Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

Wow. Thankfully, that nasty no-good 2009 has finally been extinguished. I don't know about you, but I had the worst year of my life. Not that it was completely miserable or depressive every single day. It's just the bottom line that is swayed heavily in the negative column. Financial distress being at the top of the "Fuck 2009" list. It would be nice if everything Everybody I shot Is Dead was enough to support me but, alas, I still rely on my graphics company. I still have the same clientele I've had in successful years past but with the recession my clientele have cut their expenses, leaving me with about 25% of what I did last year and the year before that and the year before that. And getting new clients was next to impossible. It's been tough times for artist types. Personally, I'm just blaming the whole fiasco on the year itself -- 2009. Because, as of today, everything feels different. Yes, I am aware there's absolutely no rhyme or reason to my (non)rationale.

If it's not 2009 that deserves the blame, I have another explanation. Time Warner. Not sure if I mentioned it here but I did rag them on Facebook and Twitter. (If you're not my Facebook friend or you're not following me on Twitter, you should - click the links to the right to rectify) Anyway, back to the evil empire know as Time Warner. I had them at my last place and they mostly annoyed me but there didn't seem to be another choice. When I got them at my new place last August the extreme torment began. Intermittent pixelation of my TV picture. Or complete drop-off. Horrible, horrible internet service. Complete interruption of internet off and on and then that escalated to the point I had them come out. They changed my modem. After that I only lost service on an average of ten times a day. It was fixable by unplugging and replugging in the modem to reset it. But it really like to make me crazy by cutting out when I was uploading a large file for a client. Seriously, I was tearing my hair out.

On December 30th the U-Verse guy came out to give me new service. I was a little concerned at first because the guy couldn't figure out my phone line wiring. It took him over five hours to do what I thought was a simple installation. But he is now completely forgiven because the fog has lifted. The internet has worked perfectly. The TV has worked perfectly. It's a far more advanced and easy to use system than the TW one. I no longer need my Apple airport...the wireless comes right off there box. The DVR can record 4 shows at a time (like there are ever 4 shows on TV at the same time worth recording) and the remote and workflow is way more logical than the TW one. Since I made my goodbye phone call to TW on the evening of Dec 30th everything looks brighter. I'm wondering if they were somehow controlling me through their signal. Watching me. Fucking up my life. No matter now. They are gone. And my supportive U-Verse big brother is taking care of me.

Alright, on to the New Year. As I recall, I only made one resolution last year. Yup, I just went back in time and found it:

I'm not real big on New Year's resolutions. I think they set you up for failure. But I am going to make one. Just one. Seemingly simple. New Year's resolution.

I'm going to post something on this blog every single day in 2009.

Why would I make that my one resolution? Because I figure if I post every day, everything else will stay the course. And let's about with each blog entry I commit to posting a photograph. I think. Maybe. Or. Hmmm. Damn those swirling ideas with no brain to sort them out.

Anyway, if you don't see a new post you'll know I'm dead.

This should be fun.

And, surprise, surprise...I DID IT!!! I posted every single day and I believe I put some illustrative in every single post. Except maybe when the internet wasn't working and I had to post from my phone.

There were times when I didn't want to post. Times I had nothing to say. Times where it was like pulling my teeth out. But for the most part it was very satisfying. Setting out to do something every day of the year takes a lot of focus and even more discipline. But the accomplish gives me the feeling that I can do anything I set my mind to. It's the same feeling I got when I walked on fire and didn't burn my feet...only in this case it went on for a whole year.

What did I learn? Resolutions are a good thing. And I should have made more resolutions. Just think of all the things I could have accomplished. I also learned that a public resolution beats out the one you make to yourself. It's a lot harder to break a resolution you make publicly. It's easy to sneak a cookie when you've vowed to diet. But it you put it out to the public that you want to take off 20 you might think a little harder before stuffing a pound of butter in your pie hole.

I have multiple resolutions this year. All designed to make my life more organized. Which in turn will make me happier and help me attain greater success. Some of these resolutions were put into practice six or seven days ago.

Here are some of them off the top of my head:

1) I will not go to bed without my kitchen being clean. I'm 4 days in on this one and I believe it is changing my life. It may seem like a small thing but not having to pull a cup and teaspoon out of the sink when I make my morning coffee changes my day.

2) Do yoga every day. I'm 6 days in on this one and am hoping by going public with it I will continue for the rest of the year. This is definitely life changing. I've been doing yoga off and on since I moved to LA many moons ago. When I do it on a daily basis I feel so much better. I'm not stiff in the morning. Minor ailments disappear. It really is a form of preventative medicine.

3) Post on my blog every day. I wasn't going to do this one again...but why not? I'm almost one day in on this and since I'm already in the habit it shouldn't be too difficult. However, if I do miss a day here or there I will not consider myself a failure.

Now to the harder stuff...the things I haven't started yet...or maybe I should say the things I am starting today but still have to catch up on from past digressions:

4) Better communication - Answer emails and phone calls on the day I get them, or at least within 24 hours. I currently have 499 emails in my inbox that need my attention. Of those, 175 haven't even been opened. How appalling is that? Lots of them are ones that I have kept because I want to check them out...and will most likely not need a response. But there are a lot that I really want to respond to but supposedly haven't had the time. For example, one of my favorite people in the world (who I believe is still reading my blog) sent me a birthday greeting in November with lots of news from her end and I have not written back. I AM BAD. I also got an email in September from a guy I used to hang with in high school that I haven't responded to. Not because I don't want to or don't plan's more of wanting to be in a certain frame of mind. But that's not how it's going to be this year. I am going to have my inbox emptied by next weekend. Oops, that's 71.3 emails a day to file, delete or answer. Not counting any new ones. OK, I can do it. I expect this resolution will also change my life.

5) Keep on top of my finances. I'm figuring a half an hour a day would be enough time to enter receipts and bank transactions in Quickbooks and ultimately be less time than letting it pile up and doing it all at once. I can't tell you the number of times I've looked at my bank statements or credit cards and couldn't remember what the charges were for.

6) Keep on top of my filing. This is a tough one but if I think I can do it within the half hour I've allotted to #5 and ultimately save tons of time I could put to more self-satisfying tasks. This will likely require a whole new filing system but I think I have a way to make the transition relatively painless.

So, that's it. I'm pretty sure everything I'm resolving to do is a solution, not a burden. All are good habits that will potentially free up a shitload of time for me to actually have a life. I will let you know how it's all going from time to time.

In the meantime, what are you putting into practice this year that will bring you happiness and improve your life?


Steve B said...

Well, my only resolution is to stay healthy and not stress out about things I have little or no control over. I had major surgery last year, and it really opened my eyes up to just how much can change"in a New York minute", as the saying goes. So I'm grateful to still be around to take on whatever else life still has in store for me.

Chesher Cat said...

Was the before or after I met you?

Hope you're all better now.

Steve B said...

It was after, in late August. I think we may have even talked about the possibility of me needing it at the time, but it was supposed to be much further down the road. They replaced a valve in my heart, so now I'm part pig...oink! Same deal Robin Williams had done. But all's well again, feeling fine. Most expensive way to lose 15 lbs. evahhh!

Cooper said...

My resolution -- to make sure that 2010 is not a repeat of 2009. Death to 2009!