The January List
Today we had our traditional visit to Roberta’s for a delicious start to the new year. Tomorrow, it’s back to the office and the beginning of post-holiday winter. It wasn’t too long ago that I would have considered this stretch of time a bore. Nowadays I relish the quiet and relative calm of this time of year.
Here we are in 2020. Our very own roaring twenties. As a Hemingway fan-girl, this turn of the decade is special to me. What will it bring?
The word that comes to mind when I think about my hopes and goals for 2020 is grow. I want to learn, to make, to build, to plant. For years, the word that echoed at the back of my mind was inhabit, and there were many moments when I needed that simple word as a reminder to show up as my true self, to be nakedly present, to inhabit my life completely. After years of working on enriching the space that I exist in, I'm going to turn my attention out, up, forward, around.
The January List is my first planning exercise of the new year. Only after starting Mammoth & minnow did New Year's resolutions become valuable and meaningful to me as a practice. For a business, it's smart planning to set goals. I've enjoyed this change in mindset in my personal life as well. I'm a project person and so much of life can be seen and managed from that perspective. I employ Google Sheets for everything from invoicing to vacation packing. It's actually exciting to me, the prospect of sitting down each month to make my to-do list.
So without further ado, here are my plans for this month.
No surprise here: set goals for M&m
2019 was a year of huge growth for M&m both in my continued practice of ceramics as an art form and in sales. However, as I mentioned in my December list, I've had trouble keeping up with that growth. I barely had any stock for the holiday season, which is a small business's biggest time of year.
This month, I enjoy a slow start to ceramics production, as my studio is on its winter break until January 6th. I have clay that I've been toying with at home, but it's felt very loose and free, making shapes and objects for the fun of it. It's good practice for me to figure out where I'm going, to tease out the shapes that my hands need to make next.
There are so many things I have in mind to make this year bigger and better for M&m, and I'm antsy to pour all of those thoughts onto paper, or into a spreadsheet. This is the kind of exercise I love to tackle, and this next week of "free" time provides a perfect opportunity.
I've really enjoyed my return to the Queens Public Library, and I want to keep up reading real books. There's something so grounding about escaping your immediate surroundings, and I like that it ensures you take time away from screens. As a regular subway rider in NYC, I have built-in reading time on the daily that I can take advantage of as well.
Continue my 100 day project
I began a 100 day project last month to practice French and Dutch braiding my hair on a daily basis. It's quite a specific, maybe even throwaway skill, but it's one that I've been wanting to learn and so I decided to do just that.
Immerse myself in renovation planning
While work most likely won't begin on the new house until early February, I want to do as much pre-planning, planning, and decision-making as possible as soon as possible. What makes sense to do ourselves? What can we have ready in the house before work starts, such as paint, tiles, hardware? What inspiration should we send our designer? How exactly do we want to use our space? So much to consider. Let's get started.
Plan travel for the next couple of trips
My parents are planning to visit friends and family in China for several weeks later this year, and my sister, Kev, and I have decided to join them for some part of their stay. China is a daunting trip to plan, so we'll start with dates and flights this month.
Just before New Year's, we also booked a return trip to Paris in late March. I guess you could say that we didn't get enough. We'd been mulling over a quick trip in late February or March, before our China trip. We considered Madeira, Seville, Marrakesh, and Oaxaca among other places. While we'd like to visit each of these places at some point, something in us kept asking "why not Paris?" So we listened.