Stuff I Keep Track Of- Totals for 2021

As you may know, throughout the year I keep a running total of days that I perform activities that are important to me.  Over my many years as an artist, musician, and active person in the world, I’ve found that this process of counting has helped me maintain focus on aspects of life that are very important to me.

I wrote more about the counting works in a blog post called Stuff I Keep Track Of – Totals for 2019

In addition, I more fully explain this process in my zine, Sticker Method: Creating a Habit of Practice which is available in my Etsy shop.


Jan 19, 2020 – The Foothills of the Organ Mountains, Las Cruces NM

2020 was a year to begin to settle into some outward and inward changes. First, and most obviously,  since 1998, this was my first full year outside of Chicago. I now live in Las Cruces, NM in the foothills of the Organ Mountains. This prairie is directly outside my front door and I spend a lot of time there.

Second, after a lot of personal struggles in the spring, my doctors and I determined that I am someone who is affected by ADHD. WOW! What an important recognition. While some of these struggles came to a head in the spring of 2020, I actually think that I’ve been wrestling with these challenges for my entire life. The diagnosis has given me a peace of mind that I have never had. This knowledge and acceptance has fostered many welcome changes in my day-today life.

Final Numbers for 2020

My Stuff I Keep Track Of – Totals for 2020 was a bit incomplete because I lost some of my data during so much moving. I was able to keep track of it all in 2021.

The Demming Fusilers, Last Gig of 2021 with Jerry Grandle, owner of the Spotted Dog

Music-Making (non-teaching) = 275 days = 75% of all possible days (Down 13% from from 2020).  It’s interesting that the total is down because I feel MUCH better about the music I made in 2020. A highlight has been playing with a group called the Demming Fusiliers during a recurring afternoon session at the Spotted Dog Brewery.

Foothills, 2021, Charcoal, 20″x28″

Visual Art = 349 days = 96% of all possible days (Up 26% from 2020). So cool! I predicted that, “I think that this will be stronger in 2021”. Wow. It was a lot stronger. This makes so much sense. I’ve let go of a lot of mental blocks, and the tools I now have to work with ADHD have helped immensely in allowing me to focus on, and enjoy A LOT more, the visual art work I have been working on.

Body/Mind Work = 285 days = 78% of possible days (down 2% from 2020). Interesting, but not surprising. I think that some of the changes that I made during the 2nd half of the year allowed me to be more centered in general, which made some of the physical work and meditation sessions less essential. One change in terms of counting the numbers is that I went for and counted a lot more short walks to clear my mind, along with strenuous workout classes and meditation sessions.

Business (non-weekly lesson teaching) = 277 days = 76% of possible days. This was the first year I kept track of this number. I did a lot of work on, and even led my first session of, Harmonica Orchestra. I also worked with  consultants to build a stronger website and improve my marketing materials. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out. 

Quarterly Focus Words

  • Quarter 1 = Home
  • Quarter 2 = Root
  • Quarter 3 = Sprout
  • Quarter 4 = Attune

Goals for 2021

  • Music-Making – I have written a bunch of songs over the past 18 months and I have an undeveloped plan to record them. I want to do that.
  • Visual Art – I feel so free and confident in my art making. I plan on continuing to strengthen this foundation.
  • Business – Oh yeah! This is the area that I am a) least experienced in and b) least confident about. I really, really want to sell the Harmonica Orchestra. Sales. Not what I like to do, but I’m going to learn.  
  • Body/Mind – I’m very unclear what will happen with this category in 2022. Because of some of the changes I mentioned above, I’ve been able to bring so much of these practices into my moment-to-moment living.  The number may go down. Or, I may develop another way to acknowledge and count this work.  

Thanks for reading. See you next year!


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