I am overwhelmed by spam. Not the “SPAM SPAM” type of spam that can suck you in with its pseudo-friendly “Hey! Jenny! Remember me?”, a subject which possesses such confidence that you give the unfamiliar sender’s name “Rick Aston? Hmmm, sounds familiar. Maybe I do know Rick Aston!” the benefit of the doubt and click on their email, only to be bashed over the head with “$2.99 VIAGRA PILLS! ASK ME HOW!”
No, no, I’m talking about the spam that is self-inflicted. Emails I’ve signed up for, with nothing to blame other than my passion for an online giveaway. I get emails with travel specials, emails with tips to quit sugar and…the ones which cause me particular irritation only because with every arrival comes a reminder of personal failure: “Jenny, check out your progress on your 2012 goals!” That’s right. I signed up to a “goal accountability” site. A site which sends me these emails. Emails which, should I irritate myself further by actually opening them, will smile at me with such quaint and charming malice-lessness (it’s amazing what fonts can convey these days) that I instantly decide the contents are, in fact, malicious.
“Goals completed: 0.”
This is, I am quick to remind myself, not because I have achieved nothing this year.
However, the goals I listed on this website were, true to form, wildly ambitious and ones which I had at the time of writing, not yet invested any energy into. The quite extensive fringe festival run which took up February to April of this year? It was already planned when this list came along, so it didn’t count. Plainly.
Anyhoo, as much as I may rationalise my overall productivity this year, seeing that “0” there irks me. And then it irks me that it irks me. I want to be un-irkable, above such silliness, better than the stupidity of caring so much about failure to meet goals which…da da da da…as I write this, I can’t even remember what they actually were.
But now, here at mid-2012, I decide enough is enough. Am I going to pay any heed at all to the Jenny of six months ago? Are we going to give this another shot or pretend it never happened? I do it. I open the email to check what these goals actually were. I read this.
The thing is, since I wrote this list, I have changed. My priorities have come rather dramatically into focus even in the past week. I feel as thought I’m at a turning point. My key points of focus as they stand right now would probably read more like this:
– Create a more magical and inspiring creative home environment.
– Plan some really cool catch-ups with family and friends.
– Prioritise sleep, eating well and exercising.
– Develop my spiritual side.
– Write each and every day.
I guess the biggest epiphany from this entire year – perhaps magnified from the little drama of last week – is that I want to stop waiting til x happens until I can start living the way I want to live. To stop waiting for a break of some sort…which, let’s face it, may or may not ever actually come.
I want to just love what I do more, to find the joy in it again, to just write, sing, perform and create stuff which brings me life and which is so much ridiculous fun with that doing it just makes my life better. Art that I just need to make, with no thought about whether it’s gonna be received well, what it might lead to, where it could go from there, just to enjoy it for itself.
I feel as though I’ve been so focused on the massive, huge, limitless dreams in life which I’ve almost created my identity out of believing were possible…that I’ve focused so much energy on what was POSSIBLE that I neglected in that very process to think about what was actually DESIRABLE. Or BENEFICIAL. Or just A LIFE WELL LIVED.
It’s become quite simple. I want to live more in the now, rather than always trying to rush to the next amazing big thing on my radar. To stop focusing on a future which may or may not even occur and rather find the beauty, the success, the magic of what is happening right now. To find gratitude and creativity and art in the tiny things present in every day. To not wait for some big break to come along as though it will with it, hand me satisfaction and the keys to some magical castle to which I feel entitled.
I want to instead, just focus on what I have right here, right now and enjoy the shizz out of it.
I want to not worry at all about success coming or not coming. Because whether it does or it doesn’t, the fact is, my appetite for it is like my appetite for sweet food: insatiable. No matter how much I stuff my face with it, IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. Therefore, chasing it so mad-heartedly is really quite idiotic, like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. To keep doing that means I am really chasing after a thing I will never have: satisfaction.
Instead, I want to be satisfied with what I have. To love what I do. To love my family. To love my life.
And I think that starts with what is now my ONLY goal (yes, you read it here) for the remainder of 2012:
1. Every day, practise being good old-fashioned grateful.