Just before Thanksgiving, I ran into the art supply store for one thing and at checkout I stood with a basket of stuff. This is not unusual. That day I’d grabbed a few bottles of flocking powder. I had no idea what I was use it for, but I loved the colors. I could do something fun with it, I thought. And then I wanted to cry because I realized that while my work is creative, in the last 365 days I hadn’t done a whole lot simply for the fun of it. And that’s not like me.
2011, you had me running on fumes.
I never sit down to make a list of resolutions. Sort of ironic for a list maker like myself, but the whirlwind of December – a ton of birthdays of dear friends and family, coupled with parties, Christmukkah, work, and life’s unexpected moments, I’m usually resolving to do a lot of nothing in January.
2011 was different. This year I resolved to start off the year by saying yes more. Now, by nature I have a problem because I tend to say yes to everything. But it’s yes to the sort of things that resulted in a sign tacked on my corkboard that reads “Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again.”
In 2011, I started saying yes to things that fell under the category of “Leap and the net will appear.” And in many ways it was great. But I found my plate piled so high that I wasn’t taking care of me. Not just getting really sick TWICE, but finding myself less involved with the real world and all that I love. With the people who matter to me. Because there just never seemed enough hours in the day.
I love this internet, I love the phone and email, too. They all connect us in extraordinary ways. But it just doesn’t match sitting with the people that matter and being together in person. Not enough of that in 2011. Plans for a lot of it in 2012.
Also, all those things I use to say yes to even when I shouldn’t? I didn’t have time to consider saying yes. And I realize that some of those things bring me a ton of joy.
So, while I don’t have a tidy list of resolutions, I do know what will change because it has already begun. Less time on the phone and emailing and more time with people. (Spent some time this month making up for that.) More time offline so that the time online means something. Volunteering again and again but maybe not quite so much, regardless of what the sign says.
Slowly but surely I’m already doing it. I’m making plans for life, for the blog, for my work – I’m having fun. My TYPE A site will be up in a couple of weeks (it’s been redirecting to the storefront until now). I have some things for the blog I’m really excited about. I’ve decided to do a bit less photo work so that I can focus on writing – online and in print, on a keyboard and with a calligraphy nib.
And I bought the flocking powder. In 2012, I will figure out what to do with the stuff. Flock the world.