New Year’s Reflections, 2013 Edition
Happy 2013! I feel like I should be sharing goals or desires for the new year. But with a baby on the way, everything is in flux. Planning seems like a pointless exercise.
I’ve noticed that when large changes loom on the horizon, my impulse is to stand still and wait. I did this when I took my first agency job. While I got the position in late November, I didn’t start until January.
Part of me wanted to go out with a bang. To make the most of my remaining self-employment by blogging like crazy, creating marketing classes and pitching articles. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do any of it.
Instead, I spent that December reading. Playing video games. Baking cookies. Things I’d avoided in the past, because I considered them “goofing off.”
After exhausting my list of things I wanted to do, I let myself steep in boredom. I wanted to stagnate, so that when I find myself catapulted into a brand new life, it would come as a refreshing change.
What I Did on My Winter Break
Recently, I’ve been feeling the same way. That’s not to say I’ve been stagnating. I’ve actually been incredibly prolific, just not in a business sense. I overcame my fear of book-binding last month and made two visual journals.
Then I received Geninne Zlatkis’s book on hand-carved stamps for Christmas (Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps), and created stamp portraits of my family.
I even had time to finish Steinbeck: A Life in Letters, which inspired lots of deep thoughts about writing. My mind boggles when Steinbeck writes of completing 10, 20 or even 30 pages a day — then throwing hundreds of pages away because they were no good. But the advice he gives to one particular friend makes this seem almost easy:
“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”
Hand to Pen to Paper
Steinbeck’s words reminded me that sometimes, it is just about showing up. About putting pen to paper, and focusing on quantity more than quality. And you know what? That’s something that I CAN handle in the coming months.
Maybe I can’t make plans for five years in the future. Maybe I can’t even stick to a blog schedule. But I can show up to the page each day, and I can write something.
I’m sure I will find more hobbies and new short-term obsessions. But writing is the one thing that I always return to. The one activity that gives structure and stability and satisfaction to my life.
So maybe I do have a goal for the new year. Or at least for the third trimester. One page a day.
How did you spend YOUR holidays? Let me know in the comments section below!