We are more than a month into 2016, but I feel as though I am only just now finding my footing. January was rough going at our house. Stomach bug, freezing temps (I took E to a well-check in "feels like -10" degree temps), and then all four of us being struck down by another illness that just wouldn't quit. I know it will still be wintry and cold for weeks to come, but it feels like a victory just to have made it through January. February, welcome!
When I tried to think of a word or intention for 2016, I had trouble narrowing it down between create and connect. I have taken big steps back from social media this year so I can better focus on the things I love. A logical next step would be to prioritize connecting to friends and family through more personal forms of communication. But as I continued to contemplate the year ahead, I decided I didn't want to put that pressure on myself. As an introvert who spends all day "on" with my children, when bedtime rolls around I need to disappear into a book and have some time with no social input. I have still set goals for myself to reach out to close friends more often via email, texts, and phone calls, but I don't want it to be the overarching focus of my year.
Instead, I decided to turn my attention toward something I used to do all the time--create. My creative projects have fallen by the wayside since having children. I used to play the piano, collage, write, knit, etc. Now? Almost never.
So here's where I'd like to be at the end of the year:
Have a basic grasp of calligraphy and/or hand-lettering
I want to eventually create art for my home by putting quotes on canvas (similar to this). I know it will take a lot of practice to get to the point where I want to showcase my work in our home, and I'm ready to begin.
I would like to write more for the blog, but also just for myself. I used to write at the time as a way to sort through my thoughts, but I haven't made time for that kind of personal writing in years. I miss it.
Playing piano again
This one won't happen until after we buy a house and either (1) bring my childhood piano to our new house or (2) buy a piano off Craigslist. I am not sure which we will do, but once we have one I want set up a plan to play regularly--maybe even taking lessons. This will be a project for the second half of they year as I don't want to figure out the logistics of moving and tuning a piano twice.
I used to make collages for myself and friends on a somewhat regular basis. I find the process incredibly soothing and the end result satisfying. At times, it feels a bit silly, but it is the kind of silliness that I love. Back when I was trying to woo Neil I made him a collage for his birthday. Less than two months later, we were dating. Do I need further proof of the power of the mighty collage?
So when exactly do I plan on fitting in these creative pursuits? The evenings have never been a good time for to do anything beyond reading and talking. I don't have the mental bandwidth or desire to schedule these activities after the kids are in bed. Mornings are ideal, but my children wake up so early that I don't think I can regularly get up before them without crashing in the afternoon. I see three windows of time to make it happen:
(1) Naps are long gone for my eldest, but HP is once again resting in his room for an hour every afternoon. There was a dark period of our lives where that rest was not happening for a variety of uninteresting reasons, but it is over--all the rejoicing!
(2) E has decided to tolerate the childcare at our local Y (!). Now on the two mornings HP is in preschool, I can drop her off and use the time read, write, or craft.
(3) The weekends already feel full with family time and procuring and prepping food for the upcoming week, but I know I could carve out some time for myself if Neil and I planned it in advance.
I am excited to make more time for creativity after years of neglecting that part of my life. 2016, let's do this!