Tag: new year plans

opening up a new year

every year about this time, i become paralyzed. people share their plans and rituals for mapping out the new year, and they all sound so elegant, so elevated, so evolved that i just shut right down and limp through new year’s day, relying on my blackeyed peas and pork and turnipgreens to do their job so all will be well. last year, i vowed to craft my plan for 2011 in september, admonishing myself to let the satisfaction of early completion outweigh – in fact, shut down – any dreaded (and perhaps inevitable) second-guessing.

though it wasn’t in september, i did start earlier this year. and i spent a goodly part of last week talking about my plans with my chicklets, alison and kipp, and my friends angela kelsey, julie daley, and sally gentle. spent even more time making notes – one item per index card to allow for shuffling and flexibility and all that jazz. and yes, i inevitably read about the invitations and visualizations and resolutions, goals, dreams, plans, strategies, stepping stones, big rocks, quadrants, etc. other people use. i even allowed myself 20 minutes to look at (okay, drool over) paper planners cause though i haven’t added to my vast collection in the past three years, i am not too proud to admit my lingering addiction to time management systems (complete with pages of teensy little ole’ lines that i can hardly see, let alone write anything on) encased in colorful, conveniently pocketed-on-the-inside binders. though i’ve tried enough products to know otherwise, i’m here to tell you: when i hold a binder in my hands, i have no trouble imagining my life playing out smoothly, efficiently, and According To Plan. i can taste it, i tell you, and it is powerful.

2011 will be fueled by my participation (and ultimate win, i’m tickled to say) in NaNoWriMo. after 3-4 years of tire kicking, i signed on the digital dotted line and publicly professed (to more than a few non-writers, admittedly, to provide a safe escape hatch should i not finish) my intention to write not the generally prescribed 1667 words a day but 2000 words a day. and though i’m not ashamed to tell you that i upped the ante on account of the fact that the over-achiever (aka teacher’s pet syndrome) in me runs deep, i am proud to say that i wrote more than 2k words every single day. which turned out to be a good thing because i lost the week of thanksgiving and still managed to finish a day early with more than 50k words. and the thing is, it felt so good – the structure, the repetition, the end-in-sight of it all – that i use that i bank on that satisfaction to lay down my tracks for 2011.

so with complete disregard for the the rightness or consideration for whether it’s noble and lofty enough, in 2011 i will:

1. move more. (not anything that involves large trucks complaining about getting in and out of our driveway, mind you. i’m talking about walking and dancing.)
2. become fluent in yoga. (one pose at a time. okay, maybe two to keep it interesting.)
3. read alice in wonderland. aloud. to myself. (starting in january)
4. finish the primary source interviews for the bank robbery book. (by 4/31/11)
5. complete (or at least cease) contextual research for the bank robbery book. (fourth quarter)
6. write 3 children’s books with my daughter. (first quarter)
7. edit the fictional book penned during nanowrimo. (second quarter)
8. attend blogher. (august)
9. meditate a minute at a time (cause let’s face it: i’ve had that beautiful silk zafu – black with golden dragons – for months now, and i just took the plastic off. which means that 20 minutes every day is highly unlikely.)
10. finish volume 1 of the book i’m compiling with my daughter. (third quarter)
11. get that new blog up. (check back tomorrow for details and a viewing!) change of plan
12. further investigate that idea i have for a digital community.
13. quit handing over my personal power.
14. get that broken tooth fixed.
15. uncover (recover?) my muchiness. (warning: this will likely involve unleashing my non-malicious irreverent self more often.)
16. look into completing certification in death education and counseling.
17. remodel our bedroom and create a guest space in nc.
18. learn more about the electronic gizmos i have (iphone 4, ipad, powerbook pro, flip camera, sony camera, livescribe echo pen) (remember apple’s newton? i had one.) and software i own so i can make my life easier through better use of technology.
19. cross-pollinate my creativity by enjoying bouts of making collages, slow cloth, and even playing the piano.
20. attend the storytelling festival in jonesborough, tn. (october)
21. trek to merion, pa to see the barnes collection in its natural and rightful habitat. (april)
22. finish papering the nc laundry room in photos (scanning each one before tacking it to the wall).
23. spend a day (or 3) in milledgeville, ga doing book research and visiting flannery o’conner’s place. (september)
24. be fiercely feminist and fiercely feminine. (there. i’ve said it out loud.) (no ned to quirm cause i’m just the And to Thelma and Louise.)
25. enjoy a monthly massage without feeling i have to earn it.
26. stop spending so many words just for the sake of saying something. (obviously, that starts tomorrow.)
27. write every. single. day. (format subject to change on a monthly basis to keep it interesting.)
28. conjure six impossible things daily before bedtime.
29. create full moon collages with jamie ridler. (jamie calls them dreamboards, but i’ll be doing them in my special collage journal cause i have authority issues, you know.)
30. pen a thank you note a day.
31. reorganize my studio in ga.
32. create walls i can write on.
33. conjure and share more stories (pronounced STO rees) of my altar girls.
34. finish up that production team handbook and the director’s checklist. (january)
35. call many of you sugar to your face.
36. sing out loud without clearing the room. (alison, this one has your name written all over it.)
37. create new e-digs for alison. (january)
38. develop a rhythm of 1 day a week or 1 week a month tending to the inevitable and necessary deskwork. (january, then maintenance throughout the year)
39. book and enjoy creative retreats with selected gal pals. (if interested, let me know.)
40. let go of those stories that just don’t fit me any more. (note: the old paper-tied-to-a-balloon trick just doesn’t work for me, so, shoot, how ’bout i invite you to my (digital) campfire and tell ’em to ya?)

conceptually speaking, in 2011 there will be:
less mass, more movement.
less accommodating, more truth telling.
less talking, more doing.
less squirming, more smiling.
less explanation, more full, deep, satisfyingly content experiencing.
less justification, more justbecause.

and because i’m such a sucker, here are my collages for 2011:

2011collage1.jpg

2011collage2.jpg

2011collage3.jpg
(note at the bottom of the page: “If we’re not supposed to dance, why all this music?” from Gregory Orr’s poem “To Be Alive“)

and my color (pay no attention to the part that says 2010). (and hey, thanks, bridget.)

and my tangible totem:

2011TangibleTotem.jpg

and last, but definitely not least, my word: ship. (thanks, kipp.)

brevity: the theme du jour

ireneoakleaf.jpg

if my house was on fire and i could only take one word with me for 2010, i’d go with sprout and here’s why.

for 2011, my word is VivaciousBoldness, and what say we just sit back and watch that one play out?

:::

i’m over at happiness inside today, spilling words about what we keep.

:::

the view from here 2 weeks ago:
dryfall.jpg

the view from here this morning:
fallsupview.jpg

fallsdownview.jpg

~~~
Today’s #reverb10 Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

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who’d’a thunk it

creation of the collage started on shaky ground – real shaky ground – and for a while it seemed that i would go through 2010 red-faced and collageless. i left my journal at home, see, the one i wanted to shelter the collage, and to make matters worse, my only magazines themed around fiber arts and pottery (not an oprah magazine in sight) (and how can a worthy collage be created without images and words from a staff who knows me. i mean, they really know me.) (which is odd, given that i am not a subscriber.) (or a regular reader, for that matter.)

but then i put on my martyr pants and got busy ripping, and before we got to the end of the 2nd season of lost dvd’s (the television show, i mean), i’d ripped past thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons of every. single. image. i’d ripped my way past looking for words and fonts. i’d ripped my way past justification and rationalization and a whole lotta’ other stuff that i can’t quite name.

now remember: i still didn’t have my journal

so i just crammed tucked the ripped images into my bag, figuring la-te-da i could throw it all away at home just as easily as i could fill the trashcan there, and i pretty much forgot about the whole thing until last night when i couldn’t sleep and couldn’t turn on the television without waking up the dog who would, in turn, wake up the husband who has to get up early so i try not to.

wake my husband up, i mean.

i tiptoed out of the bedroom, fished the ripped bits out of my bag, found my journal, got some glue, and sat down at the dining room table where i was immediately surprised by how many images i had. now you have to understand that spatial concepts is not my strongest intelligence by anybody’s measurement system, but any fool could see that all those images were not going to fit on a 2-page spread in my journal, and i didn’t feel like going downstairs in search of one of those big sheets of paper (and besides, where would i store it) (the collage, i mean), so i just started tearing off any superfluous paper, ripping it right on down to the quick.

to the essential image, i mean.

collage2010rejects.jpg

i eventually came to the last piece, and there i was: surprised again, this time by the hugeness of the discard pile (especially compared to the keypers). coveting wanting my little ole’ collage to be as pretty as emma james‘ vision board, i stuck my tongue out the side of my mouth and started laying the pieces out on the page. but then when i bit my tongue remembered that this is not about planning, i just started squirting glue and laying ’em down, and before i knew it, i was done. finished. collaged.

well, almost.

there was this one image in the discard pile that kept jumping out on the way to the trashcan, and when it leapt out for the third time, i said okay, fine and took it back and glued it onto a page all by itself.

collage2010annex.jpg

i’m calling it the annex.

and here’s the really super trooper amazing part: by the time i crawled back into bed around 5 a.m., all the keypers – i mean, every last one of ’em – had found a home on the two-page spread in my journal.

and i even had a few spaces to boot.

collage2010.jpg

just goes to show, doesn’t it . . .

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