The year has been off to a good start. First there was the resolution of a situation that had been the cause of much stress and worry for a long time (you may have noticed me hinting at it) and then there was some unexpected good news (I can't wait to share it with you later this year!!). I've been excited about my new word for the year and energized by organizing for the coming year.
I've been painting, too. I finished off this fiddle leaf fig painting*:
And these butterflies**:
I've been slowly re-learning Illustrator in order to kick my fabric designing into gear.
I recolored a design I created last year:
and digitized this sketch:
this new drawing:
both for a contest on Minted. (I'd love for you to vote for me there! I've also submitted my favorite nasturtiums painting. You can click on the images or text above or on the badge in my sidebar to find where to vote).
And yet, even with the good news and the progress, I wasn't feeling sunny.
It bothered me that I wasn't feeling sunny.
And then I realized something. I seem to feel this way every January. There's the pull between wanting to get everything done RIGHT NOW and the impossibility of the task. There's a bit of a let-down after the initial fresh start of the new year. Maybe you feel it, too?
In my studio I have a little "clothesline" hung beneath a shelf. It's really just some string tied to a couple brackets. I use mini clothespins (less than 2 inches long) and hang little bits that inspire me or bring me joy. Lately it's mostly paint splotches and mini paintings. And fortune cookie fortunes.
I have a thing about fortune cookie fortunes. I can't help it. They're fun. And sometimes the fortunes are interesting or thought provoking.
Back in December Matthias and I brought home Chinese takeout and got these two fortunes:
The way to get to the top is to get off your bottom.
It isn't our position, but our disposition, that makes us happy.
Motivation and food for thought, both good for the new year.
After I made my realization about my January mood, I started thinking about that second fortune.
Having a good start to the new year, receiving good news, being in a better situation than I was a month ago aren't going to make me happy. I am the only thing that can make me happy.
A newly opened orchid flower on a plant on the windowsill or the swoop of an eagle above the road or a morning of freshly sparkling snow won't bring me joy unless I take the time to pay attention, notice them and truly see their beauty.
Intention is my word for the year. Intention is not just about action. It's about thought. It's about meaning.
Yes, I plan to get off my bottom plenty this year. But I also plan to spend a lot of time thinking.
What about you? How is your new year going?
*Original painting available here and prints in two sizes available on Etsy.
**Original butterfly collection painting available here and print available alone or part of a set on Etsy.