2012: the year of attainable goals?

Well, that’s what I’m hoping. I’m quite pleased with this year’s list. I think that pretty much everything on it actually is attainable over the course of the year, unlike last year’s which was much too ambitious. A lot of what’s on it is stuff that is already in progress, about to be in progress or has a firmish deadline at least, so much of it doesn’t have to be started from scratch but is more about tying up loose ends left over from 2011.

September looms large this year – I am determined to be healthier and more organised before I start my Masters to give me the best possible chance to do well at it – this involves getting a healthy balance between freelance work, composition and rest time really working so I can clear old projects, bring in some money but keep my mental & physical health intact. I am most emphatically planning to not injure myself in any way more serious than perhaps a papercut.

2012 is, most significantly, all about new beginnings and new directions. There’s a lot of change going to be happening – going back to uni, (hopefully) buying our first house & moving out of London, developing my freelance business to be (again, hopefully) able to at least cover my basic expenses.

So without further ado, here is The 2012 List.

Music

  • 3 performances in 2012 – one more than I set myself for 2011, getting ambitious here 🙂 1. Three Whitman songs performed in Limerick in April Alas, the brass quintet concert in which Knots and Mirrors was to be premiered had to be cancelled and while Carrion Comfort was shortlisted for LCCO’s end of year concert, it didn’t make it to the final selection, so there’s only been 1 performance this year. However, unlike previous years, I’ve also had 1 whole album of works performed live, and created a major work which was also recorded by live performers along with MIDI parts, so I’m calling this one a win.
  • Complete all piece requests from 2011 before start of uni term in September – alto flute piece for Carla Rees (due spring), flute piece for Nicole Camacho, recorder quartet for Pink Noise, Pieces of Eight arrangement for Shana Norton. Uh. No. I did try. But no.
  • New score downloads implemented for caitlinrowley.com. Nope.
  • Blog at least once a month on caitlinrowley.com January – check, February – check… I’m pretty pleased with my blogging rate overall, even if it didn’t end up being an orderly schedule.
  • Work out how, and apply for funding with Pink Noise to (hopefully) achieve first paid commission. Not yet. Still planning on doing this.
  • Keep up flute practice Surprisingly, there’s been a fairly significant component of playing in the degree, so for the latter part of the year, this has definitely been met. I’ve even joined an improv group at college!
  • Start a Masters degree!
  • Finish Carrion Comfort for LCCO deadline YESSSSSSS!
  • Write at least 1 piece for a call for scores & send it in Mini Opera!
  • Take 2 pieces along to LCF WiP/WiT sessions for feedback. Nope
  • Schedule in (and DO) one listening session a week. Take notes to make sure I’m getting the most out of it. Didn’t really succeed with this, but I did listen to a lot more new music this year (even before starting the degree) than I have been wont to, so I’m pleased with my progress on this.
  • Get back to counterpoint/harmony study – schedule as part of weekly plan. NEED to make some progress on this before September. Fail.
  • Put at least 2 pieces up on SoundCloud in MIDI versions. If I’m being specific, I failed at this – I don’t think I posted a single MIDI file to SoundCloud this year. However, as I’ve posted 11 live recordings over the course of Lucky Dip and the mini opera, I’m calling this a win.
  • Finish laying out 2×4 & send to Christopher D. Lewis. Still on the to-do list

Home & Travel

  • Move out of London
  • Set up my own study before the summer
  • Try at least 5 recipes from “I Know How to Cook”: 6-Jan-2012: Coq au vin. Have also done the Venison-roast lamb but I can’t remember the date.
  • Try at least 3 recipes from new French baking cookbook: 6-Jan-2012: Galette des rois, incl. crème frangipane; 8-Jan-2012: Princesses (chocolate meringues) – not actually a success, but definitely tried. Will try again. 15-Jan-2012: Chaussons au pommes – YUM!
  • Travel: EuroDisney, Spain, Australia, weekend trip somewhere?
  • Work on creating a good, reliable multigrain loaf, in case of (suspected) bakery dearth in Gravesend: 13-Jan-2012: An excellent start – not fully multigrain because I was just using up leftover flour, but it worked really well. 19-Jan-2012: Tried the same recipe, this time with all wholemeal flour. Worked very well, in spite of forgetting about it a couple of times, leading to overly long rising times. Feeling quite confident about getting this recipe working well. 15-Feb-2012: I’m calling it – today’s bread was pretty darned spectacular and I’ve been eating only my own bread for a full month now and not had to throw a single loaf out. I’d say this one’s achieved!

Health

  • Limit sugar & dairy intake.
  • Keep up with vitamin supplements to help keep food & energy on track.
  • Get back to the morning squirrel-walks once calf is better
  • Semi-regular massages to keep stress and tension headaches under control – no more waiting till the pain’s so bad I can’t function
  • Work my way up to being able to do a 4-mile walk without pain
  • Develop regular schedule so can have relaxation time in the evenings and proper weekends and reduce stress of neglecting one or the other. Key components: Freelance work, composing, listening, training, writing
  • Weight: *sigh* Shall we say 76kg by the start of the uni term? Surely that’s doable? *gives self a stern look and a threat to not injure any more parts* 15-Feb-2012: Made a start on this at least & joined Weight Watchers tonight after good reports from friends. Hoping it will give me the kick up the too-sizeable behind that I need to achieve this. 1-May-2012: Have actually gone backwards on this – need to pull myself together…

    All fails 🙁

Business

  • Schedule training to keep my skills current & keep me employable by others – do some every week. Key areas: JavaScript, design, marketing Nope.
  • Design business cards & get them made 8-Jan-2012: Order sent! And I just scraped in to get a 15% discount from MOO too!
  • Write beginner social media guide to sell on raspberryblue.com Still in progress
  • Start blogging on Raspberry Blue (not going to make this any set schedule – minimum 3 posts in the year though)
  • Schedule talk at LCF Open House on some webby topic – social media as a tool for composition perhaps? Or maybe something on how to use the web to promote your composition? Nope – not yet. Maybe in 2014.

Other stuff

  • New laptop. This year for sure. D to get old one. Fail. Still struggling along with the old one because the bank took 6 months to approve the mortgage and all possible new-computer funds went on rent
  • Knit something that isn’t a scarf I started a glove!
  • Send both parents’ birthday and Christmas presents ON TIME Did better than last year, but fell at the Christmas hurdle.
  • Call parents once a month: January – done. February – done, March – done, April – done. Think I actually got through this, or very nearly. Calling it a win.