Welcome to 2019!
Welcome to 2019, happy to be here!
Before I get into planning the new year, it’s really important to look back on the year we’re finishing, and acknowledge all that was learned and accomplished (even if you feel like you didn’t do that much, I bet that it’s a lot more than you thought!) I’m posting my highlights, not as a brag or an encouragement for comparison, but to set an example that we all deserve to recognize our accomplishments and be proud of ourselves!
2018 was a really big year for me, crazy and challenging, but overall a good one. Here’s some of what I did:
Launched 5-Day free composition prompt course
Launched weekly newsletter for creatives
Launched sheet music store!
Won 2 grants to put toward recording my album Florescer
Fun performances with Batucada do Norte and Modern Spark Trio
Transitioned to teaching in only one place, with a lot more admin support
Finished and released my debut album Florescer
Hosted 3 women musicians happy hour/jams with my friend Lauren Husting
Launched Coaching for Creative Wellness
PERSONAL / TRAVEL
Celebrated my 35th birthday + Tom’s graduation (after 4.5 years in school) on the same day!
Denver to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday
New York City to see the installation at MoMA PS1 that Tom helped with
Cabin weekend in Northern Minnesota
New Orleans to attend Being Boss NOLA
Door County, Wisconsin for a wedding during the peak of fall color
San Francisco Bay Area for a gig and to visit family
Celebrated my 12th anniversary w/Tom!
Purged a lot of stuff from the apartment, which was years overdue and felt amazing!
(I share these in the name of keeping it real - it’s definitely not all highlights around here)
Being on my own for almost the entire Kickstarter - Tom was gone in NYC, working on the aforementioned MoMA PS1 installation
Sick with the worst cold I’ve had in years while recording my album
Felt burnout / “post-partum depression” after album release, which coincided with the sudden onset of winter and seasonal affective disorder
Tons of moments of “can I do this?”, “how am I going to do this?”, and other self-doubting thoughts (they’re not very Instagrammable, but we all have them!)
First time feeling positive about winter, by getting outside for a walk most days (it made me happier than going to the gym)
Started writing my first piano trio
First craniosacral therapy (I’ve never been more relaxed - my friend Sara is made of magic!)
First time being a podcast guest (on the Essential Omnivore podcast, hosted by my awesome nutritionist Lucia Hawley)
First time getting cupping
Finally got comfortable with talking at performances
First sheet music sale
First time dying my hair - purple highlights!
First radio interview (on Jazz88, to talk about my album)
First Facebook Live video that was entirely spoken (on holiday self-care)
CONNECT (My 2018 word of the year)
I really embraced this word of the year by collaborating with and meeting lots of other cool musicians and artists, some of whom even became good friends! I also attended some great events such as the Minnesota Music Coalition Summit, New Music Gathering, Giant Steps, and Dissonance’s Unhappy Holidays.
Looking back on this list, it’s really clear to me that I did too much in 2018 - I don’t regret having done any of this stuff, but I worked too hard! I am feeling pulled toward being more present/intuition-focused, and away from tying my worth to achievement (oof, that's going to be a process.)⠀
So what’s in store for 2019?
I’m approaching this year very differently than past years.
After all that I did last year, I have a strong desire to simplify, in terms of things I’m doing, and in the material and digital realms. In the past, I have often treated new year planning and goal setting like arriving hangry at a delicious buffet - I always overdo it!
I don’t normally plan for a whole year at once, but this year I am being very choosy, so only things that truly feel good and right will make my list. (And permission to change our minds whenever we want is implied!)
In support of these goals, I also joined Mara Glatzel’s yearlong circle called Cycle, “conscious planning for women who want to get shit done without sacrificing their self-care” - rest is not optional! The first retreat was last weekend, and I’m already really excited about being part of this community. (This is not an ad, I just really love Mara’s work and have found it so helpful.)
This year my word of the year is JOY.
Joy as a goal instead of a byproduct.
Doing things that feel good just for the sake of feeling good (something that I often ignore in favor of getting the next thing done, and the next, and the next…)
Making music that brings me joy, which I can then spread to others
Helping others find their own joy
Feeling good is not frivolous - it helps us show up for the important people in our lives, and do work that impacts others positively.
I do have a short list of things I’m excited about doing this year:
Growing Coaching for Creative Wellness
Starting a podcast on wellness for creatives (I am REALLY excited about this)
Starting a Patreon for my music
Making composing into more of a source of income (not sure how yet)
Finishing writing my first trio (to be performed March 22 at MacPhail)
Find a doctor I like and get a physical (it’s been a while)
HABITS (small changes work!)
Re-starting a daily practice and/or composing habit that feels good
Reducing my mental input (consuming too much information on the internet is like the mental equivalent of eating too much) by utilizing the Screen Time feature on my phone, and not picking it up immediately in the morning
Setting aside time in the morning for journaling and meditation - I know that I need more space in my life for thinking and processing
But, I also plan to check in with myself regularly to make sure that my goals still feel aligned with what I want and need - no “shoulds” allowed, unless they’re practical things in service of goals I’m excited about.
If all of this new year talk doesn’t resonate with you, that’s okay, you do you. I fully believe that the new year can be a fresh start, but shouldn’t elicit pressure or frustration. If you’re feeling a fresh start next week, or on a random Thursday in March, go for it - I’m wishing you an inspiring start to 2019!
If you chose a word of the year, share it in the comments, or share something you’re excited about doing in 2019!