There are 364 days left in 2010, counting this one, which is half gone. That tallies to 8724 hours. Think of what we can accomplish, if we decide to make it happen. Starting today, I will use this blog to do more than occasionally share my musings. I will explore daily with you tenets of creativity as they benefit us individually and together.
On New Year’s Day 2009, I wrote lists of regrets and aspirations and copied them onto slips of paper. My husband wrote his, too. We carried the scraps out to the garden, where we burned the old in a tin can and planted the new in the earth. Yesterday, reading journal entries to rally resolutions for the coming year, I decided that, with a few updates, the 2009 list would suffice for 2010. While I’ve made progress toward my goals, so much remains to do. Perhaps you feel the same. It was a rough year. Everyone at the New Year’s Eve party I attended cheered the end of 2009. Our felt pain was relative: losing a parent or losing a job, piling on debt or plundering savings, feeling that life as we know it isn’t what we thought it would be.
I believe in doing what you love so you can do more of what you love. If the money follows, all the better. But the real payoff comes from creating opportunity and ability to engage in fulfilling work, love and care for others, enjoy life, and make the world a better place. If I’d had my way in 2009, I would have accomplished more (books, paintings, income, home repair) and healed family ills. I would have contributed more to causes and been a more active citizen. I would have kissed joy more often as it flew.
The first resolution listed for 2009 that I’ll keep for the new year is “waiting for something to happen.” It’s easy to fall into despair and creative impotence while waiting—whether for the economy to turn, an agent to respond, a child to mature, a congress to legislate. January of 2009 held great promise—Obama’s election buoyed my spirits and hopes for a changed world. But in my personal life, I was barely keeping my head above water. I lost work in my design business, fielded agent rejections of manuscripts, worried about family issues—aging parents, young adult son, and couldn’t focus on a book project about joy because I was too depressed.
Several decisions changed the course of events. Each one required action, time, and a leap of faith. A few of the most significant were:
Attended a retreat with NextNow focused on Global Coherence
Committed to a 3-person art exhibition at Falkirk Cultural Center for summer 2010
Helped move my parents into retirement living
Joined Make Mine a Million, a feisty group of women entrepreneurs
Attended an economic summit in Sebastopol sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce
Proposed teaching “Read to Write,” a 9-month fiction craft course at Copperfield’s Books—in support of the independent book store, writers and readers
Repurposed our brand “Earth in Concert” to encompass the many creative projects and services that Dennis Hysom and I offer individually and in collaboration
All of these decisions and experiences have brought new friendships, expanded thinking, greater sense of purpose, and hope for improving the world through our individual and collective small, persistent efforts.
This year, I will examine in this blog space those daily efforts, along with the occasional large, coherent bursts of accomplishment. Please join me in a discussion of cultivating the creative life and using what we discover to create positive change in 2010 and beyond.