A simple list of goals.

At the end of 2018, I wrote a list of goals for 2019. It’s something I always do, I’m a listaholic, I make lists for everything: movies I want to see, music I want to buy, places to go etc,. Everything that interests me ends up in a categorized list. It calms me, it makes me feel like everything is under control (even if I know NOTHING is under control), and it helps me to clear my mind. I also find it very funny to read lists after a few months and discover stuff I used to be obsessed with but that I have completely forgotten of in the meantime! I’m kind of mercurial.

Researches evidenced how writing down a list of goals and reading them every day is the secret of the highest achievers in the world. I can’t add anything to this researches with my experience, because I’m good at setting the goals and writing them down, but I have no consistency in reading them often, much less every day.

This year, or the past two…or also the past seven or eight, have been quite strange. Things have changed so much and I still have to adjust and digest a few issues. I have gone through many changes in my life but none of them have been so transformative as the one I’ve been going through lately. It’s very very hard, but I know I’m going in the right direction, so I keep going. This to say that the goals that I’ve set for in the last years have seen no materialization as everything kept changing and I had to adjust my goals to the situation too often. I’ve often lost focus and felt demotivated, but I’m happy to say that I found a way to manage and juggle all this madness. It’s material for some other post, though.

Sorry for the very blurred picture. I took this a few days ago, but the sky hasn’t improved mhttps://quotefancy.com/quote/1563030/Adi-Da-Relax-Nothing-is-under-controluch. Weather like this is made for meditation and goal setting, I think. I woke up this morning, looked out the window and felt like it was a good time to sit with my thoughts and think about how I want to end this year.

There are 74 days left. I want to use them well. I want to set the base for a great 2020. I’ve trashed the list I wrote at the beginning of this year, I want to start afresh. Self-care and my business are top of my list now, everything comes as a consequence. So my list is very easy.

I just want to draw every day and publish a new video on my YouTube Channel every week.

I want to carve out an hour every day and read, meditate, do yoga. My yoga practice has been lacking and so did my meditation routine. Self-care is so important. Balance is everything.

And yes, this list can look extremely simple, but drawing can take long hours, editing a video can be a long task too, so it’s easy to forget to have some time for yourself. I used to make such ambitious, complicated plans but I’m all about simplicity now, I’m all about flowing with life.

74 days left. Let’s go.

Getting back into the swing of things.

O tendinitis, tendinitis, wherefore art thou tendinitis?

I’ve been in pain, not able to draw, for the past three weeks or so. Now, I’m better, and so I’m here at my desk. I really, really feel uninspired. I have to do something every day and keep swinging, keep a rhythm to keep my creative juices going. Which is not uncommon. Pablo Picasso once said

“Inspiration exists but it has to find you working”

and nothing is more true to me. Do something every day, no matter how horrible or wrong.

Today I am going to finish this one. It’s been sitting on my table for more than a month, collecting cat hair and stains. I’m going to finish it no matter how much I don’t like it.

Stillness kills me. My brain works extra hours if not engaged in anything else, and starts making up impossible plans, impossible dreams, impossible ideas, impossible – and deleterious – thoughts.

So let me get back to my watercolors.

I’m also filming the second YouTube video for my channel. Let’s see if the second will be less horrible than the first!! 🙂

Birthdays are strange, plans don’t work, and making YouTube videos is fun.

the cat tree | cute cats playing on a tree

The day after my Pammy passed, I turned 48.

Birthdays are strange. Personally, they make me feel good and bad at the same time. I don’t have a family to celebrate them with, but I have friends from all over the world who make me feel loved and blessed. Especially my best-friend Sacha, who lives in London but seems to be able to read my mind and get me what I need – whether it’s a book, chocolates, or just a message – right when I need it. So I always have a feel-good moment during my birthdays. But then I’m alone and…I think.

Thinking is something you should really avoid doing, sometimes.

On my birthdays I always ponder about my life, my age, what I’ve accomplished and what I have not. This year was no exception. I should have just got drunk like normal people do instead no, I began writing down the pros and cons of my current situation and how I can improve it. Whoa, pro-active attitude, you could say, good for you. Actually, haha, no it’s not. The time I spend analyzing my life with the pros and cons turns out always to be a moment of self-beating and depression.

You have to know that in my family hitting a hundred years old and surpassing it is not uncommon. I come from a long line of centenaries and people who beaten all kinds of odds – for example, my great-grandmother had eight children, the last one at age 54! And we are talking about the beginning of ‘900, when in vitro fertilization and stuff like that wasn’t even in the dreams of scientists. Given my good genes, I could easily have another 50 years of life ahead of me. Which is a lot. But then I think that I have already left behind me almost another 50 years of life, and what did I make with it? I always feel like I did very little of all the things I wanted to do.

But this year I decided to cut the self-blaming part of this pros and cons routine and get down to write a plan.

Which I didn’t write.

The thing is this: plans are evil. You write them down in excitement, you visualize yourself finally having the life of your dreams and you really go for it in the first few days. But then life gets in the way and you fall behind your plan. And what it’s just a day of being behind, rapidly becomes a month, then a year. And that is when your plan, which in the meantime hid in a dark corner like the monster you had under the bed as a child, jumps out and bites you, making you feel like a miserable loser.

Repeat after me: plans don’t work, fuck plans.

Don’t get me wrong: you have to have a direction, a specific idea of what you want to do. But your plan should not see further than next week. A month at maximum. Life is now, the moment is now. Planning too far ahead makes you feel like you are far from getting what you want, therefore it’s easy to get demotivated. And there’s the other side of the coin which is that you feel like you have so much time to do all that you need to do because your plan stretches so much. And no, you don’t have all that time. The time is now, today.

So I decided to pick one thing in my super long list of things I didn’t do and do it.

I took up YouTube. I wanted to start my own channel for a long time but I was waiting to have a good camera, good lights, good this, good that…I completely forgot my favorite motto which is ‘start where you are, do what you can with what you have’.

What I have is a cheap LG Phone that I paid about 79.99 Euros, a computer which is not exactly suited to edit movies and a desk lamp that is about 35 years old. But the motto talks clear. Do the cheap phone film HD movies? yeah. Does the computer work, even if slowly? Yeah! Does the desk lamp make light? Yes. Kind of yellowish but it does.

And that was the day I finally decided to let my perfectionist side drawn in its own self-hatred and turn myself into a Spielberg wannabe putting together what it’s probably the ugliest video in YouTube history, shamelessly and with a grin on my face because I had SO. MUCH. FUN.

I filmed myself painting the illustration on top of this post – which is already available on Redbubble and soon on all the other shops too – and then edited it on Adobe Premiere Pro, which I don’t really know how to use… But I learned a little as I went and I was able to put together a video in one day.

On the other side of your comfort zone, there are a lot of curse words and a lot of fun did you know it? Go for it. How the video looks have very little importance since ‘done’ it’s better than ‘perfect’ .

Fuck it.