On Instagram, I’ve seen so many people post a 9-celled image of things they’ll knit this year. Books they’ll read. Etc. I become consumed with envy in some way and want to do such a thing immediately. I will read these nine books. I will knit these nine things. Presto!
But what if I get on a jag with a new author, and then suddenly want to read everything they wrote? What if a new book comes out that I just haven’t heard of yet — or I discover an old one? How can I possibly identify the list of books that I want to read this year? And patterns for sewing or knitting, ditto! I don’t know what will be released this year that will grab my attention. I have a 46-items-long queue of projects on Ravelry (if you’re on Rav here’s the link to my queue, I really ought to go clean it up because some things have been on there for years and years), so I’m great at making lists but less good at following them.
Are you like this, in one way or the other? Maybe you’re the one I’m envious of, outlining a to-do plan for the year (and you probably aren’t a Nazi about it, for heaven’s sake, it’s probably much more a loose guideline or a collection of possibles), or maybe you’re like me, simply envious of that ability or impulse.
One middleground approach (my constant effort to remind myself to seek gray) would be to come up with some idea of categories, right? Like, I want to sew myself a comfortable pair of black linen pants. A couple of tops. A skirt or two. And then just let that be my plan. And maybe I should look through all my knitted things and identify gaps: maybe I want a gigantic shawl to complement the stack of smaller shawls I have already made.
And maybe this year I’d like to try to learn a specific new thing, so I could seek out a book or two on that topic. Or maybe this year I’d like to read a little bit more non-fiction than I usually do. Or maybe this year I want to go deep on a topic that really interests me and read widely on it — philosophy, novels, non-fiction, an array of approaches to the topic.
I guess that’s the starting place, to think about what I’d like to get out of this year. Which is already in mid-February. I know big blocks of time that will be set aside — a block in March, a block in late July-early August, and another vacation at some point — but around those places I would really like to find some focus.
When you work for yourself, all alone at home, and you don’t have kids at home anymore, the days are so loose and floppy, and before you (I!) know it you’re just like water, going wherever it’s easy. No need to get up early, at a certain time. No need to get to bed at a certain time (given no need to get up at a certain time!). Monday is the same as Thursday is the same as Saturday. Marc’s arrival at Heaventree Friday evenings, and his return to the city on Mondays, are my only markers of what day it is. Otherwise it’s just a kind of schmear. And in that arrangement, it can be too easy to just drift along with the easily accessible things I value doing. Picking up whatever is at hand. Reading whatever looks good in my Kindle. No plans. You know, that’s really fun at first, and a pleasure for a while, especially if you’ve come out of an extremely regimented and overly intense and busy period of life…..which ended for me in July 2010! WOW – eight years of just drifting along, doing whatever, whenever. No wonder I feel restless.
How about you? I’m really curious. Do you have things you want to achieve in the coming whenever – month/season/year? Are you pursuing anything, or letting it all be? Are you a planner — in close detail or in broad strokes? What are you interested in at the moment? I’m going to be doing some close thinking about how to arrange things in my life for the next few months, maybe for this year, and I’m very curious about how and what you are doing.