Twilight Road, Ann Arbor Michigan
I stopped by to wish you all a Happy New Year.
I've found this last half of the year, I have not been as able to celebrate with you all, or other people as much as I wanted. I've felt a bit overwhelmed by my own concerns, and didn't really feel that I had the room to be present for others.
For that, I apologize.
I have decided that for 2010, I am going to focus more on paying attention to the abundance that is already in my life, and not be so concerned with those things that I lack.
2009 has been a very hard year for many people, I know. It seems most everyone has been struggling with losses, financial hardships, difficult choices and all sorts of troubles.
I personally have not felt the pinch this sharply since I was a kid.
It would be easy to only think of 2009 as a year of constraints, but I choose instead to look at it for the growth and development. I am choosing to be thankful for the lessons that I have learned this year.
I am grateful for being able to watch how my kids have turned from babies to actual kids. Becoming more and more able to communicate and explore their own world independently. One is potty trained completely, and I have just one more to go. Woo hoo. Here they are, actual fun little people. It makes me eager to see what else is coming, who they will become.
I am thankful for finally being able to overcome some of my own insecurities and begin selling my art to people I do not know. Even though I feel like I know many of my clients now. I have become a business woman, even if I am not very profitable just yet, what has come my way has always come my way just exactly when I have needed it. And more than the money, the value of becoming a business woman is in the way I have come to look at myself and what I can do. I still have far to go, but I know I can learn what I need as I go.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to write, even in those little minutes that I had, while the kids were watching tv or while everyone else was occupied with something else. When you days stretch empty and unencumbered, it is so easy to take your time for granted. This year, I have squeezed every minute I could out of my busy life so that I could feed my soul.
I finished my latest first draft just this morning. Yes, I thought i was done yesterday, but it was this morning where I wrapped it up and added those two little words, "THE END." That was cool. More than any other book I have written in the past, I feel like this book is marketable. It's not done, and I want to make it as good as I can, but there is something here that sparks. That welcomes others. So I'm counting this as one of my successes that I was able to focus on because of my constraints in other areas of my life.
I'm thankful that I have found a whole new language, a whole new dialogue with my art and my online community... without which, it is doubtful that my painting would have gone on the journey it did. Imagine, if I'd had the freedom and money to go out and do all sorts of things in real life, would I have sat at home painting every night, and spent my afternoons talking to you all? Doubtful.
And then there's a big one. Being financially strapped this year has made me pay attention more than ever to my own spending habits. To the ways that I am wasteful, not just with money, but with resources. I have begun cooking more meals from scratch and utilizing the leftovers. Did you know chicken bones can make a delightful SOUP? Yes, Virginia, soup does not have to come out of a can. I have also learned to focus more on those things that I did have. This is hard sometimes, but after a while, you come to realize how much you don't need ALL. THAT. STUFF. Things aren't where importance lies, really. It's in people and in the connections between people.
Lastly, I am thankful for my own creativity. Constraints in life demand creativity. Making a doll for my daughter instead of buying one. Finding new ways to use recycled items, like making crowns out of old cereal boxes. Discovering the wonderful world of blanket tent making, or cushion fort-ing. Making do with what resources we have, instead of always going out to buy what we think we need is one of the most basic ways to utilize our creativity.
I think that's where human creativity comes from, and why it is so important to our society and our humanity. We make what we need. We find new ways to interact with our environment. We discover new things about who we are and what we are capable of, about what is important, and what is not as necessary as we thought. Creation is how we excercise the grand capabilities of our wondrous minds.
There is no limit to those capabilities, if we use our creativity to keep looking for ways to make our lives into what they need to be.
So here's to 2009 and all the lessons we have learned, the journey on which we have travelled.
And here's to 2010. To its limitless possibilities, and all that we can create with what we are given.
And here's to you. Imagine me raising a glass of champagne, here. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I can't wait to see what happens next.