Where is my resolve?

So, where was I?

Oh, yes, summing up last years resolutions:

1. Work on Reading List WIN! This went wonderfully!  I think I got more reading done than I have in years.  What made the difference?

  • Committing to a reading group which was reading War and Peace.  Having a schedule of readings and deadlines to discuss the book with others really motivated me to dedicate the time needed.  When I was done with that (after about 6 months!) I’d already established some reading habits which helped me finish six more books last year.
  • Keeping my Goodreads profile updated.  By continually adding books which came across my path, and re-prioritizing the queue as I approached the end of a book, I was able to pay attention to what I was really interested in and keep my commitment to reading more updated.  No point in trying to read something which interested me in January but no longer does.  The fact that Goodreads has a facebook interface also helped, because the application was right there, reminding me to update.

2. Work on Books to Purchase ListFAIL!!! I didn’t buy a single book this year.  Why not?

  • I’m an avid patron of the library.  Rarely does not being able to buy a book keep me from being able to read it.  I have a “to-buy” list and this year I added four books which I read from the library, which were so wonderful I want them for my very own.  But I didn’t actually buy them.  Because….
  • Money is tight.  Don’t really need to explain this to anyone.  While my daily needs are well tended to, I don’t have the savings that I used to.  Expenses rise but income does not.  It’s hard to build that nest egg back up.  So buying books still seems like a luxury.  I think I need to revise this resolution:
  • When I have spending money, invest it in ways which further the things I care about, such as supplies, books, and acquiring the jewelry of other artists.  When I win the lottery, I can acquire that dream library in its entirety.

3. Work through The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and blog about it when something interesting comes upFAIL!!!  (with a caveat) I didn’t re-read this book.  But I did read two other books which impacted how I think about doing artistic work:

  • The Gift by Lewis Hyde:  Found through a NYT article about his more current work.  An examination of the idea of a ‘gift economy’ and how that might relate to artists and their work.  Having read this, I felt like I had a much better understanding of what’s at stake in the conversations about “FREE” going on at Make+Meaning and elsewhere.  It also somehow made me feel better about having decided to take a sabbatical from doing sales a few years ago after some really bad ones.  It has to be about something other than just chasing money.  Still figuring that one out, but this book was a start.
  • The Now Habit by Neil Fiore:  Recommended by Mary at PrettyGoodThings (need a super cute and sassy hat?  She’s your girl!)  This was just what I needed this year.  A very down-to-earth look at how our own expectations impact how much or how little we are able to get done.  A task seems like a horrible chore?  Of course we avoid it!  A series of realistic and no-nonsense ways to re-frame our “to-do” lists so that we can get them done and reap the rewards.  This is one book I do want to buy, because I still need to refresh and review a lot of what’s here and put it into action.  So lets re-frame this resolution too:
  • Continue to read books which push my thinking and support my work habits. I’m currently reading this, and I think this might be next in this category.

4. “Coffee time” at least once (eventually twice) per week:….I had a host of excuses for why I wasn’t dedicating the time and doing the work….I have to work with the circumstances at hand now….I might have to find new rituals: I think I can say this one was a WIN!!!!

  • Well, since money was somewhat better than in 2008, I committed to setting aside money and time by taking advantage of the local/next-door coffee shop‘s gift card deal: $30 worth of charges for only $25.  It helps me worry about the expense less, and I’m always happy to support local business.
  • While it might not have happened every week, I re-established the ritual of getting out and devoting some time to feeding my muse.  In the beginning, it was an offshoot of my committing to reading W&P, but more active creative work developed out of that time as well.  Later, I also started reading things more directly related to my jewelry (see resolution 3. above).  Reading has always been a good springboard for me, helping to calm, focus, and inspire me to make jewelry.  I’d still like to expand this to twice a week and spend more of that time sketching.
  • In the new rituals category:  I started going to the hot shop most Saturdays after work.  WIN!! I’ve really struggled with carving out time with the various employment situations I’ve had over the last few years.  Long story short, I had gotten stuck in the thinking that either there was not enough time after work, or I was too tired to be creative.  While that still seems true on some days, working in our garden plot this past year taught me that I have more time than I think I do, and if I simply commit to working on something that matters to me, working ends up being both relaxing and energizing.  I’ve been keeping it simple, only a few hours at a time, but have amazed myself with how much I’ve gotten done.  Most importantly, I find myself looking forward to it.  Cost of going to the studio:  A few hours of my time.  Turning a “I-have-to” into a “I’m-really-excited-to”: Priceless.

5. Open an Etsy shop: Well, technically, I have a shop.  But I worked on one item listing and immediately put in on vacation mode.  Is that a PASS or a FAIL??????? Obviously my head is not on straight about this one.  I am so sick of this being on my to-do list, yet it’s still not done.  Let’s save that discussion for another day, shall we?  Pretty please????

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2 Comments

  1. wacollins

     /  February 19, 2010

    Opening an etsy shop has been on my list for over a year too, and low ‘n behold, I finally pulled it together yesterday with nine items for sale.

    Of course I screwed up the registration and so the name of my shop is WhendiM’s Shop, instead of the infinitely clever “Hatso” like I wanted it to be. Oh well, there’s stuff for sale with photos. I guess that’s what counts at this point. Doesn’t it?

    Reply
    • It sounds like your shop is more ‘established’ than mine, that’s for sure!

      Yes, I remember that the shop name/user name thing isn’t quite clear as one is doing it. You CAN operate more than one shop, though, if Hatso isn’t already taken. Or just put it in on your banner. Congrats on the coffee clutch order!

      Reply

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