The belated “welcome to 2015” post

Hello, long-neglected blog. My bad. I have excuses, but they’re not entirely convincing. So where have I been?

The short version is “not working.” The long version is “not working and not by choice, sort of.” I went into the end of 2014 with a planned vacation; I wanted to give myself a month to recover from the insanity of autumn (lots of travel, lots of client projects, etc.) and work on a few personal projects. My “magic dates” were December 19 through January 19th. Or so I thought.

As always, life intervened, and while I was able to get through to the new year, I was hit with a pretty terrible illness on January 1st. I will spare you the messy details, but the PG version is that I was stuck in bed, unable to digest food, barely able to move (literally; I left my apartment maybe three times in a two week period), and completely and utterly exhausted. 15–16 hours of sleep per day was not out of the ordinary.

Fortunately, after multiple doctors visits and multiple prescriptions, I’m nearly fighting fit, and back to work. Although I didn’t get any time to work on personal projects, I’m being a bit smarter about how I structure my time this year. I’m aiming to dedicate around 4 hours a day to clients, and 3 to my own projects. I’m not sure yet how this will work, but the idea is sound, at the very least.

There’s a lot on the horizon too. Foremost in my mind is my impending trip abroad. I’ll be spending at least a month—perhaps two—in Barcelona. It’s my first major longish-term trip overseas in a few years, and I can’t wait. This is going to be a great opportunity to get the relaxation I missed while I was sick, and experience a partial winter without snow. I’m leaving in late February, which is coming sooner than I think.

In preparation for the trip I’m doing a lot of downsizing and minimising. I’ve always been a minimalist, but this travel is a great opportunity to take it to a new level. I doubt I’ll ever reach one-bag living—and I’m not sure I want to—but I still know I can do more with less. Even this blog has been hit; I’ve moved from my custom theme to WordPress’ default theme, 2015. I’ll probably make a few tweaks (namely fonts), but I’m already loving the extra breathing room.

Oh, and I’ve picked my three words for the year (though I’m not dedicating a post to them as in years past). The words are bold, brave, and fearless. Similar, yes, but they are going to help me focus on getting more assertive, forward, and direct. Fear is the root of so many problems we encounter and I want to devote this year to eradicating it from my life.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at so far, just a month in. Thanks for tuning in, as always, and I’ll talk to you soon in the comments, via email, or on Twitter.

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Chris Van Patten

I'm an entrepreneur, designer, theatre producer, and tea aficionado. I love helping artists achieve their digital potential through custom websites, apps, and more. I own and operate Van Patten Media, a boutique web agency in New York.

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