Monday, March 7, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Back in January, I joined the masses in making a series of resolutions for the new year. My resolutions mainly had to do with trying out new recipes, finding some new foods that my toddlers might consent to eat, and putting into place some of the health and wellness tips I’m always running across in the magazines and web sites I read. These were my STATED resolutions.

I obviously had a lot going on “behind the scenes” too, because I started up a blog primarily focused on art, creativity, and motherhood; began an art journal; and started teaching myself to draw. These things seem to reflect some UNSTATED resolutions.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been reading more and more blogs by people who find a word or theme to provide a focus and inspiration for their year, rather than creating a list of specific resolutions. The very first time I ran across the idea was in this post from Make Great Stuff. Sarah Bush lists all kinds of possible themes such as Allow, Show Up and Take Risks. She writes that she got the idea from this post by Cairene, who in turn learned about yearly themes from her life coach Laura Burkey. Laura has been choosing themes for many years, including Balance, Break Through, and Be Love. Most recently, I read a beautiful blog post by Kelly Rae Roberts, who has chosen Gentle as her theme for the year.

People create art around their chosen theme, or talk about meditating on it daily, or say it like a mantra.

It’s been in the back of my head to come up with my own word or theme for 2011, and it came to me at the end of February. My word for 2011 is BEGIN.

It seems to sum up my stated AND unstated resolutions. Don’t just stuff new recipes in a file folder; pick one out every few weeks and begin cooking something new. Don’t just collect articles on healthy foods for toddlers; make an effort every few weeks to find something new they might add to their accepted menu. Don’t just make a list of things you OUGHT to be doing for your health; pick one, work it into a habit for a month or so, and then work on something new.

Don’t just sit around and read the articles and look at the pretty pictures…BEGIN!

This word is so helpful to me because it seems as though everything I start turns complicated fast. And I am fortunate that my focus for the year seems to come with a calm and reassuring voice. Listen in on some conversations from my head:

So I want to get my blog started, but now I see that there are all these web sites with Blogging 101 tips for making it better—creating my own original banner, nifty buttons, blog etiquette, that sort of thing. Just begin…you can pick up those tips as you go along, make improvements along the way. It doesn’t have to burst onto the Internet fully-formed and perfect.

My camera isn’t that great, and I have no idea what all these settings do, and the photos on everyone else’s blogs are GORGEOUS; mine look really amateur by comparison. Just begin…you don’t have to wait until you take professional photos to post them on your site.

I really want to do some of these art challenges I keep reading about, but I’m worried about putting too much pressure on myself, or not being able to keep up with the commitment. Just begin…have fun with them…none of them are there to put pressure on you; they’re meant to inspire you and help you become more a part of the art and art blogging community.

I have so many art materials, and have read about so many techniques that I want to try. Just begin…use your art journal as a vehicle to try them all out!

I don’t really have a “style” that I can call my own. I look at all of these other artists, and I can identify them by their work because they have such a distinctive style. Just begin…the more you create, the more you explore, the closer you will come to developing who YOU are as an artist.

I’m not really that good at drawing. I have a long way to go to draw well, especially drawing from life, rather than just drawing something that someone else has already drawn. Just begin…that’s what your sketchbook is all about…practice, have fun, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Wow, I have a sewing machine now! That’s another whole new “art supply” to explore. There are so many projects I have bypassed before because I didn’t have a sewing machine, and now that I have one, there are so many new things I want to try. Just begin…jump in, get familiar with your machine, enjoy trying something new and see how it expands your creativity.

BEGIN is not just a focus theme for me; it’s a built-in pep talk!

What could be your word or theme for this year?


Theresa said...

hey! I did a blog post about my word for this year back in Dec:

It's surrender (which was fully tested this past week, when I surrendered to the fact that my parent's dog really was meant to be a part of MY family...and really, that was a major leap of faith, cause who really needs a dog when they've got 4 boys?!?)

Jennifer Ward said...

I could have written this post, though not as eloquently as you have. It seems our timing and anxieties run parallel!

This post was just what I needed this afternoon, so thanks for the pep talk and inspiration.

Speaking of which, have you heard of the book (and blog) titled The Happiness Project? I just picked it up and think it might be something you'd like.

Andria said...

Thank you for your comments!

Theresa, I somehow mangaged to miss the fact that you have a blog! I will add it to my must-read list. I love that you have been doing this "word thing" for years already!

Jen, I love how our minds think alike! I had heard of The Happiness Project, and had thought of ordering the book, but had not done it yet. I will spend some time poking around the site. Thanks!