Annual Evaluation

Wannado List

I have a shelf filled with black day planners; years worth of them that I simply cannot throw away. I’m a pretty active journal keeper, but I view the daily/monthly planners as an extension of my journals. They give me a more detailed, day-to-day view of what was going on for me in, say, 1994. You might be surprised how often I reference back to these books. Evidently, they really do contain “need to know” bits for me.

For many years, I preferred the AT-A-GLANCE® QuickNotes® Weekly/Monthly Planner. I like being able to see both a month and a week at a time. I like the big and the small picture. More recently, my love of Moleskin journals led me to covet Moleskin planners. In fact, when Lynn and I violated our “buy nothing” rule on Black Friday by going to Dick Blick’s, I pulled the one I wanted for 2012 off of the shelf and put it in Lynn’s basket. Ready for the new year.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, per se, but usually at some point during the holiday weekend, I pull out my new planner and turn to the blank pages that precede the calendar section; the pages for notes and memos and such. Then, I begin to fill the page with things I hope to accomplish in the coming months or year. I start out by reviewing the same page from the previous year’s book and copy over the still pending items from that list (at least the ones I still care about). I don’t feel badly if I’ve not achieved something* and I’ll add to the list as the months pass. It’s not a “to do” list, not a “bucket list”, but simply a list of things that I’ve likely, at some point or another, claimed I’d like to do.

Several of my items from the past couple of years have been associated with music. I wanted to play my mandolin better, thus I wanted to start taking lessons (check!). I also knew that playing my mandolin better would come only by playing more often and by playing with other people. I wanted to perform. I wanted to be in the band. I wanted to be on stage. These were all carryover “wannados”, because like my wish to get involved in community theater, I’d been saying and thinking and wanting them for awhile. But it was really hard to get over the anxiety that these wants evoked. I am NOT shy to stand up in front of people and talk. It’s second nature to me. Doing something that’s easy is always … well … easier than something that requires you to stretch a bit. For me, it was really hard to step up and play an instrument – to fumble through and miss chords or notes. It’s really hard to willingly stand up in front of others and make mistakes.

But back in September, my friend Chrissy had her birthday party at a pub in town. It was on a Sunday, open mic night. It was a fundraiser for the Worcester Animal Refuge League. She wanted friends to come and enjoy the evening, and to perform if they could. I decided that, for Chrissy’s birthday, I’d give it a shot. I practiced 2 songs that I knew pretty well and I showed up that night with my mandolin in hand. Encouraged by many, when it was my turn I went up to the mic and I sang and played my songs. It was over in a few minutes and I was too embarrassed to really even enjoy the fact that people applauded. But at the same time, I was proud of myself AND I realized that it was an awful lot of fun. Really fun.

Since that night, I’ve played at a bunch of open mics, I’ve met a bunch of new friends, and last night, sat in as a guest on a few songs with a couple of friends who had a real gig at the pub. I got a set list emailed to me a few days before, I practiced, and I showed up and played. And like all of the other times, it was terrific fun.

”]Sitting down for lunch this afternoon, I opened my planner and looked over my list, thinking how I’ll be reviewing and transferring pieces of it to the new book in a few weeks. It made me smile to know I’ve met a few of my dreams for the year – and one of them being pretty big.

*Unless it’s related to a widening mid-section.

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