It’s 8am on the first day of the month, and despite the usual late night, I’ve been up for hours.

Jules has been an early riser for years now, and it has had the effect of training me to wake up at 6am each morning — for no good reason, since he’s pretty independent in the morning these days — and so here I am. I have little doubt that I’ll be needing a nap later today, and already I find myself slow-witted, like thinking through treacle, slightly out of sync with reality, an out-of-focus projection of myself.

Hours pass, and I fall asleep watching video-gaming content on Youtube. Much needed; a shower blows away the last of the cobwebs and I’m mostly able to think again. A cool, rainy evening in Annandale1 so I’m sitting on a large wooden bench on our front porch for the solitude, thinking less abut the year that was than looking towards the future.

This is what I always do: plan, imagine, project, far enough into the future that it’s an almost entirely effortless endeavour. I don’t need to feel stressed (it’s too far away) or, god-forbid, actually take any steps right now, so I’m free to postulate whatever far-flung future I like the sound of. The next step — and every one after that — is the hard one, and also where I’ve previously fallen down.

I read an advice piece recently that suggested crafting a “theme” for 2021, rather than a set of resolutions or goals, as it’s easier to maintain thematic consistency in the face of a changing environment — and if 2021 is half the beast that 2020 was, there’s likely to be plenty of changes to adapt to — which can allow a sense of purpose and momentum even when individual goals can’t be met. I like this idea, and have settled on CREATIVITY and KAIZEN as the thematic core of my year. Here’s how that might look:

Music

In theory, I know some music theory; in practice, I don’t practice. We have a KORG SP-200 piano in the sitting room, a Fender acoustic guitar, and of course plenty of computer hardware for making electronic music, so I probably don’t need any more instruments, but if I can get myself into the (relaxing) habit of practicing regularly then I may just get a few more. There’s even some pretty cheap violins online, and although the Internet says it’s a devilishly hard instrument to teach yourself, dammit, Sherlock Holmes did it!

Art

Our son is a brilliant little artist, and his technique and technicality are really coming along. This year we upgraded his iPad, and with his mother’s Apple Pencil he’s starting to play with digital art — so my own efforts can be encouragement, if nothing else, although I would like to improve a little myself.

Cooking

For the love of food! Shortly after moving in to this house some friends gave us one of those cool chef’s blowtorches and I swore I would learn how to make creme brulée. Well, it hasn’t happened yet, but I have all the opportunity and support I need to actually get good at something. For this particular activity I’ll be leaning on Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Chef.


And that’s it! May 2021 bring us better times than last year. I’ll try to post more often, as I strive to live a creative life, and let you know if I ever manage to make a decent creme brulée.


  1. 19°C, feels like 17.5°C. Hard to believe that it’s the middle of an Australian summer but that’s the dynamic weather-system we find ourselves in I suppose. ↩︎