'tis the season...
Even though this time of year in the Pacific Northwest brings cold rain, short days and long nights, there are things I love about the season. It is a time of looking back, celebrating holidays of gratitude, the gift of God’s presence, and relationships of friends and family. It is also a time of looking forward. One thing I love about this time of year is the finishing my yearly journal and breaking open a new one, pristine and full of possibility. The treasure hunt of my word of the year is underway and with it comes new creative ideas to explore.
I want to share with you from my heart. For the past year it has been harder for me to write blog posts. I had been consistent to write nearly every week for six years. The blog, readership and interest grew. Then a year ago, when my beautiful new website was created, I decided to move my blog from Blogger to my website. In the move, links and followers were lost. During that time I was also struggling physically and emotionally, so I gave myself the freedom not to write each week, to pull back a bit, tend to my family and personal care. In the past year, there was a premature death, premature birth, another death of a loved one, and another high-risk pregnancy and birth in our family. On this side of all that, I am profoundly grateful for answered prayer, healthy babies, and the deepening of relationships we have experienced. I think because I gave myself the freedom to take breaks, I have renewed enthusiasm and creativity to revisit my blog and connections.
At first, none of what was going on in my life seemed to connect to my word of the year for 2017: Free/Freedom. I thought maybe my word should have been something like “Unexpected.”
Looking back, I realize Freedom was the right word for 2017. It just didn’t look like I thought it would a year ago. I am more free than I was a year ago…
More free to let go of things that no longer serve me well
Free not to “should” on myself
Free to play with my grandchildren and be fully present in the moment
Free to have things not be perfect and be content
Free from needing to accomplish something all the time
Free from ambition
Free to focus on the person in front of me
Free of judgment
Free to write or not write
Free to create what is in my heart
Free with my time with God to just be together
Free to Be and have that be enough
For the past four years, at the beginning of each month I make a calendar page for that month. It feels like a fresh start. I will definitely be continuing that for 2018.
There are some other things in my 2017 journal I really enjoyed. One of my goals was to use Washi tape in my journal. I did that and it was really fun. I didn’t do as much drawing on my calendar pages, but the Washi tape gave me the opportunity to experiment with mixing patterns and colors in creative ways on the pages. The other thing I did was use banners for the names of the months and some other headings. I forgot to make a banner for August, but my new-found freedom allowed me to smile and move on. My everyday calendar journal continues to be a great way to process my life, thoughts, feelings, creativity, and learning. As I prepare the new journal and wrap up the old one, I am looking forward to connecting with you in this coming year.
With my new sense of freedom, I decided not to have a list of goals for this coming year, not even ideas of what I could finish etc. Instead I am going to have a page dedicated to Interests & Ideas. I will list my current interests and if I do something with those interests and ideas, I will likely share about it in a blogpost. Since research is like treasure hunting for me, this way of looking at possibilities for 2018 excites me, and I feel an enthusiasm and motivation rising.
Do you keep a calendar journal? Do you have a word of the year?