Well another Christmas season has come and gone. I suffered through it with a cold and inexplicable back and neck pain. Christmas is a paradox for me, as it is all about the ideal and rarely ever manifests itself ideally. With each passing year I try to remain cool and calm as best I can, yet alas I find myself failing yet again. I think next year I may take Christmas off altogether.
This day finds me physically feel better. And my newfound tuxedo cat friend has helped with my emotional state. Last night was the first night we let all the cats out at night; they had the free reign of the darkened home while we slumbered. Early morning, well before waking time, found Dixon upon my bed exploring and ultimately snuggling with me. It was nice to have a bed time companion, and he found being treated like a stuffed animal an amicable arrangement, if only in spurts. His presence and companionship may just be my salvation. For all intents and purposes he may as well be my white tufted shadow on these cold, short, winter days. The world works in mysterious ways.
As an aside, Dix is the world’s worst jumping cat. Even with claws, he’s just awful; clumsily leaping upon my lap as I work. But he settles in to a cat nap quickly, purring away like a motor boat.
As the new year approaches I find myself asking a lot of tough questions. I have spent time reflecting on the last year and setting my course for the new year. My reality now is significantly different from what it was a year ago. Mentally I am working 24/7 which is quickly burning me out. Creatively now I can do anything I darn well please, and find my self with less drive than I have ever had in the previous forty years. My existence is basically lying awake at night waiting for death to come rescue me. There are about 10 billion things I want to do, about four that I am capable of doing, and none of them pay much.
So in an effort to salvage 2014, I’m thinking through my goals, projects and whatnot for the coming year. I share them with you to make them real, and to hopefully prompt you to plot your course for a fruitful new year. Cheers!
Out of sight, out of mind.
Living and working from home is my new lot in life. I’m an introvert who gets energy from being on the periphery of the world, observing others, doing my thing, co-mingling here and there; ironically I thrive in teams of complimentary people, doing really cool shit. But alas at home I have virtually no contact with the outside world and it has driven me insane in 2013. I talk to the check out lady at the grocery store, and other random strangers, a lot more these days. Beyond that my interaction with the outside world basically involves me staring at the phone. Being out of sight definitely means being out of mind. I’d be more appealing to the general public if I had leprosy. In 2014 I will focus on work, family, and my rewarding relationships (I focus on my self 24/7 already, so I’m good there).
‘Little Red Hen’ it.
The economy is slow. No one returns phone calls. So I’ll ‘Little Red Hen’ it. The coming year will find me as Vice President of a new consumer products company that I’m starting with a partner of mine. I’ll get to design stuff, get it made and sell it. God willing it will make us infinitely rich in every way. If not, at least it gives me some entrepreneurial street cred. See, you can’t do this stuff if you’re worried about your “job” and paying bills. Me? What’s the worst that can happen? Bring it on. Plus this will get me out there interacting with people again.
Painting was cool when I was working for the “man“: nerf-y prescribed predictability, hours and income. I had weekends and evenings free. Now I work, or don’t work, ALL THE TIME. Which leaves no time or desire to paint quite frankly. I have some cityscapes I’ll work on this year, but not much more. Or at least not painting to chase a buck. I will apply to just one art show this year.
One project I’m knocking around is studying the thermal properties of bee hives. I have some theories in my mind and think it’d be fun to test them out this year. I’ll even get to use some science gear, as well as leverage design and biomimicry. No one’s asking me, or paying me, to do this. I’m just interested in it.
Being a professional designer and artist means I can pretty much do whatever I please. This year will find me experimenting with photography in my studio as well as painting. Whereas my other painting is presumably for profit, this art endeavor will be purely self-indulgent. I have 2-3 projects in mind revolving around portraiture. Who knows, if you visit the estate in 2014, you may be drafted. Models wanted.
Tick be gone.
This one is primarily my wife’s project, but you know how it goes, I’ll get roped into helping out. We’re going to get guinea fowl chicks this June. These feathered friends should make quick work of the ticks in the garden and yard. Plus their eggs can be scrambled just like chickens. Win, win.
I will continue my dream of being a farmer. I will continue to work, plan, and experiment with our micro farm. I pray to God the apple trees blossom this year. We’ll get more bee hives set up. And we’ll refine what we grow in our gardens. I would like to include kale this year and grow a lot more sunflowers for their seeds. Also would like to figure out what’s up with our berry bushes. I’d like to see more of our produce home-grown, and actually start to impact our grocery bill.
There you have it, my goals for 2014. I’m so happy we have winter to get some time off but I also can’t wait for Spring to come. Living in Ohio is perfect in my opinion because of our seasons. I’m so grateful our boys get to grow up in a creative, eclectic environment with a father who has a few screws loose. I’m glad I have a wife who indulges all of my eccentricities and turns a blind eye to all of my short comings.
Good riddance to 2013 and all of its broken promises (e.g. no apple blossoms) and hello to a new year.
Stay safe. Let me know what you’re up to in the new year.