.m. every morning to write (except for Saturdays, my sleep-in day). If Quinn wakes up too, distract her with mandarin oranges and construction paper.
- Have weekly craft night with wine and my pal Ramer.
- Host the Toronto Dystopian Book Club meeting on the 11th.
- Attend Robin Richardson's Unsympathetic Poetry Workshop on the 13th.
- (Virtually) attend Hoa Nguyen's weekly poetics workshop starting on the 21st.
- Send a thank-you note to a writer I adore.
Nest & Story
- Get the word out about Flock Together: A Feminist Reading & Writing Workshop.
- Send out a newsletter.
- Do my finances for 2017.
- Follow the Whole Family Rhythms winter guide for lots of Waldorf-y crafts, nature play and stories.
- Bake bread together weekly.
- Walk in the woods together every week, too.
Self-Care & Fun Stuff
- Write in my moon journal daily and do the full and new moon rituals.
- Play Majora's Mask on my 3DS, which my husband got me for Christmas. (This game is a creepy childhood relic that I adore, and the new graphics are awesome.)
- Do my fancy skin care routine nightly. I am 29 now, after all.
What are your intentions for January, and for 2018?