I was originally going to call this 12 things for 2012, but then I worried I might be starting a trend and would have to call next year's 13 things for 2013 and so on and so on and that would get way too long.
I'm not going to call these resolutions. If I call them resolutions, then they are automatic failures if I don't succeed. These are just things I want to accomplish/try for the next year.
1. Finish the new album
I'm about a third of the way through the new album. It's going to have 13 or 14 songs (still deciding on that). We've got instrumentals done for close to 5 of those and all together 9 songs have at least been started. I am beyond excited for this album. It sounds so different from the first, yet still carries a lot of the same qualities. I want to release it right. I really want people to hear this one. The rest of this winter is all about finishing this album.
2. Get a new acoustic & electric guitar & amp
I need all of these things. Desperately. But last night while listening to Walker Fields fill the room and kill it at the Amsterdam, I realized that a really good amp is what I need more than anything. Walker Fields is two people. One on acoustic and one on drums. The drummer was pounding on those drums and the guitar was as loud and clear as can be. I need my guitar to sound that way. I also don't think I need a new acoustic (well, I do), but I at least need to get some of my other ones fixed.
3. Lose weight
Blah. Typical beginning of the year bullshit. But it has to be done. These last few months I have been eating so terribly. It has nothing to do with the holidays and everything to do with being sad and stressed. I need to get in control of my diet. This is not to say I want to diet. I just can't do that. I cannot eat salads every day. I just need to cut it back a bit. And be more active. Less sitting here on the computer (gasp!).
4. Go out to a nice dinner once a month
The problem with #3 is that I like food. And I don't go out to nice restaurants enough to really enjoy it. So I want to try to get out at least once a month to a nice place and have a really good meal. It doesn't have to be super expensive. Just nice. Not Applebees.
5. Learn to play the banjo
I've had my banjo for 2 years now and I always swear I'm going to learn how to play it. But it's hard. I need to set up time each week to sit down with it and really study.
6. Make the basement a nice place to hang out.
I hate our basement. I almost have an anxiety attack every time I'm down there. It's not that it's a bad basement. It's just that it seems that everything that can go wrong with a house starts in the basement, so when I'm down there, I'm constantly looking around for the thing that looks out of place. And the times when I do see something, it usually sends my world crashing down. I've had to train myself to just look straight ahead when I'm down there. Like when I'm doing laundry, just keep my eyes on the clothes and don't look at anything else. And considering I have band practice down there, it just needs to be a more welcoming place. This one only stands if we don't end up selling the house this year...
7. Decide where I want to call home and make it happen
There's been talk in the house about trying to tell the house. Now that we don't have Murray and we don't plan on getting another dog anytime soon, we don't need this big yard to stress over ever summer. And though where we are is just outside the city, we want to be back in the city. We also don't want to have this big mortgage sitting on our shoulders so that we can have more freedom with what we want to do in our work lives. It's a tough decision and houses aren't exactly flying off the market right now and we have a lot of work to do around here before we can put that sign in the yard...but it's something I need to either start doing or just forget about.
8. Work towards doing what I want to do, not what I have to do
Everyone wants their dream job. The job that makes work not seem like work anymore. Well, I've decided that I can have that. Anyone can have that. You just have to make it happen. So I am going to do that.
I need to leave the country again. I don't care where I go, I just want to go somewhere again. Well, really I want to go back to London for a time and then make a stop somewhere else - like Dublin or Amsterdam. That would be ideal. First step: getting money for plane tickets. Because, really, once you have the tickets and you're over there, everything else will fall into place. That's something I need to remember when I think about travelling: Yes, it's expensive. But if you save and buy the tickets 6 months in advance, that gives you another 6 months to squirrel away enough money for a hotel. Then once you are there, you spend what you have. There's no reason you have to break the bank on entertainment when you're there. You're in another country! That's entertainment enough. Fancy dinners are good, though.
10. Be a better person
I'm a grump. An awful grump. I complain about children and sick people in the grocery store. Truthfully, I don't plan to stop doing that (I really don't like sick people. I'm sick right now and I kind of hate myself even). But I want to start being a better friend to my friends. I want to volunteer somewhere - like the Humane Society. I want to live a happier life - stop being so pessimistic.
To quote Conan O'Brien on his last night as host of The Tonight Show: "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
Here's to 2012. May it be a good year for all of us.