In this post I’ll examine how I did on my resolutions for 2020. You can see the original aspirational post here. I laugh now to see that I said 2020 “is mostly about hunkering down, getting some more routines solidly in place going forward.” Ha! I had no idea how much hunkering down would be required.
Polly’s 20 for 2020
1. Routinely expand my thought to include more good
I think I’ve done this; it is an attitude and practice that is natural and routine for me now, but one I want to consciously keep pursuing.
2. Do the Christian Science Bible Lesson and read a periodical article everyday
Check! I’ve done this more thoroughly than I could have foreseen or anticipated. It has been a huge blessing and is an established practice for going forward.
3. Do morning pages frequently
(“Morning pages are Julia Cameron’s (author of The Artist’s Way) version of journaling first thing in the morning before the day floods in, giving yourself and your thoughts time and attention to help steer your days and be more conscious of what you think and desire.”)
I’ve done fairly well here, and more way frequently than in the past, but not sure I did it frequently. I’m glad I did as much as I did, and will try to continue at least at my current pace.
4. Write the first draft of a book
This was a whopper, and I started several. When I wrote the resolution, I was thinking of pulling together poems or recipes, but with sequestering in place, I more ambitiously turned to bigger ideas. I’ve written about 30,000 words down on multiple projects, with way more to go. So while I failed meeting this goal, I’m grateful for the effort I did make, and the concentration and clarity I did have, particularly last spring. I hope to not drop the ball on this.
5. Go to the gym at least 5 days a week
Ha! I did this fine during January and February, but did not expect my gym membership to suspend after that because of a pandemic. I have walked or hiked at least this much, though, so feel I kept the spirit of this resolution.
6. Paint at least 5 days a week
I painted a lot this year, but it was more like two days a week for longer stretches. Still, I was prolific, posting 65 new paintings on the blog this year. You can check them out here.
I think about painting even when I’m not doing it so maybe that counts too?
7. Have a one woman art show with PowerPoint talk
Fortunately, I squeezed this one in! My solo show The Fusion of Art and Spirituality opened in January. You can check it out here. Also, I gave a talk on The Spiritual Roots of Abstraction in February. You can check that out here.
Another powerpoint talk for Earth Day was cancelled, as were several workshops I expected to teach. Ironically, the one woman show was due to close after Easter, but since they closed doors in March, it is still there, maybe to enjoy a new opening sometime in the future.
Additionally, in January a winery booked another one woman show for me originally scheduled for this December, which has now been postponed to the horizon.
8. Apply to artist-in-residencies and look into additional online venues to sell my art
Because of COVID I was unable to even go to the artist-in-residencies I already had, and did not apply to others. However, I have been cooking up another exciting outlet for my art which should see the light of day in 2021. There’s a lot more work to go on that, but it is an exciting unfoldment.
Also, between the show and my website PollyCastorArt.com, I am grateful to have sold 10 paintings this year.
9. Write two poems a month
At 31 new original poems by me posted this year, I exceeded this goal of 24. You can check them out here.
10. Go on an “artist’s date” every month
(“This is another Julia Cameron term, meaning: get out of your usual rut and feed your soul. I’m to get out in the world and do or see something inspiring at least monthly, engaging with uncommon good beyond my four walls, either by myself or with others. Special field trips, explorations, museum visits, rambles, discoveries. I usually only get in about four a year, so I’ll be consciously upping my game.”)
11. Read at least 52 books
Well, I exceeded that by reading 67. You can check out specifics here.
12. A good new recipe every month
13. Drink more than 8 cups of water a day
I tried lots of days, but no where near all. My thinking is somewhere else so much of the time, this doesn’t happen routinely yet.
14. Eat extra vegetables
Wow. Did this in spades.
15. Get out in nature every week
Ha! I vastly exceeded this goal. I got out into nature most days! I only missed the terribly inclement ones.
16. Do at least one house project with my husband every month
Well… how about a big unexpected one instead? Check it out here.
17. Go on a vacation with James
18. Do nothing for 15 minutes everyday
Failed. Except maybe four or five occasions all year.
19. Utilize regularly my tracking systems
20. Put my shoes away everyday and laugh uproariously at least once a week
I’ve been amazing about creating a new habit of putting my shoes away everyday, which may have been slightly facilitated by going nowhere. And I think I’ve gotten in at least 52 belly laughs.
Exceeded goals: wrote more poems, read more books, created more delicious new recipes, ate more vegetables, got out in nature much more.
Met goals: expanded thought, did lesson and read periodicals daily, some morning pages, one woman show and Powerpoint, new venues for my art, went with James to Vermont, used my tracking systems, put my shoes away, and laughed.
Goals that panned out differently: wrote on unexpected manuscripts, no gym but hiked instead, painted enough but at different times, big house project rather than 12 smaller ones.
Failed Goals: not enough “artist dates,” didn’t drink enough water, not enough of doing nothing.
Those seem like minor failures to me. 2020 was a difficult, unexpected year, but I think that I made plenty of lemonade from those lemons. Here’s to a better year in 2021!