Defend your schedule

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.”

— Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

We all have a list of things that we want to accomplish. And probably a bigger list of things that require our attention. And, if we’re honest, an even longer list of items that others need from us.

When we make time, we take time from other items that could be consuming our attention. The economic principle of opportunity costs. What we are giving up.

Remember: The most successful people are generally those who eliminate the unnecessary from their lives.

2019 year in review

To start the year, I had two focus words I wanted to spend my time with: Harmony & Success. I made some progress with harmony, but not so much with success.

I began the year working as a development director for a nonprofit, as well as working two gigs. My contract with the nonprofit ended in April, but I hadn’t been enjoying the work all that much anyway. I went into a sales position after that ended, and picked up a couple more gigs along the way.

When I had another sales job lined up, I left the first one – only to have my new job placed on hold. So I bounced around a lot. From August to October, I was only working gigs and relying on savings to get through. By November I was worrying about what kind of work I’d land. Then in December, I added two more jobs, one in retail and one in a restaurant. And most excitingly, a tour guide job I could line up for March – in Alaska.

As to achieving harmonious living – I believed it would take meditation, yoga, writing, and soul searching, all of which I did to some degree over the past year. I’ve been more consistent with my writing, and up until the end of November, I had been doing a lot of yoga.

Am I more harmonious? I don’t really know. But I usually feel pretty relaxed and even-keeled.

This past year had some highlights – my summer travel to Alaska; joining the improv troupe; a few really exciting gigs. But overall, it was a quiet year. A time for restructuring and decluttering. Much more harmony than success.

With 2020 mere hours away, I’m focusing on two new words to guide me through the coming year: Adventure and bravery. Tomorrow I’ll dig into my plans and goals for 2020, but for now, here’s to a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve!

 

 

An honest look at 2018

This year, closing out today, has been what I would used to call, “Meh.” There were some ups, some downs, and then the mostly flats.

To the year’s credit, I did have more time on stage; rejoined the nonprofit world; made considerable effort towards getting out of debt (given the state of my student loans, that didn’t look like much – but I made progress nonetheless); worked on relationships with family, friends, and other loved ones; decluttered; and started new endeavors.

On the other side of the ledger, there was an overwhelming feeling of not accomplishing enough. Many of the new endeavors sat unfinished, or abandoned. Some money-making ideas didn’t pan out as hoped, and were laid to the side. A few of my writing projects got pushed to the back burner, and nothing got even close to completion this year.

Som highlights:

  • With my subscription to Movie Pass in 2016, I saw numerous films throughout the year. After changes to its subscription model prevented me from buying several tickets, it was time to cancel though, and I’ve reduced the number of films I see so that I wasn’t spending so much on tickets.
  • I started the year working in telecommunications, and studying basic electric circuit design. I’m ending the year with a primary focus in fundraising and development.
  • In April I purchased my new car, a Toyota RAV4 Adventure Series. There was a notion to buy a small camper, and do some traveling, living and working from wherever I ended up. I haven’t gotten that far yet. To date, I haven’t even had a tow hitch installed.
  • A few shows under my belt – Evita, Oklahoma, and Little Women. I’m enjoying the character work that I’ve been getting, and would like to try my hand on camera again. It’s been many years since doing television work in Ft. Lauderdale.
  • During November my girlfriend and I did make the trip to Costa Rica. This was a quick jaunt, and I would have loved to have seen more. In the summer of 2019 we’ll be heading to Alaska for ten days, so I’m excited for that as well.
  • The remainder of the year was just so-so. Nothing dramatic, nothing earth-shattering (all this being on the personal front). Just a development year. It’s 2019 that promises change. As I said, my focus words for 2019 are Success and Harmony. There are no limits to what those mean, and as the Universe receives my intention, I know it’ll bring it back to me in the auspicious, Universal way.

So, fare thee well 2018. Greetings to a prosperous and healthy 2019.

Happy New Year!

Ending 2018

To close out 2015, I had been listening to Inside Acting, a podcast out of LA. Their end-of-year episode did a year-in-review, and they gave focus words for 2016. I decided that I would do that as well.

For 2016 my focus words were distance and serenity.

Honestly I was met with mixed success. In Feb. 2016 my engagement ended. I did put distance between me and “here”, and spent a month wandering around the UK and Ireland. I returned, and spiraled into what I wrote about, my Dark Night of the Soul. I don’t know that I’ve fully comprehended the enormity of that period in my life. I feel that maybe serenity would/could have arisen out of it.

However, I left my job, moved, and started carving out new places in for me to live my life.

For 2017, I did not wish for any words to transform my life. Nor for 2018.

Now, though, I realize that it’s time to change how I’m doing things. How I’m living life. When I put distance and serenity out into the Universe, the Universe answered. Frighteningly so.

So, mere days away from my 35th birthday, and preparing to ring in 2019, I’m prepared to ask of the Universe another change of pace.

My two words, which will be my focus and energy for 2019, are:

  1. Success
  2. Harmony

Asking for these things, I put no expectation of result. I certainly wouldn’t have anticipated the ways in which my words for 2016 were received or acknowledged. However this coming year plays out, I trust in the results and will remain focused on living my life in the now.