Hello, friends and enemies. I haven’t posted my thoughts on 2023 as a whole yet (it’s not over!) but I am already thinking about next year. A new year! 2024! Can you believe it? The new year is really one of my favorite holidays. Our culture doesn’t afford a lot of opportunities to reflect—it’s more about productivity “hacks”—so I enjoy the opportunity to think about the year that was and the year that will be. That said, I hate new year’s “resolutions.” You don’t have to set some kind of impossible goal for yourself (normally around the shape of one’s body) just because we’re flipping the calendar back around to January. However, I like this time of year for taking stock of how we feel about things, where we want to go in life, and what steps we might take this year to put us on that path.
Now, the moment you all have been waiting for, I present the 2024 mood board. These are the vibes I wish to carry with me this year. Making my annual mood board has become a beloved end-of-year tradition for me. Plus it gives me something to do with all the funny internet pictures I save.
Books and Reading
The last few years I really wanted to manage to read 100 books in a year. I think I am giving this goal up for good. As much as I really want the satisfaction of reading so many books in one year, I don’t think it’s going to happen for me because of the type of reading I do, competing demands on my time from other interests, and dealing with my stupid vision issues. Given that I have been aiming for volume, I have been avoiding the really long books on my shelves. So, this year, I want to read from the longest books I have. Fuck me up! I’m looking at you, Barkskins and The Venture of Islam Volumes 1 to 3! Something I am very proud of, however, is how widely I read. I’m taking in a bit of everything, especially when it comes to non-fiction. So, that is something I really want to continue into 2024.
My other reading goal for 2024 is to read every day. You might think that I’m reading a lot, surely I read every day. Nope! Some days I am tired and I lie in bed and stare at my phone for an hour like anyone else. Maybe some days I will read just a page or two but I think if I tell myself “just read a page or two” I will actually read instead of staring into the infinite-scroll abyss. I like to keep track of my reading on StoryGraph (by the way, follow me on StoryGraph!), and they have a setting where you can track how many days in a row you read. I am hoping this will be fun and not frustrating. Something I know about myself is that putting a daily demand on anything can be a problem, partly because it’s just a rule I made up for myself and partly because you can’t tell me what to do! So … we shall see how this goes.
For Spanish, this year I plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I want to get to a point where I feel fluent (you may be surprised to learn that “fluency” remains elusive to me but I still run into things I don’t know). I think what will help is reading more in Spanish. This is getting easier but it still takes more time and energy than reading in English and sometimes feels more like a chore or homework so it’s hard to sit down and do it, even though I enjoy it. I’ve learned that reading ebooks is a lot easier than paper books because I can look up the words as I go instead of having to stop. I also want to keep translating wikipedia pages, either Spanish to English or English to Spanish. I think it’s a lot of fun and it’s helping me, as ever, fill in the gaps in my knowledge.
For Icelandic, I want to do a better job keeping up with my studying. I have an Icelandic lesson almost every week but sometimes I’m not doing much more than that, which is frustrating because I really feel the difference pretty quick when I do study. I also want to find ways to actually engage in the language like watching TV or finding something to read. I have materials available, but it’s a matter of actually using them. I’m turning 38 this year and I’ve decided I want to be able to read a book (within reason) or watch a movie and mostly understand it by the time I hit 40. I’m not saying I need to be fluent in Icelandic in two years (lol. lmao even.) but I want to feel more solid it in. I am constantly fighting the urge to start working in other languages so I am telling myself wait two more years, and get the Icelandic in a strong place where I can just interact with the Icelandic-language world before I start splitting my time with yet another language (please respect my privacy at this time by not asking me which language is next! All of them are next!).
Knitting and Crafts
My knitting goal is year is to … knit. I barely touched my knitting in 2023 and that is a tragedy because I have many beautiful yarns from beautiful places. I don’t know if I’ll finish both of these, but two big patterns on my radar are this Icelandic sweater and this cool-as-hell cloak. I also want to knit a parasol at some point, but I’m not sure that this will be the year. I think part of the problem is that Huey cat wants to sit on me and hold hands now whenever I’m on the couch. This, understandably, makes it hard to knit, but I cannot deny her anything (who could?).
I am, of course, planning to continue dancing because I see no reason to stop. It amuses me in a way to see how much I like it, considering I picked it up during the pandemic to fill my time without roller derby. I think this just proves my ongoing theory that I like everything and would do nearly any hobby given infinite time on this earth. I haven’t made any goals up to this point other than have fun, but now that I am sort of working towards learning pointe in ballet, I am going to make one goal for myself: be able to do a single, clean, consistent pirouette from fifth position. This probably doesn’t mean much to a lot of you but I basically want to be able to master a basic turn. I have it in me to do this! I am tired of low-key dreading turns and feeling like a yutz!
You would think that putting a gym in my garage would mean I’m out there all the time. Not so! I still contend with the demon of executive dysfunction. It whispers to me that getting dressed, figuring out what to do, selecting the right music, and moving the car from the garage are too many things to do just to lift a little weight. My plan this year is to lift weights twice a week. Obviously there will be exceptions—like when it’s a million degrees—but we will try.
Maintaining my recipe spreadsheet has helped me a lot when it comes to figuring out what to eat (another executive function struggle) and keeping track of my options. So, I definitely want to keep building on that. I also want to try making something new. I am thinking about macarons and meringues. Maybe this is the year I master the art of the egg white? My only other plans are to keep trying new recipes and keep up with my bean subscriptions (lol). I’m going to have so many bean recipes in that spreadsheet before I’m done.
Look, I don’t have any thoughts about what my cats are going to do this year. I’m sure they will remain languid and spoiled, which is their right as house cats. It seemed wrong to end the post with anything other than some cat photos for your nerves.