The beginning of the year always brings reflection, especially on social media; I've seen a lot of posts reflecting on the previous 12 months and tentatively mapping out future plans. I've done posts like that in the past, but I didn't really feel like trying to itemize and summarize (or even make sense of) all that I've done and felt in the last year, at least not in the space of one Facebook post lost among many.
I didn't bother going out for New Year's Eve; while I enjoyed myself when I did last year, I didn't want to spend the money and energy that a night out usually requires. Maybe it's just another sign that I'm getting older, but unless I'm heading out to see people I know or do something I particularly want to do, I'd rather stay in the quiet of my apartment with my cat. By midnight my stomach was full of wine, Hawkins cheezies and poutine-flavoured Ruffles, and I was less concerned with lofty plans for the future than trying to get myself to sleep soon enough to not have the next day be a total write-off.
In a vague way, I know I have things I want to accomplish in the near future, but I don't really want to tie my goals to the Gregorian calendar so much as aim for incremental progress here and there. Speaking generally, I hope to get back to approaching the idea of writing as a source of income, developing my photography skills, paying down debts, travelling and generally being a bit more social; as for a concrete way to do all of these, I'm still working that part out. All I can do right now is recognize where I am, identify the habits and circumstances that stand in the way of these goals, and figure out how to work around them.
One thing I figured out in the last few days is that I spend way too much money on eating out. I live alone, am not an especially skilled cook, and have a few days where I don't feel like putting much of an effort into cooking dinner. On top of that, there are times where I may want to be somewhere in the city that isn't close to where I live (I live about a 40-minute bus ride away from downtown), or I just decided to eat while running errands. A few days ago, I had to get a few things to make pulled chicken, and on my way to the store I decided to get a bite at the food court. As I bit into my large donair, I just kept thinking that the whole thing cost me money I could have used on something I actually wanted or needed, and that I often rationalize not doing something mainly because of the money it costs, only to blow a lot on a pile of delicious grease and a bottle of pop. If I'm going to eat out or drink, I'd rather spend time with someone else while doing it.
I took a lot of pictures in the last year, but I'm still not satisfied with my skill set; I still want to focus on portraiture, but I think the shoots are a little too tense and awkward, especially with people I don't know well, and that reflects in the pictures. Is this something I can get over? I may just lay low with the photography thing for a while.
Now that I have a new laptop, I'm going to post here more often, since I'm no longer housebound if I want to write something (I suppose I could have always written things out longhand, but I digress). Maybe this will help with the whole "coming up with content" question: I don't know if this is the case for the rest of you. but I find my mind always locks into a certain pattern whenever I'm in the apartment as opposed to out in the world.