This Big Year has been and is a flop, and now I need to face reality. Realising this, ten months into the year, shames me and fills me with regret, but I can’t go on with pretending all is okay.
Mostly on this blog I compliment myself: aren’t I clever and courageous in attending to a daily activity that enriches life? Well, not so clever. The 1,000 Big Year, my most important focus for 2018, was a flawed creation. Maybe I can learn from this misstep.
This year has been fantastic from so many angles but my most important goal, to write my nuclear history book, has made spirited leaps but hasn’t accelerated as I deeply desire it to do. The 1,000 Big Year idea was to focus, focus, focus. Make each day a model one: rise before dawn (motto: set that alarm); work only on the book (my motto: no Facebook), plan and monitor every day; and, most importantly, write 1,000 words (4 pages).
Oh, ignominy. Let me scourge myself on all four counts.
Early start: I’ve encouraged good habits by setting an alarm 95% of the time but have only risen smartly two days in every three. Not good enough, Andres!
No Facebook: this is not bad, I’ve been a good boy four days out of five.
Monitoring: I’ve tried to persuade myself that yes, I’m planning and reviewing daily 75% of the time, but the real truth is that very little of the feedback cycle has been meaningful. Why? Read on.
1,000 words: a debacle! I haven’t even kept track. Fairly often I’ve “written lots” but mostly my output has been arduous and halting. THIS DID NOT WORK!
I am therefore now abandoning this Big Year. Tomorrow: lessons for designing future Big Years? The next day: what the friggin’ hell do I aim for over November and December (I can’t exist in a vacuum)?
Is aiming too high crippling? In my experience, it can be. But on some days, it sets my pulse pounding as if I were twenty years old again.
The connections aren’t coming to me. But they will.
Spring sun. An interregnum ends. Ever-present terror fades to a shadow. The crane is a bird of good luck in many cultures. In my culture, the tram signals the future. Onward.
I pride myself on being able to write anywhere, nigh anytime, but my special hideaway for nearly half a decade has been Bar Ristretto. Wonderful Andy shuts the doors tomorrow and I’m on the hunt for a new morning home. I’ll just mosey around till a cosy place beckons.
A minor cold and suddenly it’s clear 2018 won’t offer case studies of how transformative Big Years can be. My Stillness Big Year – 10 minutes of Headspace a day – still works but that’s only because it’s trivially simple. The others:
1,000 Big Year: I don’t come anywhere near 1,000 words written a day, I’m not waking early, work is being done but probably the wrong work . . . you get the picture.
Freshness Big Year: Injury plus cold plus another cold mean all my annual targets are shot and I haven’t cycled in a fortnight.
Tractor Big Year: My afternoon one-hour “study how to publish and prosper” routine still gets honored in the breech (I’m learning heaps as I get Deadly Investment into online bookshops) but its regularity, that soothing regularity, has vanished.
Time to regroup . . . the very fact that I keep having to regroup every couple of months suggests the design of the 2018 Big Years was badly flawed . . . ah well, time to regroup . . .