The end of 2020 is approaching — finally! — and it’s time to start thinking about how I did in my goals for the year and what I want to focus on next year.
Gear: uh. I changed a lot of stuff again. Not sure I stuck to any goals here all that well. I did track all my purchases, sales, shipping costs and software. Unlike 2019, I wound up spending a bit overall.
This is okay, because we (oddly enough) saved money thanks to COVID lockdowns and working from home. The amount of money we didn’t spend at restaurants, including breakfast and lunch on most weekdays for me at work, was much more than the increased amount we spent on groceries and on food delivery (and some extra goodies like my entire music gear budget and then some).
About 1/4 of that budget went to software. A good chunk of that went into the charity auction, which I probably wouldn’t have spent otherwise. I might still recover a portion of the rest if I can resell a couple of licenses — Soundtheory Gullfoss is great, but then TEOTE was released and I prefer it (and it was cheaper). Audio Damage Enso isn’t one I’ve been using at all after demoing it seemed promising, because it just doesn’t seem to fit my workflow.
My hardware budget included the E520, which I technically paid for last year but counted this year. It was well worth it. Considering trades and all, I did add the DAFM synth, the Purple Rain, the 0-Ctrl, and additional HP from getting the Pod 60.
I have some more detailed thoughts that need mulling over and writing about in terms of gear, before I figure out next year’s goals. I will say that I don’t expect major shakeups or additions next year, but some slow churn is possible.
Music generally: I was very good about supporting other musicians this year through Bandcamp (and more rarely through other means) rather than streaming. Certainly the whole #bandcampfriday thing helped encourage that, and I hope they continue it, perhaps even post-COVID.
I was also good about continuing to make music. 5 albums released, and it looks like I’ll be ready to release the next either at the end of the year or early in January. Participation in 5 compilations (6 before the end of the year).
I didn’t manage to increase my pure listening time the way I wanted to, though.
Less exercise this year than any previous year I can think of.
Stopped tracking things like meals after the first couple of months, and didn’t really keep up with blood sugar testing.
In terms of mental health, COVID and the election did me no favors at all. I didn’t have many panic attacks once my office switched to working from home, but constant tension and occasional serious (and entirely justified) worry.
Online health: I stumbled a few times. But, considering, I also backed away from the crazy and the infuriating more than I ever used to. Asking myself “is this going to be worth it?” and “is anything good going to come out of posting this?” was very helpful.
Where it comes to skipping even reading stuff… I had that goal before “doomscrolling” was a word. I could have skipped a lot more. But I feel like three previous years of a Trump presidency and other disheartening bullshit before that (racism, crapitalism, climate collapse denial, anti-science idiocy etc.) built up some cynicism with which I didn’t get too burned by the giant garbage fire.
So, yeah. Not a great year!
The best thing I can say is, I made music, and I am pretty proud of the music I made. I survived, and all of my friends and family that I know survived. (Some former acquaintances had a really rough run-in with COVID though.) And I wasn’t completely miserable the entire time despite everything.
Here’s to a better 2021. And here’s to vaccines.