Resolving means to decide firmly on a course of action.
Our lives take different paths. For me, I am closing the chapter on a volatile block of time that provided me with little guidance and routine. What I’ve missed is an accountable plan of action. My projects and goals fall to the wayside because they are not articulated enough for me to be reminded of them. I don’t set deadlines. I make no rules. After years of coasting, enjoying, feeling free, and finishing almost nothing, I am ready for an actionable year.
For the past few years, I have reflected and made plans for the future by answering absurdly long questions given to me by a former employer. I enjoyed their depth but didn’t engage with them on a spiritual level. Filling in the blanks felt like homework.
This year, I’m creating my own year end activity, that combines the best parts of reflecting on the year past, and setting achievable goals for the year ahead – and I am sharing it with you.
Goodbye blessed 2017 – we will never be here or be the same again.
Hello dear 2018 – I hope I can manifest some good, hard work in you.
What went well this year?
I made a lot of honest and loving connections this year – with CJ, Mark and Noreen, with Christy, a friend I’ve had for many, many years, with Laura and Drew in Guelph and Toronto, with Brielle when she visited Toronto, with Amanda, Adam, and Finn over Christmas, with many incredible creators and writers, too.
I participated in FEM Script Lab and moved toward producing the short film I workshopped. I continued with CUE Story Reno studio and my confidence and purpose in my book blossomed. I lived on the island for a week to work on my book. I also participated in Outdoor Studio. I published 3 zines, got published a few times, and hosted 3 writing workshops that went well.
Got my lead cert. at Basecamp Climbing, co-hosted an ACC clinic and also rappelled for the first time (thanks to my amazingly patient mentor).
Brian and I found my wedding dress which was a whopping $2000 on sale for $792 which we were willing to pay because it is a damn great dress and so we chose it. Then our personal shopper said it was an extra 40% off. I know this is purely monetary but it just happened on Friday and I’m very pleased at how well it all went.
What were your favourite moments of 2017?
Spending the day with Laura celebrating her 30th birthday – we drank way too much coffee, went on a hike to Evergreen, paid $10 each for a snack and was still hungry, and stuffed ourselves at Sneaky Dee’s. All in a day.
Brian and I received a sponsored trip to Stratford in February, which was superb. Hotel, meals, shopping, activities. We fell in love with Stratford, and even considered marrying there.
Publishing the first two volumes of Inside Me zine, and then If A Tree Falls zine via Outdoor Studio.
Seeing Noreen’s art piece for school.
Going for Mom’s birthday brunch in Toronto at Niche with Grandma. Meeting the fam in Paris, Ontario for Mother’s Day brunch. Taking the go-train to meet Mom and Grandma in St. Jacob’s in the spring. Going to Manitoulin Island on Canada Day weekend with Mom and Brian. Meeting the fam at Mandarin Dec. 23rd, even though we were late due to weather.
Learning script supervising.
Visiting a lavender farm.
All the cabins we rented.
Working on Through Black Spruce in Sudbury, Killarney, and Kukigami.
Being a part of Story Reno studio, and the Margin of Eras Gallery show.
What was your favourite movie and/or book and/or game from 2017?
Movies: I Am Not Your Negro, Get Out, The Girl with all the Gifts, Lady Bird, Bon Cop Bad Cop with Marika, Mother!, Blade Runner 2049, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Books: Mad Shadows, Up Ghost River, Sapiens, On Immunity
Podcasts: Lore, Ear Hustle
Games: Settlers of Catan (which I had never played before now)
What were your hardest moments of 2017?
I started the year hard at work on my book but I got little done because I didn’t have an income coming in. I felt stressed and distracted. This has weighed on me, an enormous amount.
Walking through Honest Ed’s before it closed, and then seeing it torn down last week. Feeling like, at times, I can do nothing to stop or pause change.
Deciding not to go to the US during Trump’s presidency (unless necessary) and navigating the response from family and friends.
Being kicked off a film committee for exercising personal beliefs.
Dealing with a cyst in my ovaries (again..) and my growing troubles with psoriasis.
Hearing all my father’s objections to our wedding plans.
Working on Through Black Spruce in Sudbury, Killarney, and Kukigami.
That panic attack I had on Christmas Eve while driving in the snow storm thinking about my cousin in the ditch on the 23rd and how things can go real bad real fast and how I didn’t want them to.
What did you start this year, and not complete?
My book. Producing and making Bullied, the FEM Script Lab short. Releasing Peakbaggers Season 1. Turonno web series.
Who are you the most grateful for right now?
Brian, my family, the two little humans in our life, the friends I text about milestones and who check in when they haven’t heard from me in a while. Clare and her lovely letters and cards that come in the mail multiple times a year.
Paste one photo that represents a memory of 2017.
Hello Dear 2018
What do you want to do differently this year?
I’d like to complete more written work. Although I read a lot this year, I’d also like to read MORE!
Who or what are you most inspired and energized by?
The writers I met last year. Brian. Art – I need to look at more of it! Nature.
Where do you feel most at peace?
At Union Yoga. In quiet rooms, alone.
What do you want to manifest this year?
A beautiful and big Inside Me Volume 3. A grad school application that will get me accepted. Enough money to live and pay off all my debt. More nature in my life.
Using the answers above, list 5 ACTIONABLE goals you resolve to accomplish in 2018. Actionable means these goals are able to be done or acted upon.
I resolve to only keep items in my house that spark joy.
This is Marie Kondo’s approach: move through the items that you own, category by category, and ask, “Does this spark joy in my life?” If the answer is no, then donate, sell, or ditch it. While this isn’t necessarily a minimalist approach, it is one that will help get me there. I often feel weighted by the material options available to me. I resolve to lessen the load.
I resolve to read 10 books (or more).
Dear self, when you get lost or can’t choose what to do, pick a book from this list and read:
- Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood
- Alvin Schwartz’ Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
- Ahmadou Kourouma’s Allah is not Obliged
- Evany Rosen’s What I Think Happened
- Pandi’s The Accussation
- Mari-Lou Rowley’s Suicide Psalms
- Sabrina Benaim’s Depression and Other Magic Tricks
- Ottessa Moshfegh’s Homesick for Another World
- Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye
- Ursula K Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness
I resolve to send 1 short story to my mailing list per month.
No word limit, which means this can be as short or as long as I want or have time for. This is achievable.
I resolve to pack my lunch 3 out of 5 days per week.
Prep on Sundays! This works!
I resolve to finish my book.
One chapter per month, first draft only. Just. Write.