I made up a word.

Way back in February of this year I made a post about all the things I wanted to accomplish this year. It is now December, and time to take stock.

penguifall

My list went something like:

  • improve guitar-playing
  • attend more local shows
  • get played on Vanyaland
  • get written up locally
  • lose weight
  • record an EP
  • create YouTube content

I’ll go ahead and get the obvious out of the way: the whole breast cancer thing derailed my plans a bit (in fact, I think I’m a little superstitious now about making goal lists). I pretty much couldn’t/didn’t want to leave my house after the various surgeries, and I was afraid of where my songwriting would take me if I tried to do it while I was recovering. My head was not in a good place. Even now, writing about it here, I’m fighting against pretending it didn’t happen. I’m a very head-in-the-sand kind’ve person.

headinsand

Did I accomplish anything on my list? Well, yes and no. I lost weight (~30lbs). That was a direct result of trying to take some control back after my diagnosis in April. I stopped drinking as much, started eating more healthily, and exercising. I started the guitar improvement initiative. I bought Rocksmith—don’t laugh! It’s actually a very good tool for re-learning some of the basics that tend to get sloppy over time, and helping me to identify areas in which I need improvement. Also, it’s a lot of fun to play along with songs I like. The arcade games section of the game is also very fun and very useful for improving fundamentals.

Lastly, while I didn’t actually finish recording an EP, I got a good start on it and released a single recently. It took a while for me to get back into actually doing music and feeling normal enough (mentally) to put time and energy into it. I’ve even played a couple of shows this fall!

Now I turn my eyes to 2017, and what I hope to be a better year for me personally. My only goal for 2017: Live. And I don’t mean just the obvious. Of course I want to be alive, but I mean also living. Spending more time with my wife and daughter, holding them close, and being more present. Musically I suppose it means just making music that I like and sharing it as I see fit and not worrying so much about what kind of reviews it gets (if it even gets reviews) or if I make money from it. It means being honest with myself about what I want out of making music and why.

So, goodbye 2016. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass. 2017…let’s be good to each other, mm’kay?