Early morning commitments to other things, and a rather lack of internal commitment to writing here has meant a 2 day gap. This morning could easily have gone the same way, but I am determined to not lose this year’s hard won habit. Habits.

It’s probably usual around this time of the year to start assessing everything accomplished and everything left undone from the previous 12 months. Sure, year delineators are as arbitrary as any other measure of time, but there’s a bit of a cultural obsession with both looking back and looking forward at this time of year and it seems as good a time as any to take stock.

There’s the big one, of course. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol. Pretty successfully, I think. I mean – what was the aim here? Health. Self-awareness. Stopping with the blind turning to a pretty negative coping mechanism that was impacting my mental and physical health.

But have I noticed any results? I think I’m a little more patient with my kids. I mean, I didn’t turn into a saint, but it’s easier to find that space for pause and thought, space in which to collect yourself, when you’re not also battling with a constant feeling of self-disappointment, and possibly quite a few days with a mild hangover that I didn’t even identify as such.

I’ve definitely lost weight. Coming up on 26 pounds as of today. That’s not insignificant. I think that wasn’t all from the lack of alcohol calories, but not drinking has reduced my inclination to completely binge on take out and snack food, and it’s increased both the time available and motivation for running, which is probably where the weight-loss has mostly come from.

It has allowed for my baseline of mindfulness to rise, but I definitely think I could do better on that front. If I were to set an intention for something to change in 2018, that’s where I would direct my focus. That’s where  I will direct my focus? I guess I’m still holding something back in that arena.

That’s okay, I’ve still got two weeks. Everyone knows that change can only begin on January first, right?

What about creativity? I had a great burst of it in the first half of the year, but it’s kind of fallen away towards the end of this year now. I blame this at least partially on something else that’s happened – work.

Work seems to have expanded to fill the extra space I’ve created in my life – and without reducing the stress and worry and feeling of never quite having your work done for the week. The more I do, the more it feels that I need to do.

If I were going to pick another **shudder** “New Year’s Resolution” (can you tell I’m wary of such things?) then it would be to stick to the commitment I made of no more than 2 hours a day of schoolwork outside of the 9 – 4 day that I have. Maybe I don’t do much more than that across the week. Maybe it’s just bundled together. But also, maybe two hours is too much. There isn’t much more in a working day by the time running and cooking and eating and child-wrangling has been completed.

Maybe just tracking it. I could co-opt a notebook for the purposes of just tracking where I’m spending my time on a given day. There’s pretty little free time in any given day, do I really want to spend the little that I have on reading Internet articles? Judging from my behaviour over the past year, I really really do!

I’ve been really pleased with using a document for tracking Open Loops in my brain though. In fact I need to hit that up after I finish here. The more I use it, the less stressed I feel. It also makes it easier to decide what work to do and it’s probably already identified stuff I’m just not going to do because I’ve left it for 3 – 4 months already. Or else a reminder of the things I’m neglecting in my life. A read through today is almost certainly going to hi-light the fact that I’m badly neglecting my creativity right now.

I want to reboot The Harvesters (who no longer even have a web-presence) and I want to finish Fish for Fish as well. That’s 8 years old now! Wow.

I’m not sure there’s going to be space for much more than going along with expected holiday-time behaviour for the next 2 weeks however, so I guess it really will be next year before I get my focus directed. I can get ready though.

I’m feeling kinda optimistic about 2018 I have to say.