Someone – was it Plato? Buddha? Backaroo Bonzai? – once said “Wherever you go, there you are.” 2020 was awful for a lot of reasons, but many of them were tied to the fact that I still didn’t resolve the issues I had over the last couple of years. Can’t blame Covid-19 for the mental health and interpersonal issues I’ve had for decades.
I set four goals for myself this year. I, legit, failed each one, even as I had listed ways to ensure I succeeded. So I guess I should discuss that first.
1.)No More Energy Drinks – Failed. Kind of?
What can I say, I tried. I switched from expensive energy drinks to drowning my sorrows in coffee. And then I got bored with that and started hitting energy drinks again. That said, I definitely have drank them far less than I have last year, so this wasn’t a total bust. Switching to caffeinated sparkling water has also been helpful, but this isn’t something I can readily get over the counter, making it less than an option. Still, this feels like something I could get under control if I took the initiative? Need to do something. My weight is at an all-time high.
2.)Get my blog to make $100 – Failed, but still closer than expected.
For something I do as a hobby I was impressed to have made $67 off of it! But doing so came with its own problem. I leaned too heavily into book reviews, which is a good way to share things I enjoy but comes off as feeling like I’m just padding an Amazon review and hoping someone will read it on a place that ain’t Amazon (or Goodreads). Also, for something that I try with such effort to market and monetize, the reviews are far and beyond the worst money making wise. My most profitable posts by far have been ones with original content, such as the short where I made fun of the guy who claimed to be able to talk to the dead about the truth about Covid. People click ads on that one.
I’ll still be doing reviews, but I don’t see this becoming a “review blog.” It needs to be a place I can showcase my own work.
3.)Get the house cleaner – Failed, horrifically.
I am essentially one parent trying to take care of 3 kids and four animals and the place is always a mess. A big part of the problem is me. A secondary problem is the lack of organization. Maybe I can do more with this, I don’t know. It’s a thing I need to do but I tire of it. I don’t know how people can keep their houses spotless. This place looks like a meth den. It’s not pretty.
4.)Finances – Eh.
I need to file for bankruptcy, so I can start fresh. That is the hard reality of the situation. Filing for bankruptcy would have a negative impact on my credit for about 10 years. I could not hope to pull out of debt in 20. As a parent with a family, I don’t have the option to just live in my vehicle taking wet-nap baths and eating at soup lines for three to four years until everything is paid off.
That said, there is still a lot of superfluous things I spend money on that should be looked at, and the budget is… more of a guide, really, which isn’t particularly helpful.
5.)Get Published – Abject Failure of the Worst Kind
I have a lot of projects I’ve started but not finished. I am very poor at making this a priority, and it doesn’t help that I’ll get really into something and then decide 10k or 20k words in I hate it and just… stop. But as they say, it’s never too late to set out and fail again.
So, eh, you win some you lose some.
That said, not everything has been so negative.
My children are amazing. My oldest son has really stepped up to help around the house with watching his siblings while I am at work. I feel like we sometimes butt heads in the moment but always come around after the fact, which helps. My daughter has really come into her own, especially with socializing and finding her own voice. My youngest is more vocal than he ever has been and while I still can’t hold a conversation with him there is such a marked difference between last year and now. I’m so proud of my children, and I just hope I can continue to give them the best. This year hasn’t been easy for them academically because of distance learning, but they do their best. My daughter, specifically, has gone above and beyond on this.
My extended family has reached out and gone above and beyond to help out over the holiday season, and I’ve spoken to them more than I have in any year prior. This was the first year in over a decade I was able to spend time with my mother, and the first time ever that my two youngest have got to meet their grandmother. I have been making an effort to spend more time with them, and my daughter has taken a handle on this as well.
I continue to meet new people, only some of which I absolutely detest. In fact, while talking with people in person can be downright exhausting, being able to speak with them online on my own time has given me a sense of community. I’ve been reasonably active in a number of Facebook communities and a couple of strong Discord Groups, and amazingly I’ve only been kicked from like, one of them! (A moderator wouldn’t let me join another one because he didn’t like me, but whatever.) Only one person this year said they wished I didn’t exist, and that person amusingly wasn’t my estranged wife!) I am continually amazed at how downright encouraging and inspiring the authors, voice actors, and fellow fans I have met are.
So what the hell, let’s call 2020 a Mulligan, and just continue to work on my concerns in 2021. Let’s double down on cutting those sugary drinks, continue posting on my blog, pretending the house will clean itself, getting a tighter hold on my finances. And I can even double down on producing some sort of writing viable enough to make money off of – or even get a couple of likes and subscribes over.
I have been increasingly unwell over the last year, and I’ve been struggling. It isn’t always easy to see the forest through the forest fire, and my mental health is at an all-time low. I need to find a way to take care of some of that. Obviously, as a single parent, I’m not in any position to try experimenting with any prescription drugs (that would be prescribed to me, from a doctor; never suggesting I just break into someone’s house and try theirs) but I think it would be reasonable and prudent to at least look into therapy options again. Or a life couch, or something. Hard to stay on track when there ain’t much of a track to think of.
Life is a thing you gotta do, so you might as well enjoy it, right? But also responsibly.