Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 will involve ...

The problem with sharing a computer with a guy who works from home should be quite obvious to you all: I have to wait to see when I can get on it. So my lesson here is to write as much as I can when I am on it, but not just for the post for that particular day. I should write as much as I can and stock up so that when it comes time to post one of the items, it's already there.

That's a new resolution I came up with today ... while waiting for the computer, of course!

The following is my list of what I hope to accomplish this year. It's the most ambitious list I've ever made and my goal is to complete (or at least start) as much of it as I can. I know that it'll be hard to do all of them, but I'm going to give each item 100% of myself. Some of these are ones that will push me farther than I've ever dared to dream, most are basic run-of-the-mill stuff, and a few are going to sound downright silly, but needed to be written down so that I realize how silly it is to NOT do them.

I hope you enjoy this list, but more importantly, I hope *I* enjoy this list!


1. Put laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This is one of those silly ones, but I swear if I don't write it down and take a good, hard look at it, I will continue to just leave it on the chair or bed. I've been good so far at putting the stuff to BE washed in a large bag that is ready to carry downstairs, and am now folding the clothes on top of the dryer so that they are ready to go directly to the drawers and closet once I bring them up, so I'm off to a roaring start.

2. Whittle down my CD collection and put more on the computer and my MP3 player. I got a hand-me-down CD tower near the end of last year and put all my CDs in it. My collection filled it to the brim and then proceeded to spill over into 2 rather high piles on either side of it, so I would like to get it down to at least filling just the tower itself. I've already given away or sold a bunch of them, but now I'm actually having to think hard about each disc. I've started pulling some out that have only a couple of songs on them that I like, which will make it a heck of a lot easier to give them away since I'll still have the songs on the computer. The problem is with
ones that have a lot of songs that I like on them, but really have no purpose being in my collection. I don't *need* the MuchDance 2000 CD but something inside me tells me that I'll be doing a scene in a show one day that will benefit from the funky transition between TLC's "No Scrubs" Hi-Bias Remix and "It's Not Right But It's Okay" by Whitney Houston so I shouldn't give it away just yet.

3. Recommend one documentary a month and attempt to write about what it means to me personally, instead of a critical review of it. This is going to be one of the tougher ones. I get in my head BIGTIME in regards to my writing, but if I want to continue to write, then I need to give myself projects in order to hone and perfect my craft. My closest group of friends are movie bloggers and though a cinephile since birth, I cannot write a critical review of a film. I don't know how to talk about subtext or theme or whatever else you can talk about in a film review and have always gotten in my head about it and felt depressed at this inability. BUT if I just try to write about my personal feelings on why I love the film, then it's just a personal opinion and not anything that can be scrutinized. Gotta give it a shot, right?

4. Do 15 minutes of tidying everyday - minimum. This is to get me to realize how little effort it can take to keep the apartment clean, instead of panicking when friends are coming over and I spend 2 entire days bulldozing items into closets and sectioning off quarantine rooms.

5. Do Morning Pages every day. See comment with #6

6. Revisit "The Artist's Way" and "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron. Item #5 is part of what Julia Cameron recommends in tapping into your creative self. These are two books that are essential to almost every performer I know. She really helps you get inside and bring the best out of you. There are many projects / activities / exercises involved that help you on your journey to a more creative life. It's been far too long since I took a look at them, so it's time to pull their dusty covers off the shelf. And speaking of bookshelves ...

7. Start reading more books from my bookcases as opposed to always going to the library, and give away 20 this year as well. This pretty much explains itself. I got rid of 100 books a few years ago and got rid of about 40 books last year. Now the only books left on my shelves are ones that I actually want to read. My plan is to finally read a bunch of them and then pass them along to friends or donate them. There's a potential project that a friend of mine and I have casually commented on that I think should be looked into further and followed through on, so stay tuned for more details in the future!

8. Be more cognizant of surroundings, people and situations. I should really not get all huffy if I have to stand in line for 10 minutes at the grocery store, or end up getting stuck behind someone who chooses to stand on the left side of an escalator instead of the right. So I have to wait a wee bit. Who cares? There are bigger things that stress me out but every once in a while when a really bad day comes along, these trivial and insignificant things get my blood boiling. It's time to stop that and take those few minutes to appreciate everything I see around me instead.

9. Get back into musical instruments. I played the flute for 12 years in school but haven't played one in 23 years. Yikes! I picked one up at the TTC auction a couple of years ago and had it checked out so I'm all set to start practicing again. To really push me to stay on top of this goal, I've agreed to play at my former high school's 100th anniversary concert in May. I have a deadline, so it's going to help me to get cracking! I'm also proud to say that I learned a new instrument yesterday. I was invited to practice with the Toronto Gamelan Orchestra last night and had the most amazing time! If this is my year to make a breakthrough in my creativity, I know that music is going to be as big a part of it as writing.

10. French and Spanish! Languages are, or at least used to be, one of my passions. I really miss being able to speak rusty French and Spanish so I'm going to start studying again. Latin was another favourite of mine, and I plan to get back into that as soon as I'm deep into the other languages. There's been a project I've thought about doing for years that involves Latin, so I think that will be a resolution for 2013.

11. Reread the Big Book and start going to AA meetings again, and
12. Keep a spending record again. I have no shame in admitting that I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and was once a member of Debtors Anonymous. I haven't been to meetings of either of them for quite a long time. If you know anything about these organizations and maintaining sobriety, you know that that's not a good thing. My work schedule is all over the place so I can't commit to one specific home group. I try to see if I can squeeze in meetings around my work, but largely failed at that in 2011. So, I will do my best in 2012 to attend more meetings. To help keep me on the right and safe road I will begin rereading the Big Book again. I have never read it the entire way through (just snippets and chapters here and there), so it's time that I finally did just so. And one of the best things I did with DA was to write down what I spent my money on every day. It really made me sit up and take notice of when I was making essential purchases and when I was spending it willy-nilly. With my finances in the state that they are, it's very important that I maintain control when and where I can. If I stay on top of both of these, it'll help make 2012 a very healthy year.

13. Teach myself to bake, and bake one new thing a month. Unless you count toast and boiled water, I can't cook to save my life. I lucked out in ending up with a guy who's a magician in the kitchen. Yes, I consider what he does magic because he'll have a counter full of food and then mix them all together to make a huge delicious pot of food that lasts 2 to 3 days. Amazing! I might try learning how to cook some things this year, but I'm deciding to focus my hopefully-hidden culinary talents in the direction of baking. I can now successfully make muffins from a mix, as long as I bake it as one big loaf and not as individual muffins. We affectionately called those ones "Nervous Breakdown Muffins", and my guy says I need to write out that recipe and publish in a book called "Polly Esther's Recipes for Disaster." I think that's a hilarious idea so I will attempt to make other baked goods - first from mixes and then by daring to make them from scratch - and then write down exactly how they were prepared by yours truly. This book idea sounds like a great project for 2013, doesn't it?

14. Get back into PFL shape. It's been a few years now since I was in the Pillow Fight League and I let my body go all to hell. In 2011, I decided to change my diet and cut out soft drinks, fruit juice, chocolate, potato chips, switch from cream to milk in my coffee and cut down my overall sugar intake by half. In doing this and this alone I lost 13 lbs. When I started exercising again, I lost an additional 9 lbs making it a grand total of 22 lbs I had lost just by starting to take care of myself again. Since I got past that hurdle, I'm making 2012 the year to get back into the kind of shape I was in when I was fighting. I won't be doing any real fighting but want to get as toned as I can again, and would love to take boxing classes. This will be another tough one to do, but since I saw results from what I did last year, and I know that I feel both physically and mentally better when I'm working out, I'm confident that I can get into this resolution slowly but surely.

15. Finish all latchhooks in my bin and give them as presents or hang them up on the wall. My Granny taught me how to latchhook when I was little and it was one of the most enjoyable things I loved to do. I have a huge rubbermaid container filled with them and so this year I will attempt to finish all of them ... or at least 3/4 of them. My year of creativity can only be fully complete if I get back into my favourite crafting hobby!

Well .... there you have it. That took me about 2 hours to write out. Phew! I'd love to hear your thoughts on my ambitious plans for the year ahead, or even what you all have planned for 2012.

Whatever you choose to do this year, do it with your whole heart! :)


  1. Morning pages,..I do it in fit and starts,..but I keep telling myself its a 'practice' not a perfection. Mel

  2. I need to follow that tidying advice. If someone's coming over I almost feel the need to call in bulldozers.