Monday, April 1, 2013

My Happiness Project: Create

Another month gone, another month ahead.  It's time for me to assess how my month of "words" went and outline my goals for April.
  1. Read every day.  As expected, this one was easy since I enjoy reading and normally include it as a regular part of my day.  I was able to finally catch up on my Time magazine subscription in addition to reading a few novels and non-fiction books.  "The Bitter Pill" cover story in Time was easily the most thought-provoking piece of writing I have read all year.
  2. Write every day.  I probably wrote two out of every three days.  I may not have met my goal, but I feel good about my progress because even two out of three days is a huge improvement for me.  It is becoming more natural to write as part of my daily routine instead of just squeezing it in when I "find the time" (when is there ever extra time?).  I hope to keep building on what I started this month and plan to continue writing regularly.  I have found I am most successful when I write during HP's first nap.  If I wait too late in the day, it's a lost cause.
  3. Use language more precisely.  If I am being honest, I will admit that I did not put much effort into this one.  For most of the day, my primary conversationalist is a nine-month old.  When Henry gets home, I want to share my day without carefully choosing every word that comes out of my mouth.  Perhaps this goal would be better implemented in a year or two.  For now, I think I better shelve it.
My word for April is "create".  There are many projects I want to make, but I never seem to find the time--knitting, sewing, quilting, collaging, photography... the list goes on.  This month I am going to prioritize spending time on creative endeavors.
  1. Photography.  I signed up for an adult-education photography class through the University of Texas that starts tonight.  I am excited to learn how to better use my DSLR camera and to have one night a week this month to get out of the house and do something where I am "Sarah" instead of "Mom."  I have no aspirations to become a professional photographer, just to better capture moments with my family.
  2. Knitting.  For Christmas I received knitting needles and a knitting book, but I haven't managed to progress past making simple washcloths.  This month I want to complete one (non-washcloth) knitting project.  
  3. Collage.  I bought two canvases from a craft store months ago with the intention of creating a collage from the maps and ticket stubs I saved from my year abroad in college.  A large bag of keepsakes has been following me around for seven years now.  I am determined to free up some closet space by turning it into something I can hang on the wall.
This month I am giving myself both permission and incentive to be creative.  So often I become focused on the next immediate task (changing diapers, cleaning the kitchen, cooking dinner, putting away toys--it feels never-ending) that I do not take the time to engage in creative outlets.  Seeing concrete projects I have created fills me up in a way other pursuits do not.  I feel more balanced, rested, and complete when I take the time to utilize my artistic side.  Now, more than ever, I need to make putting myself first a priority so I do not become drained and irritable.

So here's to April, may you be a month filled with artistic endeavors that leave me renewed (and not stressed, as is wont to happen when crafts do not go as planned).

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