Well here we are, in another year and so far it’s been interesting even though I’ve barely left the house (grocery shopping yesterday was as social as I’ve been in ages). What would we do without the Internet to inform these otherwise shapeless days?
One thing I have been thinking about lately is the things I do want to shape my life in the next few months, and I spent the holidays after Christmas deep in planning mode, coming up with a schedule that involves time for writing, music, meditation, studio, exercise and so on. In this first week back at work, I’ve pretty much stuck to it, despite the avalanche of tasks and union issues I’ve had to deal with on my return. We’ll see how this goes as the shine of new commitments wears off.
Food: I’m back to meal planning after a haphazard holiday eating season. This was a bit of an Instant Pot week with Turkish Instant Post Split Pea Stew (which I ate for a dinner and two lunches) and our household favourite Chicken Biryani on the menu this week. I also remembered to marinate some sablefish for a couple of days and we had Nobu’s Miso-Marinated Black Cod on Monday night. This recipe is one of few ingredients to astounding effect – I can’t recommend it enough. After a couple of weeks of eating quite a lot of sugary stuff, we are right back to regular eating, which is still always a little bit decadent for the simple fact that we cook every night.
Brian has recently decided that we should be able to have dim sum whenever we want it, so he’s been on a dumpling-making kick. He’s been flash-freezing his treasured creations so that at a moment’s notice he can get out the steamer and serve up a variety of dumplings, rice packets, and barbequed pork – it’s really rather impressive. We had our first dim sum meal on New Year’s Day and holy doodle was it ever good!
Textiles: I cleaned the studio over the holidays and now I’m working on warping both looms. Warp chains are done, and I’ve started “sleying the reed” with the easiest of the two projects. I should have that warp on by Sunday. The other one (hundreds of more threads) will take me some time to complete. I am refocusing a bit on writing at the moment, and given the finite time available to me (damned work, always getting in the way), I have not had as much of it available for sewing and other fun projects. I have come to recognize that all my creative projects will happen though, I just have to be prepared for the ebbs and flows of interest and time, and not despair when I don’t get as far as I’d like to.
Fitness: I did not slack off during the holidays, mostly because we didn’t go anywhere and I had no real excuse to break my routine. I’ve fully incorporated proper rest days into my schedule in the last three weeks, and it feels like the right approach. However, there is a noted absence on the days I don’t exercise – it’s become such a part of my routine. I think I am getting stronger lately, but still need to set some new lifting goals since I’ve been floating for the last little while without setting my sights on anything except overall health. I would like to start driving my power lifts upward again, and get some run goals in place for 2021.
Work: Back at it this week even waged work is *bullshit* (oh, did I say that outloud? I really enjoyed the time off). I’ve returned to finish off the last interview in my hiring process and now I’m moving on to the next stages to compete the staffing. I’ve also got a lot of pressure to deliver a project plan, a content management plan and an internal engagement strategy on the big web conversion project I’m responsible for. Also, lots of union stuff. My focus this year is going to be less union stuff/mentoring other people to do it because I plan to run for one more 2-year term as president of my local (AGM in February) and then retire from union leadership. I keep telling people that, but they don’t seem to believe me, so it’s time to start stepping back and nudging other people forward.
Notable: To kick off 2021, I am relaunching my monthly mailing Comfort for the Apocalypse alongside a smaller Sunday (“small comforts”) edition!
I have moved to the Substack platform (which has tons of really great writers on it), registered a domain, and am working on the drafts of my January offerings.
If you were subscribed before, you still are. If not, you can subscribe at Comfort for the Apocalypse. These mailings are separate from this blog and includes more of my writing, recipes, books/links/listens worth checking out, and news from the studio – all built around the theme of living our best possible lives in these impossible times. You can read past issues at the link if you aren’t sure, and it’s totally free!
I’m excited to get back to writing in a structured format, and connecting with people in this way again. Even before the pandemic, I was struggling with the writing process, so it’s no mystery to me why the words dried up a bit over the spring and summer. But now that we’re here for the longer haul, I am finding my way into a new normal that includes this creative outlet again. This weekly blog post has been helping me find my way back to a regular output (no matter how small), and to planning around producing (if I don’t schedule things in, they don’t happen) – and I plan keep posting this and other material to the blog. My plan is to make lots of content happen this year as it’s not like I’ll be leaving the island much 🙂