A new year is often a time for reflection and reevaluation, but recent events have made these practices practically mandatory. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I’ve been, both personally and professionally, what I want, and who I’m becoming from here.
I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but maybe setting some intentions would be OK. It’ll be interesting to reflect on these in a year’s time.
Stop worrying about who I am. I think I’ve finally figured out that this is the wrong question. The questions that matter are “what am I doing? and “what impact am I having?”
Embrace my role as a source of inspiration. I’ve know for most of my life that I only touch the divine spark in myself when I first seek to channel it for someone else. It’s time to stop worrying that this is putting the cart before the horse, or that I need to get my own house in order before I set out to be inspirational. And instead accept that if I want to warm my own hearth, for me it starts with bringing down fire from heaven for those around me.
One thing at a time. Fewer projects, carefully chosen, wholly committed to, with clear endings. This is unquestionably the way I work best (and it will require some changes to my business).
Do more of what feels right, and less of what doesn’t. Examples: more working directly with other people. Less charging hourly. More traveling and speaking. Less maintenance. More conversations. Less support. More learning and sharing what I learned. Less noodling on strategy.
More transparency, more vulnerability. One of the few gifts of the changes that have come to my life is that I feel like I can return to a state of default transparency and vulnerability which I have sorely missed. It feels like stage-diving again after many years… it’s not for everyone, but for me it’s a joyous letting-go.
Get rich. I’m being blunt about this, mostly to head off the judgmental voice in my head that’s like “what if people perceive you as trying to get rich???” I’m 37, I have no savings, no retirement. I have large fixed expenses that I can’t change. I don’t want to saddle my kids with taking care of me, and right now I’m tired of not doing things with them because ensuring next month’s revenue has to take precedence.
Also, you know what? I like nice things, and I want more of them. In particular, I like going out to eat, especially with friends. I like trying new restaurants and revisiting favorites. I like going to shows. And I want to be able to buy fancy boots without feeling like I’m taking something away from my kids.
Having furniture would also be nice.
Speaking of judgement… overcome my fear of being judged and shamed. I’m not saying I can get rid of the fear, and I very much want to keep caring about what people think of me. But I would like to be able to face judgment without it knocking the breath out of me and reducing me to a quivering puddle. One person’s judgment in particular has dominated my own will for a very long time, and that’s a tough habit to break.
Related: start trusting my own compass a little. Between being shamed, my fear of my own subjectivity, and concern that I’m a little too good at plausible self-justification, for years I’ve been terrified of trusting myself. I’m constantly trying to find people to ask “what’s the right choice? Am I doing the right thing? Am I crazy for thinking X”? I’d like to start trusting myself a little more.
Sit with my fear. Especially my fear of actions others might take. I’m not going to talk about losing my fear, I don’t think that’s going to happen. But I’m setting an intention to accept it instead of letting it rule and override me.
Take a vacation. A real one.
Visit friends. Deepen friendships.
Date, until it’s so comfortable and ordinary that I finally knock my unconscious mind out of its desperate scarcity mindset.
Have great sex. I’ve heard that’s a thing. [Part of me wants to edit this out, but like I said transparency, vulnerability. Even for the stuff I have lingering shame over.]
Hike. Dance. Obviously.
Practice music. I’m deliberately not making a specific resolution here, because there’s too much else going on. But I would really like to be further along on the piano at the end of the year.
(But Avdi, you haven’t even mentioned any parent stuff!
Thank you for that note, judge-y voice from my subconscious! It’s because being the best dad I can be falls under “goes without saying”; and because this post is about what I want to change not what I want to keep doing; and because it’s time for “dad” to stop being the word that defines and encompasses my entire life.)