2017 Review

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:

Roles

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.

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Categories

And here's what eventually followed throughout the year...

Work-related:

  • 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

Closer-to-home:

  • 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?