You know what’s crazy? I have NO idea what 2015 is going to be like for me. I hope it’s going to be stellar, and I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that it is, but as to the shape of it all, I am presently in the dark. Is this how other people feel coming into the new year? Is it normal, this feeling of standing at the edge of an ocean knowing I will make it across to meet the horizon without knowing how it will be accomplished?
I’m not going to be working this year, and that’s probably the biggest contributing factor to my lack of certainty. I’m on a work sabbatical that’s being enforced by my husband (Sir Lucas Awesomepants), who saw up close what total burnout can do to a person and is probably terribly afraid to have that happen to me ever again. He’s telling me that this is my year to be an artist. What a gift! Looking forward to a full year of artistic exploration is totally awesome, but at the same time I feel pressure to do something really amazing to show Lucas that his support is merited. I’m trying to put that pressure to the side because I’m well aware that it’s self-imposed, and just take this year as the gift that he means it to be for me. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be unencumbered by conventional commitments, and this is my chance. So, with that in mind I will….
So, obviously I’m going to make art this year. Lots of art. What kind of art? I have no idea. Will I show the art? Not a clue. I’m not even sure what medium I will land on, and I’m certainly not going to make any predictions for having shows or anything like that. Aside from the project I’m working on with Lucas (more about that at another time), I have no clue what the year has in store for me art-wise. My plan, if you can call it that, is to create an environment and attitude that entices the Muse, and let the creations flow in whatever way the Muse dictates.
Be a better person
In most respects, last year was a good year for me personally. The one standout bad amongst all the good, though, was the executive burnout I was mired in, which colored every aspect of my life. My nerves were constantly frayed, and I found myself easily moved to anger, hurt, sadness, and defensiveness. I cringe to think of it, but I became a bitter, cynical person. My temper was shorter with myself and everyone around me, I found it hard to look people in the eye and engage with them, and my internal dialogue was absolutely scathing. The easiest solution often seemed to be to avoid people and social situations, so that’s what I did. Added to that, it seemed that every time I caught the news, my heart hurt worse because of it. 2014 did not show humanity at its best.
I hope that 2015 brings more thoughtful consideration, more compassion, more of a coming together as humanity. I know this is an idealistic, simplistic statement, but dammit, if we would all just stop adhering to out-dated modes of thinking and coveting what others have, be it relationships, lifestyle, material goods, land, money, or power, and instead focus as a species on righting the blatant wrongs we’ve wrought on each other and on this earth, we’d all be the better for it. However, I know there’s nothing I can do about this on any large scale because I’m in no shape to shoulder my way to a game-changing position. So I’ll do what I can, which is to live in a manner that exemplifies my own ideals. I’m going to look for the good in situations and the beauty in people, and remind myself that everyone I see is living through something of their own, and none of our experiences are any less valid or important than any other’s.
I’m going to keep working out and being good to my body. I’ve set some very specific challenges for myself this year, and I’m going to try to remember to take regular progress shots, so if everything shakes out the way I hope I should have some pretty stunning before and after pictures to post at the end of the year. If anyone wants to do these challenges with me I would be stoked to share my workout schedule, but I must warn you: they are probably not for someone just getting back into shape, you’ll need a decent home gym or a gym membership, and you will be expected to work your body at least once per day, six days per week.
Put on my travelin’ (snow)shoes
After experiencing such an incredibly mild December here in Portland, Lucas and I have decided that we want to be somewhere snowy for Christmastime next year. This is super exciting for me because I love snow, and a bit of a surprise coming from Lucas as he’s oft been heard to say how he hates snow due to his formative years spent huddled in the frigid white flatlands of Alberta, Canada. Now, it’s hard to say whether or not this trip will actually happen since it’s almost a whole year away, and life does have a way of throwing curveballs. However, if we get our wish we’ll be somewhere in Europe next winter, chasing the aurora borealis and drinking spiced wine. If that sounds like a fun adventure to you, too, then get a hold of me and let’s make a plan. We’re always down for travel companions.
Support Team Awesomepants
One of the things I value most about being with Lucas is that we approach our relationship as members of the same team. It seems like partnership should be a given, but when I consider how many failed relationships I’ve been a part of/borne witness to over the years, I’m forced to conclude that many people don’t think of it as such. Or perhaps it’s a semantics problem. Regardless, what I’ve found in Lucas feels rare and wonderfully healthy, and I want to continue to support that. Now that my attention is no longer frayed, I will be able to devote more of myself to being a good partner to him. He’s been so patient and supportive to me throughout all of the emotional ups and downs I experienced while building, running, and transitioning away from the organization I founded, and I want him to feel the same level of support from me as he redefines himself at his new agency. It’s an amazing gift, being given all of this time to come back to myself, and I want Lucas to know how much I appreciate it by giving him a warm, loving, stress-free, comfortable place to come home to at the end of his day.