19 for 2019

I was listening to the Happier podcast and Gretchen Rubin was talking about a little thing she does each year, which is to make a list of things she’d like to do (with the list number corresponding to the year number).

I thought that was pretty cute and wrote up my own 19 for 2019 without thinking too hard about it, so I’d get a list that was kinda… “of the moment.” I’ve done a couple already!

  1. 24 books / read habit
  2. Eat more plants
  3. Try the local farmers’ market
  4. Choose a home renovator
  5. Get a cool cubby house
  6. Consider something for kids to climb too
  7. Journal habit / write habit
  8. Sketchbook habit / art habit
  9. 12 new classes / workshops
  10. Choosing to enjoy life everyday*
  11. Be more eco friendly
  12. Make house even nicer e.g. no clutter
  13. Be less sedentary / daily walk
  14. Ballet posture
  15. Meet new people
  16. Play an instrument
  17. Clear desk
  18. Clear inbox**
  19. Less computer time

(And there was space left on the paper so I wrote “celebrate / luxuriate / appreciate” at the end – which are all to do with the “Choosing to enjoy life everyday” one)

* “Choosing to enjoy life everyday” is hard to explain. It’s not “choosing to be happy,” it’s more like a combination of “use the good china” and “spend out” and “live a little” and “because you’re worth it™️” and “YOLO”

** “Clear inbox” refers to a real, live, overflowing inbox next to my desk, full of papers. Not my email. My email is fine!

Endorphins?

I don’t know how it happened, but I’m doing 30 minutes of yoga every day (last year, I was only going to one easy class per week!) and I feel like I need it. Like if I reach the afternoon and I haven’t done yoga, I prioritise it over anything else! And now, approximately 18 days into this, my body feels like it needs even more exercise. It feels good. I don’t know who I’ve become. (Michelle, are you contagious?)

2019 Resolutions

OK, where am I.

2019 Theme:

ENJOY LIFE

The past few years (or million years?) I’ve been fretting about what to do next, what life choice I need to make to feel like I’m both enjoying life and doing something meaningful. Not fretting like biting-my-nails fretting or going-to-bed-crying fretting or can’t-breathe-under-the-weight-of-this-existential-angst fretting, more like: most weeks, I think about it – it’s a general background concern that, if I don’t figure something out, I’ll never solve this problem – I’ll always *either* be enjoying life OR feeling like I’m doing something meaningful, but never both at once.

So, stuff it. I’m taking a break from vague worry for a year. 2019 is just about enjoying life. I’m going to purchase some roses from the internet and smell them.

2019 Resolutions:

  1. Read a book every day – in my 2018 resolutions I had “12 books,” thinking I’d work towards one book each month. But I found that goals work much better for me if I look at the small picture in relation to the big picture (the ‘ol “what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while“). If I only have a few minutes spare before sleep, I can read a couple of pages and I’ve completed the goal. If I have more time, I might end up reading loads of pages. And in this way, I get through books. (12 books in 2017, 48 books in 2018.)
  2. Write in journal every day – I didn’t prioritise this last year, and became more insular for it. Writing in a journal helps me get into a sharing mode, where I feel more like sharing thoughts with other people. I won’t be able to do this every day, but it’s better for me to try to keep it as a daily goal – as per the quote above.
  3. Draw in sketchbook every day – this was a 2018 resolution and I kept it really well for the first half of the year. Then I had conflicting priorities, other projects, winter sickness, etc, and I totally dropped the ball. So I’m going to try to chip away at it again.
  4. Follow your curiosity / Make the time to do it interestingly – these were 2018 resolutions, so it’s not really something I’m changing – they’re things I want to continue to do. “Follow your curiosity” is like giving myself permission to go down rabbit holes. (I heard the vlog brothers say they follow their curiosity and it leads them to all kinds of projects, and I liked that.) “Make the time to do it interestingly” helped me to remember that time & effort needs to be put into things to make them interesting (i.e. creative). So, for example, sometimes I fall back into old work habits and do something like write emails to people that are purely functional and minimal. Sometimes that’s fine. Other times, I want to remember that if I put a bit more time & effort into it, the email could be more interesting. And sometimes that’s what I really want to do.
  5. Join the world – this is a new one for 2019. I feel like I have withdrawn from the world. I used to love being a part of a work team, going to meetups, conferences and what-not. Heck, I even started my own clubs. I need to find a way to do a new version of that. I miss groups. I miss being a part of something.
  6. Dream home – this one’s been on my “to do” list for a couple of years, but not a priority. I gotta make it a priority. Nothing about our house is going to change if I don’t find a company to renovate it! Duh.

Easy-peasy! Let’s see how that all goes.

Happy new year, sweets. ❤️

Make It a Village Again

I go to an art class (which is ace) at the local community centre, so I get the centre’s emails. A while back, their email newsletter said that they wanted to change their offering a bit, to attract new audiences to the community centre and they were looking for ideas. I wrote back that a women’s group might be nice – a place for local women to meet each other. I met with the centre staff to discuss the idea, then whipped up a poster in Apple Pages to advertise an initial “ideas session” – so we could see how many local women are interested in having women’s groups, and what kinds of women’s groups they would like to exist.

womens groups poster
(part of the poster)

We had about 15 women turn up, which might not sound like a lot, but it makes for a decent sized group. I find that around 12 people is about the maximum size for a nice community group meetup, so 15 was pretty good. The manager of the community centre asked if we could go around the table and if everyone could introduce themselves and say a little about why they were there. It was lovely hearing from everyone – I realised I’ve missed all the meetups I used to go to! – just hearing the introductions, and about what they’re looking for.

One woman was talking about how she’d like to engage more with the local community, and said something like: “I’d like us to make it a village again,” which really resonated with me.

I met with a life coach last month – I was curious about life coaches and there are some things I like to experience just because I’m curious about them (personal stylist was another one!) and after talking with her for awhile, she reflected her summary of “me” – some of the key topics were:

  • community
  • women
  • improving things
  • being a good human
  • problem solving
  • bringing people together.

I thought about it afterwards, and yes, that is a pretty good summary! All the things I’ve loved doing – from our street party to MaMoDaBe – it’s basically all been about community, if not those other topics too.

I keep coming back to the idea of “make it a village again” and what that means.

Anyway, I don’t have a point here, just writing in my online diary, you know how it is.

As for the women’s groups – a bunch of ideas came out of the first session – a cycling group, a “Social Sundays” group,  women’s book group, evening art & craft classes, a support group for women who have experienced loss – but the one that piqued my interest (and I never thought someone would suggest!) was an informal art meetup, similar to Ladies Drawing Night or Social Sketch. I LOVE this idea! I wanted to start one, like, a year ago, but wasn’t confident that anyone else would be interested. So I hope that this idea launches. I’m in.

Old West / New World

Did I mention actively trying to start a world war in that last post? Because funnily enough, after writing that post, I came to this passage in Factfulness:

 

We need Olympic Games, international trade, educational exchange programs, free internet – anything that lets us meet across ethnic groups and country borders. We must take care of and strengthen our safety nets for world peace. Without world peace, none of our sustainability goals will be achievable. It’s a huge diplomatic challenge to prevent the proud and nostalgic nations with a violent track record from attacking others now that they are losing their grip on the world market. We must help the old West to find a new way to integrate itself peacefully into the new world.

Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling p. 239

Climate Breakdown

In my sleep I thought, maybe the conservatives know exactly what they’re doing? If they understand (and aren’t doing anything to prevent) climate change, then it would make sense, as a particular course of action, to:

  • lock down your country & promote nationalism
  • become self-sufficient in manufacturing, etc
  • budget for more military spending
  • withdraw from multi-country agreements
  • reduce spending on poor people
  • increase spending on wealthy people who might survive

 

In other news, saw this tweet the other day. Below is the picture from it (embedding from Twitter wasn’t working).