Monday, January 02, 2012

Folding Away 2011

It seems this blog compels me to do the year in review post and publicly declare what I promise for next year. In a way, it's great that it's documented.

I've been feeling that 2011 was just awash - didn't accomplish the goals that I needed to complete this year. There have been a lot of unexpected waves, and I've just been trying to surf on those. I recognize though that it doesn't have to be that hard. We've had challenges, but the power is in our hands. I know some people have challenges that are out of their control (debilitating illness, natural disasters). So, I'm fortunate to see the ones we're facing are controllable and that's frustrating if we're not taking actions. No one to blame, but ourselves.

Since I do document my vision for the new year, I see that 2011 had simple goals - "find joy, meaning and honesty." In that sense, I did experience joy this year. We welcomed a new baby, we had my mother-in-law visit and it was a true vacation for her, and we had another large family wedding and another one pending, a vacation to Mexico with friends and family, ski trips and beach trips. 

Personally and creatively, I found joy and meaning in my artistic voice. For me, art and writing have been my passions since I was young. I've always sketched in pencils or painted watercolors. It was a way I could just unwind and lose myself. In 2000 or so, I decided to focus on my writing instead of art. Once my writing takes off, I'll come back to art. I did let go of the art, but it never let go of me. It would come out in doodles on meeting notes, designs on cards and gifts. This September, there was an art class being offered during my daughter's dance class. It's a class on experimenting in series of mediums (charcoal, pastels, watercolor, acrylic). There's only 3 of us, including the instructor so it becomes a relaxing time to unwind and learn at the same time. My instructor often tells me to not be afraid to use color or be stronger handed in my lines. I didn't realize I would feel so shaky about this - what if it's not right? how do I know what to do? Suddenly a white sheet of paper is intimidating. However, I know this is part of me and need to trust my artistic instincts.

I've posted my art projects on Facebook and find it so fascinating that the friends I've made since 2000 are completely surprised by my art, since they know me only as a writer. My older friends know or probably possess some sketch I've given them years ago. I love to give away my art. There's always more where it comes from.

Anyway, art was the joy and meaning for the year. In the middle of an absolutely frustrating and hectic work day, I'll suddenly smile knowing it's Wednesday and I have art class. It's one hour that I have for me - sorry I'm not picking up my phone when my hands are covered in blue and green colors!

For 2012, I'd like things to move in a different direction. I'll definitely sustain the art, but I've let my writing falter. A book project that was in the works too a different direction and I don't know what will happen with that. However, I've received an invitation to participate in a poetry reading in February. I've taken this as a sign that my writing needs attention.

I've also done the unmentionable by telling someone about an unfinished story. My father said a true artist doesn't reveal the work until it's complete. There was another quote I read that said if you tell the story before you write it, you've killed it. Anyway, in telling this synopsis, I've got an eager reader.

I've got the basic resolutions for health and career - find that work life balance. And, in terms of my career, I need to grab it by the reins and control it. No more riding the waves - I need to get my own boat and start paddling. I've learned that people at work won't necessarily  recognize or remember how hard you worked on a project, sacrificing your family time. However, your family will remember when you were late or on the phone checking emails. I've grabbed a few books from the library about organizing my time better.

As for health, I've given myself a resolution to come up with a plan by next week. Then, I'll break it down into subcategories with dates on there.

There's so much more we could be doing and hoping 2012 will bring a lot of excitement and change.


J.Doe said...

Congratulations on your new baby.

Ashini said...

Wait!! it's a new nephew!
(This is the 2nd time that someone thought it was mine!) Trust me.. you'd know.

J.Doe said...

Oh, well congratulations on your new nephew and have fun in the art class. Your artwork was always very good.