Daily Blog #123: Blogmas Day Twenty-Nine- The long talked about “I will blog about that later in Blogmas” year end assessment/new year goals blog.

Sunday Night

Well, I managed to get about everything on my to do list done but it’s now quite late and I’ll surely be tired tomorrow. Thank goodness I have coffee.

I also have snacks so assuming I’m not dumb in the morning and I remember to bring my creamer, coffee mug, lunch and snacks, I’ll have a pretty good day despite being up way later than I should be.

At the moment, I should be in bed. Instead, it is after midnight and I have a lavender sheet mask on my face and I’m blogging. I worked on the bedroom a bit, getting more done, and now I have a giant unfairly large pile of crap to take to donation.

Once the something like seven bags and giant tub of clothing is taken for donation, we will have more space. The next major goal will be washing the clothing that remains and finding a home for it, and buying a new AC window unit for that room. After the AC, I may consider another coat of paint, something all over the walls, instead of the half and half it is currently, and start looking at a new bed for us.

The hope is, once we have space, we can grab a bed frame and mattress and some new linens and have a lovely new sleeping situation. Of course if we do this the futon that is currently in that room will also have to go, and I’ll have to rearrange the room yet again but we are within a couple of months from having a proper bedroom again.

Things are really coming together in 2020.

Or at least, I’m trying to make them come together in 2020. I have big goals and this coming year is the year I plan on pushing of those goals forward.

Little things, like getting my bedroom sorted, I think will have a major impact on my life, and will make bigger goal things, like releasing at least one volume of Flake City, that much easier.

Being able to leave lights, microphones, etc, set up after filming or recording, instead of taking them all down to then set up our bed, for example, could be a major advantage. Not having to put away half of my desk to store things, and then clear it all off to get ready in the morning, will also save me much needed time.

I do have hopes of getting a better solution for my desk and vanity duo- currently both large jobs are handled by Bret’s old kitchen table.

2020, however, is when I think that will all change. We are eating at home more, making better purchases for our future, releasing more art, and making dreams come true, one project at a time.

The bedroom is just one of the projects that will lead to more space and peace of mind. Peace of mind to make the bed in the morning, instead of having to put the bed away to have the couch again. Peace of mind so I can work out and Bret can work on music and neither of us feels encroached upon. Peace of mind to have space to write and look cute. Space to record podcasts and radio specials for Flake City, space to record audio books and short story narration, space to take head-shots and video auditions for our performance friends to have done without costing an arm and a leg.

This is the year I am really building, and I’m hella pumped for it.

So it’s now much later and I should go to bed, but I will pick this up tomorrow. Until then…

Monday Morning

Greetings and Salutations, my dearest blog readers! Today is Monday, and it is the last Monday of the year.

Nearly a year to the date, this is Abbi last year. No blog, just wishes and dreams and a grandfather who was still alive and telling her to write more. Grandma had just passed away and this was the best I could muster. But, that was then. This is now.

Tomorrow is New Years Eve, and I feel comfortable looking towards 2020 and sharing some of my goals and targets for the new year, as I have been hinting at for much of Blogmas.

As you may also recall, I do not believe in doing “resolutions”. No, instead, I like to look at what I have done, and what I want to do, make assessments based on my situation, and move forward with the new year with those goals in mind, and a plan of action to make those goals happen.

I start this process around my birthday, coming in late November, and by the time New Years Eve rolls around, I have normally already started enacting my plan of attack.

So, let’s look at some of my assessments, goals, and plan of attack.

The Blog:

My goal for this year was to start a blog, and add it to my life in a sustainable way that would lead to me actually maintaining and keeping the blog long term. Check!

My assessment is that blogging nearly every day or every single day, sometimes more than one, is great for my blog rates, my writing development, and my personal sense of accomplishment as a writer.

The blog not only keeps me accountable, but keeps me from feeling like what I am doing doesn’t matter and helps me build a place to one day publish some of the stories.

The blog has also helped me not only further develop my writing style, but grow my entire world. I have a place to put short stories, and the confidence to keep writing them because I can always publish them there.

The blog has helped me find an audience, and gain confidence in myself, while also demanding I write every day.

The assessment I make from my blog is that it is good for me, and that blogging every day probably is too.

My loading stats for the month.

I have practiced blogging every day, in the past, but now as I approach the end of December, having blogged every day, at least one blog a day (Although one, on the 12th, was after midnight, so it looks like I missed a day, but I DIDN’T!) and I have to say…Wow.

At first, I didn’t see a huge number raise, but over time, I was seeing at least one new blog follower a day, and a few more reads and likes a day, and over the past few days, I have gained more.

I have some ideas about what direction to take the blog in, other than the goals I already have, that I will be getting to. I was able to notice which readers will read regardless of when I post, and which posting times were best for me each day.

I have been posting in the early morning hours, scheduling a blog the night before for the post to go up by seven AM…But now I am learning that some days, the evening seems to do better for me. All of this is fascinating to me, to learn when people are most likely and most willing to read, but, as you all may know, I am not about tricking people into reading, I simply want to do everything I can to make it easier and possible for people to read.

The blog also affected my ideas about publishing, namely, I do not know if I want to publish my writing in a way that leads to people having to pay money for the writing, I want them to read.

But I also want to one day have money to write full time.

Sometimes the blog tells me problems I need to solve, rather than solve them, but overall, that is what makes me love the blog so much…it helps me figure crap out.

Moving forward with the blog, I want more original photo’s, as well as special cover art, something I started doing for Blogmas. The cover photos for Blogmas were made in large part thanks to free photos on Unsplash, but moving forward after Blogmas, I want to make cover images that either show you the number of Daily Blog we are on, or possibly a title. I would also like to continue posting nearly every day, like I did during Blogmas, until it becomes too much. I may just prewrite and schedule reviews for the days I won’t feel up to posting, because i really do enjoy the impact of posting every day.

In the new year, I plan on adding more video and audio files to the blog, which may add time to the blog process, or, may speed it up. Either way, more styles of content are coming to the website, as are more pictures to show the story of this blog.

Also in the new year will be some drops of Flake City writing, and also some merchandise from Flake City. I have lots of stuff that will likely be published/released in the new year. Very exiting.

My goals for the blog are by the end of the year to not only have Audio, Video, and original Photo content in addition to my daily blogs, but also some more creative writing, a merchandise store, and a tip jar for my blog, in case anyone wants to tip me for my work.

Writing:

I touched on this a bit in the above, but as this section is separate, I made it it’s own section. First, the assessments.

Wooohooo I won.

This year I did NaNoWriMo again, not forgetting to update my stats and not win, but I did have plenty of days where I didn’t log the word count for the day.

But I did complete it, actually blew my word count out of the water, hitting over 70,000 words in the month of November. In the last three months of the year, I have worked hard to write every single day either on the blog or creatively, many times both, and I have really been training myself into being a proper writer who writes decent stuff every day.

I have a great vision on what I am doing with my writing, and every day it gets better.

I have gotten good about writing every day, and over the course of this year I have written well over 400,000 trackable words on work in progresses and blogs alone.

My goals for this year, which I mentioned above, include more publishing and releasing of said writing, recording some podcasts and audio files of said writing, and some other surprise supplemental art I will be providing for my universe.

I will also be investing a little bit of money in some graphic design supplies and also assistance, as well as illustrations, be that made myself or made by others.

Other investments will likely include a camera, a new (desk top) computer, an iPad, and a few similar gadgets, as well as more sound recording equipment.

Since this is giving way to the next area, lets move on to-

Life/Home:

This past year I have made some improvements to my life and home, and I plan to continue that work in the new year.

First: The assessments. I realized that at the moment, it isn’t feasible to move from our apartment, at least until gentrification forces out, so, I have begun to make this apartment and area work for us.

Our apartment, which we likely out grew before we fully moved in, has been undergoing some changes to make it more friendly to our lifestyles, and it still has a long way to go.

In the past year, I was able to paint most of the walls, add some shelving, and get the living room and kitchen into a usable space. I want to add some contact paper to the counters, and some textured tiled contact paper to the wall behind the stove and behind the sink. In the bathroom, I also want to add some tiled texture contact paper in the small part above the sink below the mirror. Also in the bathroom, I want to find a “by the toilet” storage solution for extra rolls of toilet paper, a candle, etc etc, because right now we just use a wooden stool we had on hand. I would also like to add a litter tracker catcher, and some new rugs for the floor.

In the kitchen, we also need more storage, but that is an ongoing problem that I am hoping the new stuff at IKEA for this season will offer some solutions for us. Not everything has a solution or plan of attack, which is a big point to doing this particular blog…writing out everything I have done, and aim to do, and a plan for those things. This allows me to see where I still need to plan and make solutions.

Other household/life problems I am working on include…my desk/vanity issue. My desk doubles as a vanity and also as a catch all place for our living room. In the new year, I want to retire the old kitchen table I have been using, for an actual desk, and find a solution for the vanity that doubles as a desk. This will likely also be an IKEA hack, combined with some Pinteresting assistance.

It will also involve the wall by my desk, which I have been drawing up ideas for. The trick is me wanting to keep my map, but add more lighting and some mirrors, which will double as living room decor to make it look bigger in the very small apartment.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I spent a bunch of time working on the bedroom, getting ready to put in a new window AC unit, and then removing old stuff and putting in a proper bed.

My goal for the bedroom is to make half of it a bedroom, and the other half will continue to double as a photo studio and a crafting area.

I have been working and measuring, and while I have to buy some things and remove even more, it should all fit.

The bedroom being sorted should help my vanity and desk area, because more crafting supplies can go into the bedroom, and it will be cool enough to work in their when I have photos to take or crafts to make…not to mention it will be cool enough to sleep in there, so we don’t lose a ton of time every night setting up the bed in the living room, and then putting it up in the morning.

This very thing I am looking forward to most. Every night we have to pull out the couch, put the padding down, make the bed with the linens, all to get ready for bed…But, our apartment is so small, this is tricky to do with our coffee table, and the little extra wing of the table that is doubling as my desk and vanity, up, giving me the space I need to house everything on that table.

Then, in the morning, the bed is still out, I need access to my desk and vanity, and the bed is in the way and all I want to do is sit on the couch, NOT BED, and sip coffee.

It adds time, and also frustration. It makes me annoyed with Bret if he opts to walk the dog while I put the bed together or put it up, even though I have no reason to be annoyed at him for “not helping”. I am not annoyed at him for not helping put the bed together, I am annoyed at the situation of having to put away our bed every morning, instead of making it, and having to pull it out every night.

And that kind of thinking is also getting left in this year. In 2020, it’s all about finding sustainable solutions. The first major purchases of the year will be an AC, bed frame, and mattress, for the bedroom. THEN and only then, will I be willing to move forward with the rest of the list.

What else is on the list? Well, another thing that annoys me on a nearly daily basis, is the laundry.

We live in an apartment complex, with a shared laundry room.

Three machines for the entire complex, and people aren’t as clean as they could be when using a public machine. The machines are also frequented by an insane neighbor who I have blogged out, who is a loud, yelling person, even when just being nice, she always yells. She is also totally insane, and I like to stay away from her, and her apartment is NEXT TO the laundry room, which makes her think she is the queen of our laundry room and the arbiter of the room and machines. Annoying to say the least.

More annoying still is that Bret has very few chores around the apartment, less still that he does, and laundry is one of them…Which means once a week, he takes one, sometimes two, loads of laundry downstairs to the machine. It means our linens are NEVER washed as often as they need to be, and I frequently am annoyed at Bret on a Sunday because I need to take a shower and I don’t have a clean towel, or clean clothing, for after the shower.

And I am done with being annoyed and frustrated. I take things into my own hands and fix it. Doing laundry in the laundry room is something that can be done…but I have also found a small machine that allows you to wash and dry small loads of clothing without hook ups, in a shitty apartment like ours, and, I may be able to position it in such a way, with shelves around it, in maybe the bathroom, to solve the bathroom storage issue as well.

And make it look like some intentional laundry area in the bathroom, which makes total sense. If not the bathroom, I have a backup spot in the kitchen, with a similar idea, so either way it will feel very European, but much more functional. This way I can wash clothing during the week, and linens will get washed often enough. I can use Bret’s one load a week for the large stuff that the small machine can’t do. If Bret blows off a week, like he tends to do (hello, he blew it off yesterday, for example) I am not stuck carrying everything we both need downstairs to the laundry room next to the yelling lady. I can carry a load of some towels, or of just our blanket, and that isn’t too bad.

After the laundry is sorted, if I haven’t already purchased the contact paper for the counters and back splash, I will do so now, and also add a throw carpet and some more lights in the living room, and a front of sink pad for comfort, if possible, for the kitchen.

Along the way, I also want to buy new linens for the bedroom and new bed, and also some throw pillows for the couch, to really up the hygge vibes in our place. I may also start keeping a couple of throw blankets on hand, either artistically thrown over the couch, or in a small basket that the cats will inevitably sleep on. During the holidays, it was brought to my attention that sometimes it gets very cold in the apartment, and people don’t always bring a jacket with them, or keep a robe on hand like I do, so I want to keep a blanket on hand. I was mortified when I realized that keeping the apartment chilly enough to account for company and cooking, left my friends feeling like frozen blocks of ice.

Overall, I think all of these little things, as well as the large things, will make the place overall better and, I hope, make me happier. These changes should also make keeping the apartment clean, a bit easier as well, and keep it clean. Being able to have our linens ON the bed, versus waiting to go on the bed all day, will free up more daily space, as well, and the bedroom being sorted frees up more storage options to keep things from being too cluttered, which in turn helps it get cleaned and dusted easier, and more frequently.

Personal:

So, now, it is time to come to the personal life assessments!

This past year I have focused on myself and a few other people, keeping my circle incredibly small. I worked on quitting smoking, drinking more water, eating healthier, eating less meat, and working out.

I need to do better at all of them, but I can say I am VERY happy with the progress I made this year, more so considering how low on the list I normally place my health.

I plan to drink more water every day, even if that means carrying some aqua flasks on me or something. I also want to get better at not smoking. I have reduced, and I no longer even consider myself a smoker, as I can easily go without…but when work is stressful or when Bret is an asshole, I do still reach for the ole ciggys. Also, sometimes, to enjoy a cigarette, because, well…I like to smoke.

But I need to get better about that, and my goal is to smoke more hemp based blunts and wax in my vaporizer.

I also want to be eating at home more, to help pay for my many investments this year, and also just to help me stack up the savings, and that means finding affordable, healthy meals that are easy to make and easy to clean up, to not cost me too much valuable time.

Me, today, while I type and post this, whilst eating my delicious salad.

I have been researching sheet pan baking recipes for dinner, and I am also working on stocking our fridge with more items for salads, as they are healthy, easy, and not too hard to clean up. I think I may start prepping some stuff ahead of time, like the onions, and then I can focus on shredding cheese and chopping tomatoes and cucumbers, the day before or day of using them.

I hope this helps save time, and also help me to eat a bit healthier and feel great.

Speaking of health…yup, it is time for the work out portion of this blog.

This past year I bought myself a stationary bike, which actually got me to start doing cardio and working out. If you have known me a while, this alone is probably shocking. I have also worked on adding high intensity (but short) work outs to my routine, to try and help my overall fitness.

I keep struggling with doing it every day, but in the new year, my goal is to work out as often as possible, even if it is just thirty minutes a day.

I have to get better at saying “My health is a priority, and I need to take thirty minutes for it” while ALSO cooking at eating at home, keeping a clean home, a maintained blog with new content, and, with any luck, also sleeping six or so hours a night.

I don’t know how often I will work out, some days it just doesn’t happen, but I am committing to riding my bike as many days out of the week as possible, while also drinking water every day and eating healthy, or at least, eating at home. (Because let’s be real, it is likely I will make pasta plenty of times too).

I also want to simplify my wardrobe a bit, likely by wearing my own merchandise, but I am hoping to get a bit more efficient. I also want to style my hair more, and continue to act, dress, and exist as if every day is day one of my “come up” to success, because, as I have blogged before…It is.

And 2020 looks to be a great year for me, and many around us, so, I hope everyone does the same, and treats every day as day one of their come up to success.

I plan on leaving frustrations and annoyances in 2019, all the ones I can leave, I will be leaving, and the ones I can’t leave, I will be working to improve or working to leave the situation in the dust.

So that is where much of my new year plans are, with a few more things I am keeping close to my heart for now, but just know this: Abbi Grasso plans on having a great year, where her writing, her health, and her mental sanity, and yes, her friendships, come before the stupid shit (zombies) that has gotten her down.

This is the year I aim to leave much of my past, the stuff I am always trying to overcome, I am leaving it behind. I know that trauma has scars and you can’t really leave it, but all the bad habits I have fallen into, the unhealthy ways of thinking, the methods of coping, I leave all that crap behind.

I leave double guessing myself behind. I leave “but I have always been this way” in the past and focus on what I have always wanted to be, not what I have always been. I focus on success, on art, and, on being happy. I know that happiness isn’t always easy, isn’t always attainable, but I know enough about my life and myself after 32 years on this planet, to know how I can keep the stuff I do control, positive.

I feel like I am slowly waking up, slowly coming back to who I am, and who I am trying to be, and I am more sure of myself and my actions. I don’t know what has happened, but over the past week, I have been really shedding some of the layers of crap that have been trying to define me, and I have shed the layers that make me more myself. I see where I am going and how I will get there with a greater clarity than before. Where previously I lied to myself and assured myself that everything I was doing was fine, and all my methods of coping were fine, but the truth is…

They weren’t, and I wasn’t.

I mourn the fact that I wasn’t my best self in the past, and that my past self had to ensure so much of the bad stuff in the past, but, moving forward, I will be.

I will be working that much harder on being myself, being true to who I am, and being happy with that.

Because frankly, with how much I have on my plate this year, I really don’t have time to be doubting or hating on myself.

Also, I am pretty sure hating yourself makes you gain weight, or look puffy…something bad.

So, this has turned into a pretty hefty blog, and I want to get back to the proper schedule before the end of the month and the actual end of Blogmas, so I think I am going to go ahead and wrap this blog up here, and start working on the next one, so I can have all thirty-one entries up and ready before end of day tomorrow.

Blogmas has been fun, but every day with the blog is.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Blogmas Day 30 (Which is what day it is even though this is Blogmas day 29, if you have been following along you know we have have been suffering from some pretty bad blog limbo/blog lag.

Thank you so much for reading, please, don’t hold yourself to impossible resolutions, assess where you are and make sustainable changes to help your goals come to fruition.

Happy Blogmas, and Happy last fresh start Monday of the year.

Thanks for reading!

❤️

Abbi

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