Most of 2017 felt like I was just keeping my head above water, but in retrospect I’m actually really proud of all that got accomplished this year. Both objectively speaking and relative to the goals I set last January when I took a brief solo retreat at the Wilde House to help start the year in a centered place.
On that retreat I identified the 3 primary roles (Person, Artist, Educator) I would play for the year and listed out areas of work to focus one for each:
Role & Focus
(Jan. 4, 2017)
Then I proceeded to try and name the things that have been most transformative in my life that I would want to contribute more of in the world. It seemed that the majority of those things could fall under the following categories: Friendships, Conversations, Music, Books.
And here's what eventually followed throughout the year...
- Read 29 books, cover to cover (not counting books for reference/incompleted books, surpassed my goal of 24)
- Wrote about 100,000 words (in my best estimate)
- 2 music releases: "River (Acoustic)"...which helped me send $100 to support resistance efforts at Standing Rock & "The Weary World Rejoices (EP)"...which helped me make it through the holidays (and hopefully a few other people too)
- Gigged more this year than the past 3 combined
- Crafted & taught an Enneagram workshop
- Completed my 2 year contract at Noel UMC
- Celebrated the Beer & Hymns 1st anniversary
- Brought Scott Erickson to Shreveport...and ya know, hung out with Scott Erickson
- Preached 6 times
- Taught a "Songwriting 101 for Teens" class
- Completed Enneagram Bootcamps I & II with Suzanne Stabile
- Did a few successful art pop-up shops & a Christmas market
- Made plans/set the foundation to move toward sustainable self-employment
- A deeply satisfying 1st year of marriage
- Huge career advances for Kirk
- Moved into an apartment we love
- Improved health & rhythms for both of us
- Got to revisit Sainte Terre TWICE
- Ate lots of pizza...mostly with friends at Franks (and made up for it with lots of juices)
- Travel: Austin, Ft. Walton Beach, Houston, Houma, Lafayette, etc.
It was also a year that included experiences of betrayal, immense loss, deep grief, and intense empathic distress/existential anxiety about the planet.
You win some, you lose some. Life is apparently always complex and relentlessly surprising. What say you, 2018?