in the timeless classic Gift From the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes:
“What a wonderful day, I think, turning it around jun my hand to its starting point again. What has made it so perfect? Is there not some clue here in the pattern of this day? To begin with, it is a pattern of freedom. Its setting has not been cramped in space or time. An island curiously enough, gives a limitless feeling of both. Nor has the day been limited in its kinds of activities. It has a natural balance of physical, intellectual, and social life. It has an easy unforced rhythm.”
yesterday i told you about Evidence, the visual and tactile log i’m keeping of this year. what i didn’t tell you (because i couldn’t find a way to insert it seamlessly) is that the inspiration for the design of the cloth came from this moment of sky spotted while walking one day when i was trying to sort all this out:
i’m after the same kind of day anne writes about. and because i’m on the finite side of infinity, i recently devoted a great deal of time to determining what i want to do with whatever time i have left. being a systems girl of the first order, and preferring color coded systems for visual delight as well as facility, i’ve been using color as a sorting system since dirt was a child.
my first color coded system went like this:
red = family (blood)
green = finances (the color of money)
blue = reference, factual, retrievable information (i just like blue)
yellow = opportunities, fun (sunshine)
i used these colors throughout my life – in my day planner, on file folders, on the calendar.
last year i matched what i wanted to have to show for my life to the colors of the chakra system, using the color biographies provided by my friend bridget. it looked like this:
orange: creative pursuits, time spent in the throes of creativity
yellow: moments of spontaneity, the unexpected
green: shipping and producing
aqua: blog posts, storytelling, journal writing
pink: relating to others
violet: memorizations, reading poetry and other good books, living and creating by moon cycles
i started keeping a book of amazements last year in which i documented each color’s contribution to that particular day. it was fun to keep, and it did keep me more focused, but there was still tweaking to be done*, so this year, i tightened the focus and streamlined the colors, allowing space for that “easy unforced rhythm” and that natural balance while still enjoying a daily sense of accomplishment:
these colors always appear in this particular order on the Evidence cloth to distinguish the days.
as in moving my body through space. last september, i quit wearing the fitbit (a gift from my son for Christmas 2012) as jewelry and started taking it seriously. i now walk a minimum of 12.5k steps (or 5-7 miles) every day. every. single. day. i also do the occasional yoga, and whenever possible, i take dance breaks. my goal? i want you to see less and less of me.
as in stitching or creating assemblages and collages. i log in the hours spent stitching every day and note the particular project worked on. i like to do a collage every sunday to close out the week (it’s something i can start and finish in a couple of hours), and am slowly gathering bits and oddities that i’ll use in assemblages. my goal here: building a legaSEE. we’ll talk more about this later.
as in writing, be it in a journal, a blog post, a book, or a notecard. doesn’t matter, i just know that if i miss a day of writing, i start all over when i pick the pen up again – even if there’s only a day’s gap. that’s just the way it works.
as in surprise, wonder, chortle – anything that ignites a sound from me that ranges from “hmmmmmm” to “oh!” to a full-body guffaw. anything that makes me giddy. for this, i make more detailed notes in purple ink in my books of amazements.
* like not having to carry 14 pens around with me (2 of each color in case one runs out of ink along the way), for example
two important notes:
1) i change, so this year i’ll keep quarterly books of amazements to give myself room to move around.
2) of course i also want an accounting of accomplishments – written testament to the annual accumulation of accomplishments – so i’ll be keeping a log of things like books read in their entirety (and reviewing them over at goodreads), projects completely finished, and miles put on my new shoes.
and, i have specific notions about what i want to turn out/produce/accomplish this year. but we’ll save that for another day.
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Jeanne Hewell-Chambers is a planning, productivity junkie. She just is.
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