This Saturday, I had a free day before rehearsal, so a friend and I drove up to the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. The weather was gorgeous and I got some great photos.

The wildlife was being kind of shy, so it’s all plants and landscapes. But even without seeing much beyond a few birds and a huge grey squirrel, we had a great hike on the trails and saw some really beautiful views. And it’s only about a half-hour outside of where I live. It was the best Saturday I’ve had in a while.


So I’ve noticed in the past year just how much space I give up to people and things I don’t like. Or don’t love. I have limited time and limited money, and yet I spend piles of that time and money on things I don’t like all that much. And I let people I don’t like occupy far too much mental real estate.

2012 is going to be the year this changes. No, I’m not doing anything like quitting my job to pursue a life of playing my ukulele and knitting and growing flowers. I mean, no, I don’t LOVE my job. But I need the security, the stability, the health insurance. And I figure that since my job, which is all right but I don’t love it, gets 40 to 50 hours of my time a week, the rest of my time should be spent doing things that are amazing. Things that I love.

So what DO I love?

1. My friends and family. The few people who truly love and support me for what I am. And I need to differentiate those people from everyone else, and stop caring about everyone else’s opinions of me.

2. Knitting. I love creating beautiful things out of yarn. I don’t like stressing about time commitments and quality, so I am going to focus on giving myself enough time to finish projects and on being patient with myself when I need to fix mistakes.

3. Music. I love singing. And playing my ukulele. And my guitar. And the piano. And playing with my bandmate. I am going to devote time to learning all of these instruments better and to working out more and more songs.

4. Theatre. I love being onstage with people and creating stories. I do not love the competitive, nasty, back-biting nonsense that happens so much in theatre. I do not love working with people who don’t love theatre as much as they love the idea that they are going to be stars. I’m going to only do shows I love, with people who love creating something as a team.

5. Writing. I do love writing and I need to do it more without worrying so much about quality. Being an avid reader means that I have very high standards about what is good. But I love the act of writing, so I need to do it more. Quality will come later.

6. The Earth. I love this world I live in and I need to do more to make sure it is good and cared for. That means working more toward a healthy planet. I have some terrible habits that are bad for the environment that I need to change.

7. Myself. I don’t mean that I love myself in a narcissistic way. But I spent years hating who I am, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. This manifests itself in some behaviors that are self-destructive, or at the very least indifferent to my health. That needs to stop. I will take care of myself and love myself and protect myself and give myself a good place to live and be.

8. Humanity. I don’t believe in any kind of god. I firmly believe that all we have in this short life we are given is each other. I need to do more to make the world better for the people in it. Really, this is an oblique way of talking about activism and political involvement.

So, that’s it. My project is to devote myself to what I love. And how have I done so far?

I rang in 2012 with wonderful friends–musicians who are just good people. I spent yesterday at a party with many of the same good people. Today I cleaned my room up, read some, learned a new song for my ukulele, and went to another party, with more good people. So far, so good.