January 1, 2017

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Brainstorming New Year thoughts on the first page of a new journal
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The beginnings of an “inspiraton” wall in my new studio
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A new quote for a new beginning of art-making
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a canvas finally finished…almost…trying to figure out what’s behind the door
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a new canvas ready and waiting…

Happy New Year!

Sometimes

Sometimes when I am going about my day, this blog writes itself in my head.  It’s not a planned thing.  The words just start appearing.  And then they start multiplying and rearranging themselves in proper order.

Sometimes there is a rabbit trail of thought which I store for another day.  Sometimes I remember the alternate post, but sometimes not.  I don’t worry too much about it.

I’m learning to trust the process and believe that the important stuff will reappear at the appropriate time.  I rarely sit down without a piece already started in my head, but do occasionally if nothing has presented itself for a while.

I think those times of writing “drought” may be an indication that I’m too busy and not listening to myself…not allowing enough time for thoughts and dreams and ideas…or that they are being drowned out by too much busyness and reality.

And that thought has led me inadvertently to my slogan, theme, or plan for the next year…

I started making an intentional focus for the new year a couple of years ago.

The first idea was “to be the change I wished to see in my world”.

Last year was “turn my cants into cans and my dreams into plans”.

This year I think I’m going with “Re-think, Re-imagine, and Reflect.

These are the words that have been running through my head the last couple of days.

Now I have the words I’m going to use.  The exact details aren’t clear, but I’m going to spend some time with a journal this week and think about and imagine the possibilities…

As for today, I’ve decided to start my new year now.

It is a beautiful day…warm and spring-like…it feels like a beginning.

The bees are busily buzzing on my front porch looking for any jasmine flowers that made it through the last freeze.

Lots and lots of tiny birds are flying from a thicket that edges my yard to the bird feeder hanging by my front window.

As I was standing quietly on the porch the bees and birds flew past me going about their business.  The buzzing bees and humming wings were the only sounds I heard.

How many times have I missed this scene outside my own door?

How many times has the noise of my life been all that I’ve heard?

It bothers me that my focus is so much on what is going on right around me and that I don’t spend enough time looking and listening and being still…

Today is a new day.

It’s a good day for beginning anew…for thinking, imagining and reflecting.

Today will be spent creating order from the chaos that is leftover from the Christmas festivities and creating pages in a new journal.

Today will be spent ridding myself of some clutter…both physical and mental.

Today will be spent in some busyness and some idleness.

Seeking balance.

 

 

Time

I never intended to let so much time go by between blog posts.  I had every intention of writing about our graduation road trip, our Christmas activities, humorous family anecdotes, exciting New Year’s plans and how the decluttering effort impacted all of it.

Nevertheless, almost a month has passed by and not a word has been typed here (until now).  That’s the thing about intentions.  They may be good intentions and there may even be a plan (of sorts) about how you are going to carry out said intentions, but…

Life has a way of slipping away – a day or two, a week, a month, and then, before you know it, things just didn’t get done, plans are neglected, and life is passing by – sometimes at a seemingly alarming rate.

And this is my segue into my topic for today:  2016’s theme, plan, dream and hope for the Barrow family.

Last year I chose “be the change” as my focus phrase for the year.  I had grown tired of my complacent and sometimes whiny attitude with regards to my life.  “Be the change” helped to remind me that it is my life and my choices made the difference in whether things got better, stayed the same or worsened.  It worked well.  We implemented a budget, became more intentional about our spending, and paid off some of our debt.  In general, we just became more aware of how we lived out life.  Simply phrased, we picked up a paddle and started steering the boat instead of drifting along in the current of life.

This year, we are taking it a step further.  The family has chosen a phrase together.  “Turn your can’t into can and your dreams into plans.”

We’ve identified some goals and hopes for the upcoming year and are continuing to add to the list.  But, it’s more than a list.  Every idea or goal has an action plan with it. Concrete, definite plans that can make it happen.

We are creating a “life” wall where we can post each action plan.  There the lists will stay as we add to and cross off each item.  In our face and unavoidable.

One of the foremost things on our list is home improvement.  Some major repairs need to be done including floor repair and exterior paint. Lots of cosmetic repairs are included as well.  We’ve talked about these projects off and on for a while, but that’s where it ended – talk.  There was always a reason we didn’t do it – time and money mostly.  Next payday, next weekend, when the bonus comes in, during the holiday break….  We’ve realized that the condition of our home directly impacts our life, our happiness, and contentment level.

We are working on a major plan where each room is assigned a month for the projects to be completed.  Every task, every supply, every detail is listed so that there is no question about what is needed to complete the job.

How are we going to pay for it (and continue to pay down our debt)?  That’s a very good question.  Honestly, there is a certain amount of faith and optimism attached to our plan.  Hopefully, the action plan will help keep us focused on the goal and we can live more intentionally and direct our money towards the projects.  Some hard choices will need to be made, I’m sure.  With the plans in place, the hope is that we can pre-purchase or source needed materials when a great deal comes along.  We’ll know what we need ahead of time.  There will definitely need to be some creativity and ingenuity involved.

The decluttering effort will also continue.  Right now, the house looks very lived in.  Very, very, very lived in. Details would just lower your opinion of my housekeeping abilities.  I definitely have a low opinion of my housekeeping skills right now.  I think that, overall, the decluttering I did before the holidays helped, but there is more to do.  Lots of life gets lived here.  I just need to figure out how to make the living easier!