The end of the year is often a time for setting goals for the new year, but both this wonderful post and my friend Darrell have reminded me that not only do we need to look forward, but we get to look back and savor our successes. This year blew me away. It has been so rich that as I began to write this list I was really in awe of how much this past year has held. As someone who can get kind of blasé about the world around me when I am having mood challenges, it was a refreshing opportunity to breathe in the beauty that has been a part of my life.
Thus, the following is my reflection on Successes, Challenges, Goals for 2020, and my answer to the above wonderful post mentioned. The answers are not in full order, but my hope is that sharing it here I will have others see it, and energetically cast out into the world my intentions for the coming year. Perhaps it might also inspire you into writing your own your own list of successes, challenges, and goals!
Brag! What is one thing you did this year? Learn a new skill? Have a deep conversation with a friend? Something at work? With family? A trip? Get more sleep? I’m curious.
- In 2019 I went from 206 lbs down to 184lbs, for a loss of 24 pounds total. This was done through a challenge from my Ma’am asking me if I wanted to keep my weight, and upon saying no, her encouraging me to be down, no mater how little, each time I saw her. I’m back down to fitting into my favorite jeans after loosing my depression weight, and getting into jeans I was hoping to some day fit into. I can climb stairs again without my knees hurting, and have proven that to 200 mark on my body is when I start having both asthma and knee issues.
- I had a really great year exploring Denver, living in a prime location near the capital. I got to re-discover what living on my own terms/vision looked like, which was very spirit-healing. This included getting back into yoga classes, and rediscovering quality vegetarian restaurants.
- Got involved with a local kink and sexuality communities – helping produce parties and an exploratorium for Knotty Queers, attending events at Sanctuary, Rack Room, Denver Bound, Studio Friction, VERB (Very Enthusiastic Rope Bottoms), CAL (Colorado Center for Alternative Lifestyles), The Center on Colfax, Club of Kings, #MadeUpClub, and of course Knotty Queers. This included getting to attend munches, parties, discussion groups, be on an incredibly silly panel as “Lord Master Glowstick,” and help out at exploratoriums and other events.
- Bonding with Piper, Mia, and the rest of my Knotty Queers group.
- Meeting Ma’am, delving deep into discovery with each other, do some analytical work before agreeing to details, and then getting to enter back into being of service to her. I attended Oklahoma Leatherfest, ToL Easter, Great Plains Olympus Leather, Oklahoma Kink Weekend, the Oddities and Curiosities Expo, Dark Fyre, and the Kansas City Master/slave weekend as her Boy, and re-learn being on the submission and surrender side of a relationship for the first time in 13 years.
- Maintaining my wonderful Patreon group, connecting with many of them, and using it as a way to share material that has never been seen by the rest of the world.
- Playing Pokemon Go with friends from around the world, using it as a way to explore the world and getting out for exercise.
- Attended, in general, a lot more events. I went to BLW Winter Gathering, Ekabhumi Ellik’s altar-building intensive, Stephanie Syd Yang‘s Queer* Food/Body intensive, two Dv8-AZ parties, the San Francisco Two-Spirit Powwow, Introduction to Oracle cards with Marcella Kroll, a wide array of classes at American Association for Sexuality Educators, Councilors, and Therapists (AASECT), and a great set of classes by Kinkerbelle at Denver Bound. In general, I embraced in-person learning over book learning this year, which was a success for me.
- I had the pleasure of teaching at a number of conferences: Fetish Fair Fleamarket (Rhode Island), Trans Alaska Summit (Anchorage), Camp Crucible (Maryland), Dark Odyssey: Fusion (Maryland), Thunder in the Mountains(Denver), Kansas City RSG Rope Campout (Kansas), Oz Kinkfest (Melbourne, Australia), Austin RopeCraft(Austin), and the APEx Power Exchange Intensive (Colorado).
- On top of conferences, I also was able to teach on my own for SAADE/Trans Day of Visibility (Austin), Metro Vancouver Kink (BC), and a week of Melbourne classes, where I was able to teach down under for the first time in a decade. I consider my weekend for Delving Into Power a deep success for me as I saw my students soar, bore witness to deep work, heart evolution, and my own internal work along the way.
- I was blessed with the opportunity to officiate a handfasting for a beautiful couple, including 6 months of work with them to prep them for their life moving forward.
- Visits from friends made me really grateful, where I got to host folks in my home (whether I was there or not). There were concerts, conversations, food, fun… and relaxed time too.
- Released my first audio book! My poetry book – On Starry Thighs: Sacred and Sensual Poetry.
- This year was in general a blessing for travel. I traveled to Hawaii to see family; taught in Australia and saw friends old and new, work with students, and got to be around memory witnessing of Holdin Hope; went to Austria for Kramusnacht; stopped in England to see Jane and Max; had a whirlwind in Portugal with Kinje and Alec; and cruised with my family to Alaska.
- I worked back into doing formal ritual work more, from work at home or events, as well as traveling to a friends’ ball dance that was so meaningful to be part of.
- I did a lot of past-revealing to my Ma’am and friends alike, which was hard work but worth it. This included some work with two therapists that were of themselves not a success, but did give me insight into what I need in the future.
- Turned down events, even one I had paid a lot to attend. This may seem like a negative, but it was huge for me, and I am so grateful to David Rodemaker for walking me through the choice to value my own energy over the fear of missing out. When you think that staying home and sleeping sounds better than a week of camping and events in the woods with friends, it doesn’t matter that you paid for it all. The money has been spent whether you go or not. That blew my mind and is now part of my personal truths, and allowed me to also delay a trip to see Ma’am, as hard as it was, speaking up for my need for 3 days to recover physically and emotionally from a hard trip, something I would have pushed through in the past. This evolution in self-care is a big deal for me.
- Drew some very hard lines in my life around how I interact with folks in my life.
- I wrote some for a few books, and have been working with a few potential authors on either their books being part of Mystic Productions Press or helping them through the self-publishing process. This is such a gift I was given, and it is my honor to pass it forward.
Challenges in 2019:
- I left little time to be home between 2 weeks on the road, 1 week with Ma’am, and 1 week at home. I learned I need at least 1 night alone in my own bed a month to maintain mental and physical health.
- I type on my laptop a lot, even when home where I have a desk to plug into, and spend a lot of time on my phone, both affecting my posture and hand health.
- I have forgotten windows at a time to stay in touch with those I care about, and want to be better at it.
- Took a while to draw some hard lines, and it affected me pretty hard before doing so.
- This year I have continued my issue of not returning all email in reasonable time. I have a lot of un-answered email. It has been a serious challenge, and one I hope folks have not taken personally. If it has been more than 3 weeks, I invite folks to write again.
Goals for 2020:
- Take a serious look at my projects (active and potential) and figure out where my career is going.
- Prioritize writing projects and finish at least one book.
- Move forward on the KISMET tarot.
- Work with authors/editors to have a book by someone else come out using my assistance.
- Take my first online course, and design online material myself.
- Post new material to Patreon weekly.
- Teach classes for at least 5 conferences.
- Teach classes for at least 3 weekends featuring just myself.
- Co-teach at least 2 classes with Ma’am.
- Put away money into retirement every month.
- Attend events for the pagan, burner, and kink communities in Austin, re-connecting with friends old and new.
- Finish recording the Sacred Kink audio book.
- Petition to join House Haven.
- Loose at least 3 pounds (and maintain under 180), take at least 2 inches off my waist, firm my chest, and get back into riding my trike. I want to be able to lift my partner (even for short periods) and bike to and from Costco without an issue. Snack less, chew more gum.
- Host at least 1 friend in my home.
- Learn and hone at least one Thai or Indian dish.
- Visit family at least once (especially Seattle area).
- Stay in touch with my core platonic relationships.
- Implement and stay in use of an email system that keeps me on task.
- Maintain my daily to-do format of daily gratitude, regular exercise, et al.
Or, to answer Daisy U.’s questions:
- What makes this year unforgettable?
Meeting Ma’am and diving in with her in a totally different relationship building style than what I have done before.
- What did you enjoy doing this year?
Traveling for work and joy alike. Taking classes and intensives by others.
- What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?
Tie between Ma’am and Piper. One as a partner, one as a deeply supportive friend, though I have a handful of other friends I have been deeply grateful for this year (such as Mia, Ruth, and David).
- What is your biggest win this year?
Connecting with another trans person in my family and supporting them in their journey.
- What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Pat The Bunny
- What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?
Sending a letter and doing what was stated as my limits and boundaries, than actually doing those things. It did not go well, but the outcome for my mental health has been really good to draw those lines.
- What was your biggest regret and why?
Related to the above, wishing things could have been different, and having to get through my own self-blaming for everything.
- What’s one thing you changed about yourself?
Lost weight while refined health.
- What surprised you the most this year?
Coming back into my service/submission/Boy-ness as a full-time relationship.
- If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?
You can take a break. David’s advice on the fact that you can pass on plans even if you have paid for it was fantastic, and would have been wonderful 6 months earlier.