1. Ah, January. When I'm all fired up with New Year energy, and anticipation, and a general sense of forward movement, and there's SNOW – but there's also the new school term, and sniffles, and Dude's exhausting birthday week, and Armin heading to Davos for a week to cover WEF... January hard. (See how late this post is? At least it's still Monday.) I'm getting nothing done, and I'm shattered. Trying not to lose my 2017 optimism, such as it is.
2. Even harder with computer woes. Don't upgrade to Sierra, kids. I mean it'll probably be fine but some of us are having a real battle (Finder slowing to a crawl – which affects opening or finding any file in any program) and there doesn't seem to be a fix yet. Gremlins are always frustrating, but when I only have 10 minutes to do something and 5 of those minutes are taken up with just opening the document... it is a Problem.
3. Apparently it's not just me; creative slumps are quite the thing in January. Nadia talked to a bunch of designers etc (me included) about how we handle them. My own answer (essentially, step back and ride it out) seems pretty glib after reading the responses from those who face a lot more pressure to deliver. This is work for me, yes, but it's not paying the bills. How would I handle things if I needed to put patterns out on schedule to feed my family? To some extent, I think, you can always switch gears a bit to rest your creative muscles – any independent worker always has a mountain of non-creative work to deal with. But only to an extent. It's a solid reminder of why "turning your passion into a job" isn't really great advice. Making it a job can kill the passion. Doing something for fun (even if you aim to make money off it as a side project) is often a better idea than doing it as a business.
4. Besides all of the above, I've been really distracted by Twitter since Friday. I'm so excited at what happened with the Women's March, but I have to find some discipline and switch off now. The world can wait. I need to get shit done.
5. Sometimes it seems like, even with all the late December soul-searching, my focus for the year only becomes clear later in January. I'm realising that it's going to be quite the challenge just getting through the first half of 2017. My tiny part-time job and my very few external commitments are quite unbelievably hard to manage right now. These commitments are about perfect for my schedule as it will be from August, when Dude starts kindergarten, but until then? Hard. So I'm trying to just put one foot in front of the other, keep going, manage one run or gym visit a week (so little! but better than nothing), do my job, do the extra things that come up, and not get distracted. HARD. But only another 209 days to go.
No #4 of #52recipes: A simple one, that I totally failed to photograph – penne with goat's cheese, parsley and almond "pesto", from Sophie Dahl's From Season to Season. I really enjoyed it; the kids, predictably, not so much.