Here it is the first of December and I haven’t finished my knitting project from last month. Last night, as I was adding a couple more inches to my project and mentally beating myself up for not having completed it, I realized I was being too harsh with myself. After all, my Someday for November was to learn to knit and there I was knitting! The project I’m working on is from a starter kit I purchased at least five years ago. It’s been sitting in the closet ever since waiting for me to get around to learning to knit. Well, it’s not in the closet anymore; it’s sitting beside my chair with several inches completed. Sure, I have a lot to learn about other stitches, adding and decreasing (I’m not even sure that’s the right terminology), but the point is – I’m knitting! Getting started does count!
I’ve been working in my new journal and thinking about what I will put on my vision board, but this process is more difficult than I expected. (Geez, how many times have I said that?) In my teens, 20s, and 30s I had goals, plans, and visions. In my teens I worked toward getting into college in order to prepare for a career. In my 20s I worked on finding my way in that career. In my 30s I worked toward specific levels I wanted to achieve in that career. Having achieved those goals, in my 40s and early 50s I volunteered in an area I’m passionate about. Now, I’m ready to move on to the next phase, but I’m also heartily enjoying right where I am.
I read a book recently where one of the characters, a famous author and illustrator, is asked when she will produce her next book. She replies that for now she just wants to live. I understand completely! I’m enjoying my life. I have always enjoyed my life, but I’m beginning to feel very settled right now and I like that. However, I don’t want to become stagnant and “old” so I also desire change, adventure, challenge.
As I work through this process I’m reticent to mix-up my happy life, but I’m also excited about what prospects might be out there. Can there be a balance between just living and taking on the world?
If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.
–Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
I didn’t even have to go as far as my backyard, I simply walked down the hall to my office/studio and saw my heart’s desire in my workspace and supply closet.
I’ve always had a thing for paper. I love a pretty piece of paper. I’ve also always had a thing for cards and letters. Email is great at getting information conveyed quickly, but it’s transient. I love a written letter or a handmade card. I love the feel in my hands as I read the words. I love that I can put a letter or card away and reread it later – maybe in a month, maybe in ten years. It will still be there.
Having been a letter writer and card sender since I was a child, I realized several years ago that I love to make cards. I’ve gone through several different styles, making cards for my own use in a totally casual manner. I love the cards I make, but I know there are processes I’m not aware of and ways to improve the quality of my cards. Two years ago, for my birthday, I bought myself a machine for cutting shapes for my cards. I’ve only recently unboxed it and I haven’t yet figured out how to use it. I also wonder if there’s a market for my cards. Perhaps others would like to purchase a personalized, handmade card.
Given my love of making cards and knowing there’s more to learn about the process as well as potentially marketing the cards, I’m dedicating my August Someday to improving my card-making skills and to researching possible markets for them.
My heart feels happy with this choice.
You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So, get on your way. --Dr. Seuss
Starting today I’m choosing to climb a mountain (or twelve) rather than skate along on flat land.
A couple weeks ago, as I was driving from Toad Hall (our primary residence) to the Boathouse (our “other” home), I was hit by a streak of inspiration. Recently I had gotten back to healthier eating habits and had dropped 15 pounds. I felt like I finally had this “food” thing figured out. As I drove with the music turned up loud, I drummed along on the steering wheel, wondering what to do with the extra time and energy I had previously given to food and eating. As I drummed, the thought ran through my mind that I really do want to learn to play the drums. That’s when inspiration hit me!
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about lifestyle, dreams, goals, etc. I started with Dr. Christiane Northrup’s new book, Goddesses Never Age. That lead me to other “joy” and “goddess” books and articles and, somewhere along the line, I stumbled on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, which deals with the creative process. In this book, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about “magic” or creativity occasionally knocking on our doors and suggests a person has to be ready to answer that knock.
As I drove along thinking about learning to play the drums and feeling full of joy (music, beautiful scenery, road trip…), I realized creativity was indeed knocking on my door and I let out a gasp as I realized I was ready to answer. Thus, the hit of inspiration: I would make a yearlong plan to learn and do twelve things I have always wanted to do – and I would write about the process.
This is not a “bucket list”. I think of bucket lists as being those big events and activities one wants to do before they die. Instead, the things on my list are more immediate. They are the things I’ve always thought I might enjoy, might want to pursue someday – if only I had the time.
As I started to plan what ideas I might want to include, my energy and enthusiasm skyrocketed. I felt I was running headlong toward something wonderful, life-changing, and terribly scary (in a good way). As I neared the Boathouse, Vonda Shepard’s song Searchin’ My Soul began to play:
There’s a side of my life where I’ve been blind and so…
I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight
I know there’s so much more to life
Now I know I can shine a light
Everything gonna be alright
I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight
Tomorrow: Month 1 – Write a Book