December 1 – 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? (Author: Gwen Bell)
I chose a word for 2010, as I traditionally do, on January 1. My word was Accept. There were changes brewing as we moved from 2009 to 2010, and I had no idea which way the year would take us. I realized that if I truly trusted my Saviour, that I would have to accept what He brought into my life. At the time, I was thinking more of home/work/life redirection. Now that I'm almost done with the journey of 2010, I realize my Saviour considers my "whole" person in all the changes He brings or allows.
(click to enlarge) This art journal page documents my selection of the word Accept.
We had big changes. Karl changed jobs, changed locations, changed wardrobes (no more uniforms), changed attitudes, changed outlooks - ok you get the idea. Meanwhile, I changed too. I changed gears, changed responsibilities, changed houses, changed perspectives, changed attitudes, changed focus, changed doctors, and most of all - changed my ART.
I fully believe that choosing to focus my energy on accepting, that I was freeing myself up to receive a huge blessing. Looking back now? Yep. Big ole fingerprints of God, plainly visible.
What's next for 2011? I don't know the future, but I know who holds my future. I usually spend December considering what word I should observe for the next year. I don't have that word yet, but when I do, I will document it.
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)
There are several things I do that fall in this category. Unfortunately, I can't really dispense with them. We need clean clothes, dishes, floors, etc. My health requires a lot of my time and limited energy. Again - not really an option there. So, what do I do to maximize the time and energy I do have? Here are some ways:
1. when I need rest, I try to take an easy, art-based activity to my recliner. I read, draw, doodle, brainstorm, crochet, watch art-related videos, read blogs, participate in live discussions and demos with people who inspire me, etc. As a reminder - surround yourself with interesting and POSITIVE people. Poison personalities are *everywhere* and they suck the creative life right out of you.
(click to enlarge) Zendoodling lets my mind wander while resting.
2. when I have things that must be done, I try to multitask to get done faster, or to incorporate brainstorming for an upcoming project. I'm rarely out of reach of pen and paper to at least capture notes and ideas.
3. when managing my health, I choose uplifting and thoughtful music during physical therapy and let my mind go along for the ride - I get a ton of ideas this way. I take those art-based activities that are appropriate with me so I can work or daydream while waiting to see a doctor, etc.
4. when I'm playing with my family (6 furries and a grown 10 year old), my mind is stimulated with future stories to tell, past memories to capture, other perspectives to look at life, all kinds of things.
So you see, even though there are many things we MUST do, we still have choices about HOW we do them.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
November 7, 2010. I entered an 8-mile running event on the spur of the moment with Karl. It was a crisp morning, with a pale yet bright blue sky. We ran the race at Danada Forest Preserve - beautiful scenery, still fall colors evident, crunchy gravel trails. There were 200 or so people with us, but I felt like I was there on my own. I had only been back in my physical therapy (walking/jogging) for a little more than a week. I was a little iffy on if I could go the distance, but it felt so good just to be out there again.
(click to enlarge) This art journal page is about the 86,400 seconds we have every day.
I felt the muscles in my legs one fibre at a time. I felt the air flowing in and out of my lungs. I heard small groups of ladies talking as they walked along the course. Men don't gather and walk/jog like women do. I prefer the men's tactic, personally. I can listen to the wind, feel the sun on my skin, soak up everything the event has to offer. It raises me up to a higher appreciation and awareness of my surroundings. I love it. That day, I felt every cell of my being echo the energy of the cosmos. It was a perfect day that I shared with Karl - unique experiences of the same event.