Last year I wrote about how a friend had recommended choosing a word to describe, or define, or broadly direct (they all had to start with “d”, though) the coming year. I really liked the concept; I chose “embrace,” because I was facing a year in which I had volunteered for a lot of responsibilities and I had a feeling that once the rush I felt with saying, “sure, I’ll do it,” and being fawned over for being so capable was gone, and the actual work was facing me, I’d resent it. I’d resent it and not feel the love of doing a good job, only wish it was gone so I could go read a book. The idea that “Embrace” held for me was to embrace those moments, remember what they meant to me, remember why I had chosen them, and choose to experience them as positive rather than as drags on my life, my head, my time.
“Embrace” turned out to be exactly right, and fitting, and it worked. It was my mantra during those times when I had to be a grown-up about doing things I said I would do, and it helped me to find the enjoyable in the frustrating, just like you always hope you will with homework. It also helped me to see those responsibilities that were frustrating without reward, and that while I didn’t like admitting I didn’t want to do those things (because it might look like I couldn’t, which is Bad), there are some jobs for which the emotional drain is not worth the reward. I did resign from one position, gracefully, I think, and with just a little (but only a very little) wistfulness. Another I put a deadline on. Another I agreed to take on once the current position’s deadline was reached, and not before (though that little voice that wanted the accolades that taking on volunteer work gets you, for about ten minutes. I had to slap that little voice. No embrace for you).
So “embrace” worked as the word for 2010. But what about 2011?
This is NOT the year for embrace. Well, it is, in that it will continue to be my mantra during those times when I just would rather be picking up a book that answering email at 11pm. But “embrace” had more of a job to fill than just being another word for “resignation.” It helped me begin to see where to draw the line between busywork and worthwhile work, between the work that is for them and the work that is for me, and…
And when it’s time to make “me” work just as much a volunteer position with accolades as any other. Even more so, really. And to make the accolades I give me worth far more than those I accept from anyone else.
Big talk. Whoa, baby. So what?
I’ve made a pact with myself. This year, 2011, the word is “make.” My pact with myself is that every day will include some kind of focused creativity. Last year I signed up with the “Creative Every Day” blog and I loved the idea. But it quickly devolved into whatever homeschool creativity I happened to be expending that day. I love homeschooling. I love that it is Geeklet and me and we do awesome things by the score. But it isn’t just me, and the energy expended is fueled my love for him and my drive to help him explore the wonders of the universe in the Imaginationmobile. Sometimes, the Imaginationmobile eats my overnight bag and only Ben gets pajamas that night. Also, I never got over to the blog to post my weekly proof-of-creativity, and that inspired Guilt. While Guilt and I are old friends, she’s the kind of friend who never gets it that you wish she didn’t hang out so often, and she kind of smells bad.
So. Daily focused creativity. When, you may ask? In the evenings, most days. Let’s face it. I can’t freely turn on my imagination and cruise in the ‘mobile if I am suddenly grabbed by the arm and informed that I am Yoda. Suddenly, the Imaginationmobile is waylaid for errands. Much chocolate is bought at the grocery store but my stops are not on the itinerary. When the Boy is asleep, we can cruise. Daydream. Even set ideas to paper. Perhaps it’s only for 10 minutes before brushing my teeth. But it has to happen, because I am not getting any younger, and while I plan to live at least as long as my grandma (and that gives me 57 more years), creativity is a muscle that needs me to work it now.
Enough of the metaphors. Today, I wove on a krokbragd piece that was begun about a month and a half ago and has been languishing because, while I kind of thought it would be a runner, what it wants to be is an art piece about my mothers and how we don’t have a connected heritage. Or maybe we do? I wove about 10 inches and sketched out plans for more.
Happy New Year.
* TMotH says that “2011 means work.” I guess I don’t disagree with him.