Not a New Year’s Guide to Sanity

Shortly after starting this blog at the beginning of 2017, i posted a piece subtitled your ultimate New Year’s guide to sanity. It’s a self-help listicle discouraging the consumption of listicles, self-help, and the news — particularly from the algorithmically curated strain.

I thought i’d be reviewing and republishing that piece at the beginning of every year forever. I did that twice, and it’s now time to seed a new tradition.

I don’t believe my arguments on that article will do much to persuade someone who doesn’t already understand that they won’t be missing out if they don’t click on that bait — that mysteriously calculated, frighteningly alluring link at the end of whatever they just finished reading — most probably, watching. I often cannot resist this urge myself — leaving mainstream social media has not been nearly enough to turn me into the master of my attention.

A solution to this problem might transcend the intellect — at this point, i won’t be surprised if it turns out to be simpler to implement and experience than to articulate. I also don’t have one yet.

So, i won’t begin this year by telling you what to do with your attention.

Instead, i’ll start with something i noticed a bunch of the newsletters i follow do over the past several days: a brief reflection on what i believe went well in 2019, and what i would like to go better in 2020 — i’m nailing this whole Gregorian calendar thing!

What went alright in 2019

  1. I got back on the bicycle. I want more of that 😀

  2. I’ve made time to incorporate photography into my learning and creative processes. I’ll continue to prioritize it 🙂

  3. Overall financial support went up! Not Mad Yet is still a looong way from self-sufficiency, but this modest trend has encouraged me to continue pursuing a model to make this work in alignment with my values. Especially to all of you who donated in 2019 — Boris, Dad, Fuji, Leon, Luda, Mom, Natalia, Nathy, Raf, Rajko, Robson, Sigrid, Valéria, Viorica, and Yevgen — THANK YOU <3

What could improve in 2020

  1. I want to post more consistently, both in the sense of establishing a clearer overarching narrative, as well as better aligning my intended weekly schedule with the typical length of a week :p

  2. I want to be less apologetic — this includes being less apologetic about occasionally being overly apologetic. I’m not good at standing my ground and taking care of myself, and i want to stop projecting that onto this newsletter. I want to trust that i mean it when i say that my intention here is to connect with you, and that we’ll use potential misunderstandings as opportunities for that 🙂

  3. After another entire year in Ukraine (except for a couple of trips to Poland), i’m still insecure about my levels of Ukrainian and Russian. I’ve taken measures to address that before the turn of the year, including coming to terms with my decision to learn Russian first. I’ll continue to trust this process — if it works out, i’ll tell you more about it 😉

I think three of each is enough.

How about you?

What went right for you in 2019, and what would you like to go better in 2020?

Yep — that’s an unapologetically late post for the first week of January — i’ll eventually be doing this in Ukrainian and Russian as well 😉

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Featured photo: “YIELD TO CHILDREN TRIPPING AND FALLING FACE-FIRST
WHILE PLAYING ON THE STREET” (Winter 2020)


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