If I can say anything positive about this year, it's that I've at least partially reclaimed the creative spirit that has been in decline for a long time. When I tally it all up at the end of the year, I fully expect to catalog a ton of stuff that I made. Lots of software, video, radio shows... I'm honestly surprised myself.
I've also been somewhat critical of myself for skipping around between these things, often not finishing things or not doing them consistently. I don't know why I'm treating that as a flaw, exactly. The cultural expectations around follow-through and consistency can be kind of toxic even for important things, so applying them to leisure time activities seems like a bad idea.
Late in the summer I got into this idea around making video content about stuff we care about, and that's still on the table and half-realized. It's just not published. I'll come back to that, probably soon. I can probably put together a dozen of those in pretty short order. I cranked out 21 episodes of my radio show, Modern Gen-X, then kind of abruptly stopped. I reserve the right to suddenly do that again, too. I cranked out my MLocker open source software project, a personal music cloud player, mostly across four weekends, and I'm really proud of that. In fact, since I started, my total play count is at about 2,000 already! From August to October, I committed to writing on average a blog post a day, and while I missed the first month (only 28), I got there the next two. This month, probably not.
What does this mean for me? I think I'm generally happier and less stressed overall, or at least, better off than I would be considering the year we're having. The hardest part about it is that I feel like I'm being a little selfish, because these are largely solo activities. I have found ways to get Simon involved to a degree though. He did the ID stabs for the radio show ("Trickle-down economics... how did that work out for you? The Modern Gen-X!"), and he'll show that anyone can flip a bottle of liquor to pour two ounces in a video. Yeah, definitely parenting wins.
All of this to say, sometimes suboptimal circumstances force you to get creative, quite literally in this case. I haven't left the state since January, and haven't left the country since late last year, but dammit, I made stuff.