I’ve not yet done any of my creative exercises for the day.  Instead, I took a mental health day¹ and have spent the day sorting through those things around the house that have been most negatively contributing to my mental load and upping my anxiety, i.e., my filthy sheets, the backlog of laundry, the mess in the kitchen, etc.  In between, I have been making it a point to do some more recreational self-care, and have been comfort listening to my favorite podcasts (particularly a previously named one which I will not name again because I found out the host I have a massive crush on has a Google Alert set up of the name of said podcast, and I am fucking mortified), watching some YouTube videos, and contemplating the future of (my personal) social media.

I have gone through so many iterations of this blog.  Just, so many.  I started out as a creative writing blog where not a lot of creative writing happened (save during challenge months, like NaPoWriMo, OctoPoWriMo, or the April A-to-Z Challenge), and quickly grew disinterested because I couldn’t sustain enough focus to regularly write (or even write about writing).  Then I shifted gears to being an ADHD blog, which, while it felt good to have a place to unload about the struggle of trying to get a diagnosis as a nominally functional adult, and how it affects my creativity and self-image, it felt like I was essentializing something that I really only saw as an increasingly small part of who I was, especially as I began to make (small, but important) strides in overcoming it in my creative life.

I feel like I’m finally starting to come into my own, now that I’ve abandoned the idea of having a branded blog; I feel like returning to a more personal, “best of late-90s LiveJournal” sort of blogging — where I can share my creative work, but also post about anything that happens to be on my mind while connecting with like-minded individuals — is the best thing that’s happened to my blogging since I returned to the medium.  The fact that I’ve posted more since December 24th than I had in the previous two years on this platform combined is a testament to that.

That being said, I’ve started to think about my other social media networks, and becoming more active on them.

I deleted my Twitter — which had 930 followers — in November, when I realized I had no connections with anyone I was following, or anyone following me.  Most of the blogs I was following were branded accounts doing primarily self-promotion  (which, for what it’s worth, I am in no way trying to shame.  It’s just not the purpose for which I personally use Twitter, and I don’t think I was the “right” audience for those accounts, either).  I want to follow people who use Twitter more for personal purposes — the quick thoughts and updates not quite worthy of a full blog entry.  Overheard quotes and non-sequiturs.  Social commentary (original or reblogged).  Jokes.  The best of Comedy Twitter™.  Just, a more personal experience, not a “brand” one.  If this sounds like your Twitter, please let me know.  I follow from @rarelytidymind.

YouTube feels much the same; I used to sporadically do vlogs for “events,” like NaNowWriMo (I even participated in more than one group vlog channel during various Novembers) and I am obsessed with personal vlog channels.  I don’t think I could ever tie myself down to one and only one vlog topic, but I’m especially interested in starting a vlog for kid’s books with my son, and I would love to see other people’s YouTube channels where they do more personal-style vlogs.  Again, if you use YouTube as a platform to share… whatever, please let me know.  You might recognize the idea of starting an active vlog channel as one of my bucket list goals.  Well, now feels like as good of a time as any.

Back to chores. I hope to be back with my Daily Nose (man, that sounds weird) and maybe some progress on my latest micron drawing (which has stalled out at a very early stage).

Mondays, am I right?  Getting going is always hard.  It’s all easier from here on out.

¹ Which I feel guilty and anxious about, which sort of obliquely helps to solidify my reasoning for needing a mental health day in the first place (like, the days are mine, I shouldn’t feel bad for needing to take one?)  Also, sort of related, but I’ve been spending a ton of time on my feet at work lately, and my hips have not stopped hurting for the last two weeks, and shit, I think I’m getting old.

New Year

I don’t want to burden Bear with the whole New Year’s Resolution trend just yet, but it’s hard to talk about the upcoming year with him without mentioning or bringing up particular goals.  He’s cottoned on to the idea that people make changes at the start of a new year; it’s in pop culture, on TV, and he unavoidably hears me and my friends talk about our own ambitions.

I asked him if he had any goals for the new year.  He thought about it for a minute before deciding his goal for 2020 would be “to listen to [his] grown-ups better,” which overall I think is actually a pretty great, self-aware goal.  I tried to suggest that maybe he’d want to consider “keeping [his] room clean” or “trying new food” as a goal, but then I thought, hmm, if I ask him to clean his room or eat his broccoli, wouldn’t his own resolution to listen to me better hold him to doing it?

Man, it’s so rare a loophole works to my benefit.

I mean, realistically, he’s likely going to recant literally the minute he’s actually asked to do something he doesn’t like, but still, at five I appreciate the self-awareness.  At least he knows it’s something he needs to work on.  I guess it’s still up to me to help strategize how that’s actually going to be accomplished.

My own resolution is a little more loosely framed this year than it had been in the past; basically I want to make measurable progress on at least five of my bucket list goals (the primary focus right now being returning to the gym, drinking more water, and eating more “real” food), and knock out the ones that are one-offs (i.e., buy a binder, get a tattoo, write five fan letters, etc.)

So much of what’s on the bucket list are creative goals — at some point during the summer I became obsessed with publishing a zine or a chapbook, and I still want to follow through on that, and I’m determined to host a limited run podcast, though I’m having a hell of a time finding someone to co-host with me (I have a number of different ideas for what I’d want to do, but again, having trouble finding a co-host).  Painting and writing are always top priority as well, though I feel like I made great strides in 2019 towards making them part of a semi-daily routine; in their case, it’s more carrying forward and continuing the momentum rather than forging a new habit from the ground up.  Oh, and if it hasn’t become apparent, I’m also trying my best to write something everyday — yes, even if it’s just a “what I did today” entry.  2019 was the surest proof that “branded” blogging is just not for me — I’m not good at it, I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t want to do it.  I just want to talk, damn it, and have a place to keep the things I make that I’m proudest of.

I hope I make a lot of things I’m proud of this year.

My bucket list, by the way, is a sort of living document, so I’m constantly updating it and adding new goals.  I encourage others to try it out in the new year — I did it back in 2011/2012 and actually had a lot of success!  This was back on LiveJournal, and the memory of it was actually one of the things that spurred me to return to personal blogging.  I found a community of like-minded folks that actually offered real support and feedback on my goals, my failures, and my successes, and it was probably the time of my life I felt most successful and productive.

If you have, or plan to make, a bucket list, please share it with me here.

Oh, and on the topic of bucket list goals, specifically “Produce one sketch every day,” here’s today’s (getting a head start):