What's your opinion on New Year's Resolutions? Make them? Don't make them? I need the reminder to be easy. Enjoy!
Our first week back went so smoothly. So much flow. I am tempted to make so many resolutions at the start of every year. I see friends with their awesome plans for the year and I feel the urge to start wildly planning. Instead of that, I decided that I will make one or two personal resolutions per season.
Winter is slow for me, or rather I move more slowly in winter. I discovered this last year. I was striving to make all the things work mid January. Work projects, personal projects, creative projects. In the midst of the struggle, I heard from a yoga teacher about how we’re not really meant to get a lot done in the winter months. Longer nights, shorter days, a quiet earth, cold weather. It’s a low energy season and perfect for rest, reflection and quiet. That resonated with me. I put all my plans in a google doc and put rest and mental health at the top of my list. Once spring started showing up, I re-started planning and preparing for the seasons of high energy. I feel I can get so much done in the spring and summer. It’s the perfect time to work on personal/creative projects alongside all the work projects.
So, in honor of the season of reflection, here are some things about last year:
We served so many great clients through Mad & Dusty. We made the mental transitions from freelancers to owning a company. It challenged me in so many ways and I realized I enjoy that so much. We focused as a company. We worked with a business coach. We found support in our community and worked hard to create purposeful work. Now we have over 6 months of work to add to our portfolio! (Eek!)
I "launched" my line of cards and art and now have stockists. (What?!) This painting started as a way for me to come face to face with depression and anxiety. I would wake up every morning and paint and think. Or paint and not think. It was and is my meditation. Every time I get an inventory sheet I get to see which pieces went to new homes. It is so heartwarming and encouraging. I got to meet so many great people face to face at the markets I was a part of last year.
I don’t know if this is the right way to say it, but Dusty and I found more of our rhythm in being adults. We became more consistent at making weekly meal plans, grocery shopping, and meeting monthly to go over our budget. I think we learned more about what we need, what stresses us out, and what brings us closer together.
Learning is fun. Learning is for fun. I came out of college as a generalist. I graduated with a degree in art marketing. Which was wonderful. I had (and believe I still have) the skills and capacity to learn and do so many different things. Learning is one of my main drivers, so it’s easy for me to learn a new skill and immediately think of ways to monetize it. What I learned is that - it’s a trap! You can simply learn things, and then use them for fun. Or not use them and let them float around in your brain. You don’t have to add it to your offerings list or create a package around it. You can learn for fun. (You probably already knew this!)
I heard and listened to the not yet. I was mulling over doing yoga teacher training. It was with one of my favorite teachers and lots of things seemed to be lining up to make it a good choice. Often I would think about it and hear this small not yet. I heard the not yet about many other things, and I listened. I think this is the thing I am most proud of. My not yet became an encouraging way to say no to things I loved or was excited for. It was a no in the spirit of having a life with more ease and less struggle. It wasn’t a NO!, it was a not yet. It took the pressure off. Not yets are pretty great.
Have you had the chance to reflect on your 2016? It was a big one, wasn't it?
The New Year starts tomorrow and my brain is full to the tippy top. Dusty and I took a week off from work and I’m feeling refreshed. Perhaps this is a byproduct of working from home, but I swear it takes the first three days of any stay-cation for me to adjust. It’s so unlike me to not have a list for the day.
I don’t have that problem if we’re headed out of town. In those cases, the second we hit the freeway I’ve peaced out. Christmas break is special because a lot of it centers around family. Also, heads up: Christmas with a little niece and nephews is so fun. They get really fun presents and are adorable when trying to open them.
Here's a few things on my mind lately.
I started my first batch of kombucha! My mother in law gave me a starter kit for Christmas and I cracked it open the next day. Dusty got me a giant book about brewing the bubbly stuff, and I keep reading it and finding things I've missed. It’s like science, having a pet, cooking and growing plants combined. I’ve never been great at growing plants, but those first three I am pretty good at. It’s been fun to track the brew’s progress and dreaming up flavor combinations for bottling time.
My mom gave me a box of Christmas decorations and tucked inside was one of those career tests you take in school! (8th Grade!) I was put in the “applied visual arts” sector and “working with ideas.” I remember hearing that when in doubt, go back to what you loved as a kid. Which is great advice, but what you really loved as a kid can be hard to remember sometimes. That little test was so affirming and encouraging. A sweet reminder to stumble upon. Thanks mom!! :)
We started and finished Westworld over the break. SO CRAZY. I won’t spoil it, but if you want to talk about it let me know. I can't stop thinking about which loops I'm caught in. And how and why I'm making decisions. I need to watch the whole season over again and catch all the things I missed.
I’m starting a series of work for a show opening at the end of January! It’s kind of intimidating to create work for a show. I haven’t really submitted work for show since school, and that was over 5 years ago. I have had a few ideas rolling around so when the invite came in, I thought this might be a good opportunity to work through them ideas. Dusty and I picked up canvases and panels last night, so now I have no excuses. Still scared though. :)
At the end of the year, Dusty and I take a look at our spending. We use Mint and a good ole fashioned spreadsheet to track our budget throughout the year. Our cost of living is overall pretty low. In 2016 our biggest expense was housing with health insurance right behind. Dining / groceries came in third. There’s not much we can do about the first two, though we did choose a slightly cheaper insurance plan for 2017. We can definitely find ways to lower our cost of eating. :) So that’s our plan for 2017. We’ve also set a goal to pay off the student loans this year, so apologies in advance if we are even more boring than usual.
Tonight is the big night. Dusty and I are celebrating with Overcooked Holiday Edition, champagne and maybe tacos.
What’s on your mind, friend? Got anything planned for the new year?