Putting yourself out there...
I deliberately took a break these last few weeks...to rejuvenate after the holiday sale period and to enjoy families and friends over the holidays. It was a great way to recharge but now I feel a need to up my game, as they say. The recent news about horrific fires in Australia, the current political climate in the U.S. and a post from Dr. Derocher about declining ice all have me looking ahead into 2020 and wondering how I can make even more of a positive difference.
I usually re-commit to something each year - a new practice I want to hone into a regular habit, a current practice I want to improve. My life, post full-time job, appears as a five point star - bouncing between my obligations to hockey, my art making, my writing, my health and my family. I'm getting more and more comfortable with this change, but I also want to challenge myself for growth. So I've been considering what I could do with each point - making them longer, or fuller, or more impactful. I've begun to think of it as "putting myself out there"....challenging myself to think more fully about how to give more in a time when so much is needed. And I'm consciously wondering if I'd be more honest if I put family into the center of my star and added "conservation" to that fifth point. Would that be more meaningful than having it be a subtext to the other four? So, in the spirit of the new year, and to make the growth in these areas more public (I'm a big fan of Jessica Abel's Growing Gills techniques) I offer these commitments:
1. Hockey - I'm leaning in to my work with the CCWHA and to re-establishing options for girls' hockey in my area. I was recently featured in a local magazine and it was more personal than I'd expected. Rather than shying away from that, I'm going to grab it and run with it. We need more women in sport! Organizing, coaching, mentoring young women so they have positive female leader/role models.
2. Art Making - I was really thrilled to see how well my needle felted landscapes were received (and sold) at the holiday sales. To that end, I have new work now posted on the store site here...and have set a goal of one new work per month for 2020. The sales of these works goes directly to Arctic Research and I was thrilled to be able to give, this year, to both the Assiniboine Zoo and the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. I have new orgs in mind for donation this year but I need to up my game so I can have enough revenue to ensure that what I send is meaningful.
3. Writing - I am excited to be on the cusp of announcing my first published book on Amazon! This work, The American Metallic Fabric Company: A century of wire weaving on Cape Cod, is the publication of the research I did for a talk in May 2019 at the Thousand Island Art Center's 25th History of Weaving Conference. Putting something in print and then making it public is a definite hit in the "how to put yourself out there" parade. But I have another manuscript in the works that is much more personal (working title, PuckHead) and its been a challenge to write. My goal is to get that manuscript into a shareable draft before 3/1/2020. And, maybe, to get it on its way to publication by the end of the year? (stay tuned, oh gentle readers - lol).
4. Health - I have some major things going on this Spring so health is top of mind right now. Looking forward to improved mobility this summer and hoping that this will result in volunteer opportunities - walking horses, back to the zoo as a docent, helping out at our local Humane Society or Creature Conservancy. There are so many options so this goal will get fleshed out much more in the Spring. For now, I'm already committed to swimming 2 x week and keeping my golf swing respectable. That's enough in this one ;-)
5. Conservancy - I need to consider how this goal will play out. Do I up the ante here on this blog? Do I volunteer more with Explore.org or other Citizen Science efforts? Do I work locally and, if so, can it have true global impact? This is another area where you can expect to see more clarity in the Spring. For now I just know that I need to do more in this space. Do you have suggestions on anything you have done or are doing? I'm really open to other successful thoughts here.
And see what I've done? I've already moved Conservation to one of my "points" and family to the underpinning and center of my start. Where it should be. If you've made it this far, I'll leave you with that admonition - make 2020 the year you deeply love the ones you're with and reach out to love and care for those who are around you.