So how’m I doing in my quest to re-invent my life, follow my evolving Blisses and create the life I really, really want?
This Weekly Review, even were it not several days late, would nonetheless be by default the Year-End Review (Part 1), coming, as it does, in the last week of 2010.
I must tell you, though, I’m not big on New Years Resolutions. Pinning all your hopes and expectations of change on one day seems pretty silly, and more often than not probably ends up creating more disappointment and feeling bad-about-yourself-ness than real, lasting change.
I am, however, a big believer in the power of milestone calendar dates.
My Calendar Milestones
You’ve probably been through at least one birthday when the weight of time felt heavier than usual. 30 was a big one for me (way harder than 40 was, btw). What had I accomplished with my life, I wondered?
I was seeing a wonderful therapist at the time (I’m a big believer in the power of good therapy, too – but it has to be good therapy), and I remember her confirming that yes, as you go through life it can be a lot like walking up a staircase with your gaze focused on the step right ahead of you. Then you hit a milestone birthday, and suddenly your focus shifts to the entire stairway rising up ahead of you, and falling away behind you.
It’s not just milestone birthdays, though. Any anniversary can act as a road marker.
I have some special events I attend regularly, usually every year: my Spring Retreat with my calligraphy guild, Jazz Camp West, California Coast Music Camp. These act as wonderful gauges for where I am with my skills and on my creative journey this time, compared to last time I was there.
And then there are special dates on the calendar that come around every year, whether I get in my car to go someplace special or not. Particularly three that come in the last few months of the year: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), my birthday, and New Years Eve.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the two holidays on the Jewish calendar that together make up the High Holy Days, are historically a time for reflection, “repentence” (or more literally, returning) and forgiveness — both of others and self.
My birthday is an obvious moment in time to consider how far I’ve come in the past year, and how much in alignment I am with my core values.
And then, of course, there’s New Years Eve.
The notion that this one date has any inherent meaning – that any one date has any inherent meaning – is, if you ask me, rather solipsistic. We create the meaning ourselves, and invest it in the date. But the fact remains, we have invested the changing of the Gregorian calendar with quite a lot of meaning.
More important, as a culture we have chosen to mark the 365 1/4-day cycling of the earth around the sun with a “beginning” and an “end.” (It’s got to “start” somewhere, right?) And since January 1 has been agreed upon by followers of the Gregorian calendar as day one of the next cycling, it’s only natural that we look back at what transpired in the previous cycling, and ahead at what we’d like to transpire in the next.
So, with that in mind, what are the memorable things that happened this year, both good and not so good?
What was hard
2010 started off very hard indeed. Money was tight, I was facing serious debt for the first time in my life, and all of my attempts to turn my business around had mostly just dug me deeper into the hole. Part of me also knew that I was living what Tara Sophia Mohr refers to as a “B+ life,” but I had no idea what to do about it.
Honestly, I was more miserable than I’d been since the year before my divorce.
Turns out another breakup was coming, too, as just 1 1/2 months into 2010 my then-boyfriend announced he was moving out, taking his contribution to the rent and living expenses with him.
That. Was. Hard.
As was feeling lost and desperate for what felt like forever… until I started to find my way.
Once I’d figured out what I really, really wanted (to express myself creatively, spend most of my time doing stuff I loved, and to help others follow their own evolving bliss(es)) and started figuring out how to get there, even a dislocated knee and painful surgery – while definitely in the “hard” column! – didn’t put a damper on my happiness.
Happiness is like that: if you’ve got a solid foundation of it, rough patches are a helluva lot more tolerable.
What was awesome
Discovering how much I love to write.
Discovering the fun of painting and sewing on stretched canvas.
Discovering, after years of resisting, that I actually love Twitter!
Meeting a new business partner (on Twitter!), and launching a new website.
Creating an online course, the Thriving Artists Project, out of thin air, and successfully (pre) launching it before I’d ever thought possible. (And can I just say that the TAP members are the coolest people ever!)
Many of the awesome things were (and are) also really hard things.
For example, if anyone ever tells me I have to launch a new website on January 1st, please whisper in my ear to say “N. O.” And if I don’t say “N.O.”? Just shoot me and put me out of my misery.
Did I mention that I will never launch a new website on January 1st?
In case you missed that, I will never launch a new website on January 1st!
Regardless of the calendar date, it’s probably not the wisest move to launch a new website in the middle of also creating content for a brand new course, whose “official launch” is scheduled pretty much right after the launch of the new website.
Not the best planning, I admit. But certainly in keeping with my usual M.O. That hasn’t changed in 2010, at least. (Ah, well, always something to work on, right?)
And if I weren’t so damned tired from all this launching, I’d probably have a helluva lot more to say, in a much more articulate manner. But I don’t, so I’m going to bed.
Happy New Year! (And do check out 365 Days of Genius when it launches on Saturday.)
Next up: Year-End (or Year-Start) Review Part 2: Questing Forward