Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 5: new year, new beginnings

I've been reading many places that this year, instead of resolutions, people are picking a word for the year.  This really struck a cord with me, as I want guidance, but without the pressure of a resolution.

My word for this year is: ME.

Now, that might sound really selfish, but here is how it's intended: this year will be about taking care of myself.  Putting myself closer to first, as opposed to always dead last. 
-I'm going to start taking care of myself.  I already eat decently, but I will start to exercise, as well.  We're considering (finally) doing the Monument Avenue 10k, and my wife just mentioned something about the Richmond Half Marathon in November (haha, yeah right).  For me, this will mean lots of walks (not sure about running yet) and going back to yoga.
-Making time for projects for my heart, old and new.  This includes some new clothes.  I'm going to start with more Painted Portrait Blouses, and maybe a dress from the same pattern (this is the shirt I'm wearing in the picture at the beginning of the blog entry).

This will also include ongoing handwork projects such as my English paper piecing.
(debating on a background color)

-Going back to school.  And following my passion while I'm there.  This time I'm doing this for me, not for a job, not for a degree (okay, maybe a little for the degree).
-Learning to say no to pressure and yes to opportunities.  This will give me the chance to find a base for myself.  To hopefully find some peace.  When I give myself this chance, I will have more to give to other people.
-Include myself.  More specifically, include myself in my photographs.  But I think there is a deeper meaning to this, too.
-Us.  I got married last April.  It was the one saving grace for last year.  Now that we've been married almost a year, our lives our finally falling into the shape we want.  It's time to focus on us, along with the "me."  This year is shaping up to be one of the most important for both of our careers, as well as our life as a family.  Within the me is the just as important us.

The 2013 Challenge

What is the 2013 Challenge, you ask?  I don't know, yet.  I've started with the amazing Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchbook.  It's 9" x 9" and designed for all mediums.  I purchased it at my local art shop, Main Art.  This may be sketching, it may be painting, it may be journaling, it may be quotes.  It is evolving.  It is the pressure to try something new, but without the commitment or pressure of something else.  I've started an idea board on pinterest, so that I can just watch this challenge evolve.


My first finished book of the year was Zaatar Days, Henna Nights by Maliha Masood. 
This year I want to keep track of what I read a little bit better.  I read a lot, and at the end of 2012, I found myself wondering how many books I'd actually read.  To help me with this, I've joined Good Reads.  Feel free to follow me over there as I read my way through 2013.

Finished Projects

Just for recording purposes, I'm going to start (trying) to post every time I finish a project this year.  By finished, I mean that all small projects must be DONE, and all big quilts must be at least finished tops.  Big is up to my discretion of the moment.  My first finished project this year were these two zip pouches.  They were meant to be an experiment, and a chance to let myself sew after the craziness of the holiday season.  They didn't turn out the way I intended, but that's okay.

Finally, I'm going to remember the two best pieces of advice that I received in 2012:

Acknowledge your truth: know who you are, and follow a path that lets you acknowledge yourself.

The desire for change is the root of unhappiness:  more specifically, to change another person or a situation you have no control over.  I'm not saying all change is bad, or that we shouldn't want to change ourselves, but that you can't change someone else.  Acceptance brings peace.