Make in 2012
For the last couple years I've chosen one little word to guide me through the year. When New Year's rolled around this year I tried to remember my word for 2011 and I couldn't remember! So, my word clearly didn't stick with me - guiding me through my every move in 2011. I had to look back at my blog posts to remember if I'd even chosen a word in 2011. But, I did indeed choose a word last January: stretch.
Immediately, I recognized that 2011 was about stretching myself. Mainly professionally, but also personally as I adapted to the ups and downs of life here and to the new adventures this place had in store for me. In the winter I stretched myself to become a better skate skier. Then, I stretched myself into a new summer routine that revolved around gardening and soccer. Biking through the city became comfortable and by fall I started to bike commute regularly. What stretched me the most was just letting go and trying on a new routines. For the first time in years, I spent a whole year taking very few photographs. I did minimal little scrapbooking or blogging. I did a fair amount of knitting but didn't keep close track of my projects. I cooked new recipes a bit less (although I did make homemade ricotta for the first time). I just tried to let go of the expectations around all that. With long hours at work, sometimes letting go was all I was capable of doing but it was also nice to just move through the weeks at the pace in which they came.
In 2010, my word was move and choosing that word actually had a big impact on my year so I know how powerful this practice can be. That January I wrote, "It's time to get a move on. To move on. To move my body more. To get moving. To finish what I started. To feel motivated. To reorganize. To literally move. Find a new place to live. To move on to a new phase. We don't know if it'll be 5 miles away or 1000 miles away, but we both feel the need to start anew this year. Wipe off the dust. Pare down our possessions. Feel a little lighter. Find a new adventure." And if I accomplished one thing in 2010 it was to find a new adventure. The move from Massachusetts to Michigan burned up most of that year. I spent the spring filling up an art journal while trying to decide whether to move, then the summer moving and the fall settling in. In the early winter I ran my first 5k.
In January I want to feel lighter and ready to make progress. I feel the need to pare down possessions and make new plans for new adventures. That's what I've been doing this first week of January 2012. Tidying up corners of our house. Finishing some projects that I didn't finish in 2011 so I can move on to new projects. Making lists and plans in my head and on paper.
So, in that vein, my word for 2012 is make. I let a few words roll around in my head for a few days and make is the one that stuck. Last year I let go of a lot of my crafting as I worked long hours at work, on a dissertation and on building a life here. Stretching myself in those directions was really good. But this year I want to I set aside more time to make things just for my own pleasure - to push my creativity deeper and in new directions. Now that I'm settled, it's time for venturing.
"Pleasure and action make the hours seem short." William Shakespeare.