I love the chance to think about the year from a big picture perspective when it comes to a close. Review the sorrows, joys, challenges, what I’ve learned, what surprises came our way–all that good stuff. I recently came across the list that I made 1 year ago. They were my goals for 2011–a big to-do list, essentially. So I decided to go through and track what happened with each of those items–what got accomplished and what got pushed aside.
So first up, here are some of the things I set out to do and DID!
–Finish writing one song. This is the one resolution I’ve blown out of the water–2011 has been a year of songwriting for me. Not only did I finish and perform my first song around April of the year (Under the Shadow), but our band Thornfield has also performed seven more of my songs. It’s been a process, but there’s nothing like sitting down with a guitar for 2-3 hours–or a number of days–and bringing a scrap of a melody that’s been echoing around in your head into full fruition.
–Overcome stage fright. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve come so far since my first gig with Carrie and Eric back in December of 2010. I’ve learned to hold my nerves at bay until the performance has actually begun (as opposed to wallowing in misery for days prior), and it’s been months since I’ve felt the whooshing, sickening “I want to die” feeling. There’s still a whooshing, and some degree of vocal instability when I first start a song, but at least there’s no longer a death wish!
–Continue blogging. Yes! And it’s all because of you lovely people who have, somehow, for whatever reason, signed up for the ride.
Some fun added things I didn’t plan on:
–The resurrection of the guitar! After studying classical guitar from age 12 all the way through my sophomore year at Indiana University, I decided I didn’t want to be a classical guitarrist. I changed my major from music to English and French, and the guitar went to the closet, where it remained for years. It came out a handful of times, but this past year–8 years after putting it away–it has come out with a vengeance. With the encouragement of my bandmates I’ve rediscovered this instrument and the joy of playing it. I’m loving it.
–My first paid photo shoots–four of them so far, to be exact, plus an almost equal amount of pro bono ones. I’ve recently changed cameras and am shooting with a Nikon D90, and I’m thrilled with the amount of progress I’ve made in the past 12 months. I can see the improvement both with my straight-outta-the-camera shots and my Photoshop processing (hopefully I’m learning about the light touch! A hard thing to master, to be sure).
And now the things I didn’t get around to:
–Making Grandma Sue’s cream pie recipe. A year ago, Aunt Laura gave me a handwritten recipe card from my husband’s favorite grandma, who died of cancer when he was a sophomore in high school. I really do need to make this, especially because the instructions read “cook until blurps.” Maybe 2012 will be the year of the blurping.
–Buy a dining room table. We decided to hold off on this and to make do with our small table–so I’m crossing this off the list with no regrets.
–Fix broken necklaces. I have two necklaces sitting around, broken and unwearable. One needs to be restrung. I even bought some wire to work on this . . . but I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. Moooooooom! Please send help in the form of your jewelry expertise and motivational abilities.
–Make biltong. That dang biltong. I think it may hang over my head forever–until my sister Heidi comes to whip my butt straight into South African culinary wonderland.
Tomorrow I’m going to set down my thoughts about this year, and what some of my hopes and plans are. How about you guys? What did you set out to do last year and get done? What got pushed aside?