Wrapping up the year.

Victorian image of Father Christmas stalking two hapless children. Sort of.

I’m combining months here, partially because I never got around to posting and partly because both directing and performing the in holiday show this year put the rest of my life entirely on hold for several weeks. I have to remember not to do that again. This year has been a mixed bag. I made a lot of progress and managed to do more than I thought possible, but I also fell short of some of my personal goals. I’m going to approach 2020 a little differently, and am working up a new sew of monthly and longer-term goals for the new year.

Goals for 2019 – November/December Progress

Send one real letter a month.
I sent out my holiday cards late again this year, but I did send them.

Sew at least one garment a month.
I didn’t sew anything either month. I had a project ready to go after the play closed, but I came down with a rotten cold and lost all of my sewing time!

Send newsletter at least once a month.
Nope. I’m seriously wondering whether to scrap it altogether.

Make one apartment improvement a month.
We got speaker stands for a couple of the surround sound speakers that have been just hanging out on bookshelves and the corner of the desk. This should improve the sound profile as well as making room for my new printer, so this is a win-win.

Go on one outing with Lennox a month.
We went to see a National Theatre Live screening of the original stage version of “Fleabag” (fantastic) and spent an afternoon playing mini-golf and videogames. Let it never be said that we have no range!

Read one physical book I already own a month.
I started three but haven’t managed to finish any of them yet. I have been, um, very scattered. [shrug emoji]

Track spending on books, clothing, and sewing.
I did great in November on books ($37.15), then totally blew it in December ($72.61, including two full price pre-orders I forgot about, ouch). Contrarily, I overspent on sewing in November ($116.18), then really improved in December ($36.80, most of which was a big PDF Plotting order of copy shop pattern prints). I spent a mind-boggling $586.52 on clothing over two months, which makes me queasy to contemplate. (I got an overdue client payment and a large lump sum from another job, so this was paid from cash on hand — thank goodness.) I really don’t recommend changing sizes unexpectedly. I had to replace my good winter coat, all of my underwear, and most of my bras — and that’s not counting day-to-day clothing. I also bought tights and shoes for the show, and a fancy-pants cardigan to wear to a wedding in December. But none of that excuses the amount I spent. In fact, this has inspired me to tackle a clothing project next year.

Track daily writing habit.
I didn’t. I also didn’t write much. My life was completely out of hand these last two months, frankly.

Post weekly IG photo.
I think I posted a single photo in November and two in December.

Run robot sweeper, vacuum bedroom, tidy, and clean bathroom weekly.
The cleaner came both months, and I’m sure I cleaned another week in November, but between the show and my cold, I didn’t manage another cleaning in December. Oh, well!

Longer-Term Goals

Reduce fabric stockpile to less than 100 yards (plus scraps) by the end of 2019.
I finished the year with 141 yards to my name. Taste the failure! It tastes like cotton voile and rayon ponte. I called it in October, and I was right — there was no way I was going to make the goal. Also, Lennox and I do “treat yo’self” for Christmas, and this year I got a lovely order of fabric from Mood. He got a beautiful winter coat. Sadly, neither of us got an authentic Batman costume.

Treat Yo'Self to a Batman Costume.

Find a way to keep performing.
I did that, at least. Even if it was often terrible, it was truly worth it in other ways. I loved working with those kids.

Combine websites, transfer blog, forward other domains, purchase an SSL certificate.
Still on hold until 2020. I think I’m going to rework the web design while I’m at it, and I definitely need a new avatar photo.

My November/December Frugal List

None of this outweighed my clothing spending, so all of this is moot. But I’ll post it since I tracked it.

  • Paid for November Seamwork subscription and all of my Patreon pledges using funds earned taking surveys and from eBay sales.
  • Downloaded two free Amazon First Reads ebooks, four Audible Originals, and four Prime Reading titles.
  • Used a coupon on lunch out at Sweet Tomatoes with Lennox.
  • Had a free small drink from points accumulated on my Regal Entertainment card…but we bought popcorn to go with it, so maybe that’s a frugal failure!
  • Downloaded a free graphics set from Creative Market.
  • Signed up for three months of Kindle Unlimited for $0.99. I keep a list of titles in the program and wait for promotional periods to read them.
  • Had two free drinks on my Starbucks card.
  • Checked out an ebook from the library instead of spending $2 for it on sale. I often forget that I do little things like this, but those actions add up over time. I’m thinking about tracking my library savings next year instead of just the cost of my reading because I think that would be an eye-opening number.
  • Got a free book on Google Play Books. I sometimes forget that the app exists!
  • Got a Kindle book for free using a special credit earned from a previous purchase.
  • Read 11 ebooks and five physical books from the library. I also read four Prime Reading books.

Looking Toward 2020

I have a lot of change coming in the next year. I will be working in a new office starting in January, and Lennox and I will hopefully be moving sometime after March. These are both positive changes (I honestly can’t wait to leave this apartment), but they’re also stressful. I learned a lot this year, both about my capability and my capacity for overwhelm. I have several ideas to explore in the new year, and one of those is blogging more (and about different things than just these lists). Happy New Year! Let’s get stuff done.

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