There is a custom in Japan known as osouji, which is a custom of cleaning out one’s house of all dirt right before the new year as a sort of fresh start. Think of it like spring cleaning, except in winter. Frankly, the timing makes sense; I spend more time in the house during the winter anyway and can see the buildup of general stuff from the holiday season. I’ve wanted to do a full house cleaning before New Years for several years now, but work, illness, and other schedule complexities have typically gotten in my way. This year, however, I’m determined to get my apartment looking spectacular before we enter 2020.
This isn’t just about cleaning my physical space, though. It’s about setting a strong foundation for the new year, cleaning up the dirt and baggage of the previous year and throwing it out where it belongs, all to start the new year off stronger. That in and of itself sounds wonderful. While the past months since I started freelancing have been nice, they’ve been very unstructured. I’ve had the freedom to try out a lot of new habits and activities. Now is the time to start organizing what works best for me into actual structures for the new year.
A bit contrary to that sentiment, though, I am going to be breaking from my ordinary daily activities to go to MAGfest Jan. 2nd through 5th.. MAGfest is one part music fest, one part gaming convention, and one part cosplay showcase. I can’t describe the vibe accurately enough because I’ve always been stuck going for one day only, unable to attend many panels in favor of trying to see as much of the rest of the con as possible. This year, however, I will be taking advantage of their creator-friendly panels and workshops to improve my skillsets and learn some new tricks. Once MAGfest is over, I’ve got SCARAB gaming convention near the end of the month. Some of you may have heard how I won a pass to SCARAB in a dungeon master contest last Shushcon, and I am excited to see what this “big sibling” to Shushcon has to offer.
There’s a lot of travel and moving pieces to keep track of during a month when I am trying to set strong foundations for myself. Still, I think it has the potential to turn out very well. One reason I’ve never been good at routines is because, as much as they appeal to me, I get bored with them and want to do whatever naturally feels like it should come next. Somewhere there needs to be a happy middle ground between routine and spontaneity. Jokes about seeing clearly in 2020 aside, I do plan to make this upcoming year a year where I can look at things critically and make decisions that will better myself.
Thank you all for sticking with me through this past year. Let me know some of your New Year goals in the comments below, and I hope your transition into the new decade is a smooth one. Cheers!