Saturday, December 29, 2007

if you knew you could not fail

keep art alive; art by sarah joncas

i have been on a bit of a hiatus this past week due to the holidays, and a much needed vacation. i have also been gearing up for my 2008 plans for this space; setting up themes and schedules, thinking up writing prompts and ideas to help bring out words, compiling music mix playlists, and signing up for activities like blog 365. first days, especially new year’s day, have always been a big deal to me. i am a sucker for the fresh start, the clean slate, the do-over. this year, though, i would like to sort out a way to hold on to, and sustain, the kind of inspiration that first days’ gift to me. thus, the projects and goals that i am putting together for this space are an attempt at that; a way to keep my creativity flowing, my focus on, and some of those often fleeting goals consistently attainable.

a few days ago i was at the archlight with my husband and brother. we were there to see juno, and had arrived earlier than expected. we walked around the gift shop as a wasting time endeavor and ended up at this wall of magnets, where we stood side-by-side, sharing the ones that we each found witty, or outrageous. the wee shop is reminiscent of soap plant and wacko, favorite stores of mine that used to reside on melrose avenue, but have since relocated to the we are now way cooler silverlake. there were stacks of coffee table books, the kind that i covet and wish for in that someday sort of way, novelty items like the wash your sins away soap pack and a looks like expensive crystal but is really plastic vases. i wandered over to a spinning rack of greeting cards, the kind that are shaped in squares with quotes on them, and one in particular caught my eye. the message sprawled across it's paper square front has settled nicely into my psyche, and is asking to be my chosen mantra of 2008:

“what would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

with that in my mind i started to contemplate the coming year. and really, what would this time of year be like without a list of resolutions? (i should probably mention i am quite a sucker for lists, too).
so, in the spirit of ringing in the new, here are my, in no particular order, 2008 resolution round up:

1* write more. write about everything and anything; memories from my past, dreams for my future, anecdotes about my kids, reviews, fiction, and other random things.

2* work on rebuilding our music and film collection that we lost while living in chicago, replacing the old and adding the new.

3* keep to a budget and try to save money (for once) so that we hopefully never find ourselves in a situation where we have to sell off almost all of our belongings.

4* sort out a way to spend more time with my husband. plan things out, put them on the calendar and stick to them, at least once or twice a month. dating your spouse, or significant other, is just as (if not more) important when you have been together for years. it is easy to put this sort of thing in last place, especially if you work as much as i do, and have three children; but, just because it is easy to put off, does not mean it should be lowered in the priority list. a solid and well cared for marriage and/or relationship will spread out to the rest of one’s life, and help keep a good balance going; at least in my opinion.

5* read more, to myself, and to the kids. there are so many books i want to read, and so many i do not even know about that i want to read. i think it is time to dust off the library card, spend some time reading things that are not on a computer screen, and even doing some book trades with friends. as for the kids, they all love books as much as i do, i just need to take more time out to read together.

6* take more pictures. i am a horrible photographer with seriously no talent, at all. i am a small step away from my grandmother’s level of photographic skill who had her trademark thumb-shadow in every shot. they say the more you take the better you get. if that is the case i may want to seriously consider the photo 365 project, as well.

7* reinstate more sunday traditions: potlucks, homemade breakfasts and dinners, and something my grandparents did with me that i have not yet done with my own family: the sunday afternoon mini roadtrip. i love sundays.

8* eat better and treat my body better. the recent health scare that i am in the midst of dealing with is a wake up call, and for that i am thankful for the experience for the gift of perspective. i need to stick to a healthier diet, drink more water, and get outside and move more.

9* try yoga. i know with my level of stress and anxiety just the breathing techniques themselves would help me relax more. i took a class once, years ago, and i remember it was harder than i expected, and that that night i slept deeper than i had, possibly ever.

10* balance. it is one of those things that all the magazines say we should seek more of, that all those self-help gurus spout off about causing me to roll my eyes and break out the my snark and saracasm over. but, the last couple of months have been rough; the last few years, actually. and, i think i can finally recognize the need for some balance in my life. just some little things, really; more visits to the ocean (the ocean, she soothes me), more organization to hopefully make things more manageable, more one on one time with each of my kids, the previously mentioned dates with my husband, and some almost unheard of time for me.


there are some other random things i’ve thought about, like learning to cook chinese food, searching out any still existing drive-in movie theaters, finally eating at the formosa cafe, and visiting the getty; but, i think ten is enough to try and incorporate into my life. i know the fail rate of resolutions is high, and that setting myself up with too many goals is self-defeating; but i will honestly be happy if i can remember to try to do the things above, at least some of them, some of the time.

what are some of yours?


Tom said...

Photography is actually easier than it looks. I'm not that great at it myself but I am better than I used to be. It's pretty much practice, yunno?

I've considered doing Blog 365 myself ... then I remember how little time I have to blog to begin with.

lucy said...

i'm glad you decided to sign-up for blog 365! we can do it!

and really, on the busy day if you have to you can just post a video, or a photo.

thanks for the encouragement on photography. i have no skill at all, so i suppose all i can do is improve.

cheers to the new year, to you and your family, tom.