Yesterday, between the traditional holiday activities (in our house they consist of watching the Rose Parade and myriad bowl games, playing games of Scrabble and cooking dinner), I spent some time mentally reviewing 2015 with, I have to admit it, a certain amount of satisfaction. It was a very good year. Now the question is, how do I maintain the momentum? How can I make sure that 2016 is a very good year?
I also spent some time yesterday catching up with friends' blogs. It was good to see what everyone has been doing over the holidays, and I enjoyed reading posts about plans for 2016. Many people, in fact, have chosen a word to represent their endeavors in 2016. Something to serve as their mantra through the year. Something to keep them focussed. It's a very interesting concept.
So I spent the afternoon, while sitting through several lopsided bowl games, thinking about possible words. What could I use as a word to represent my intentions/thoughts/aspirations for 2016?
The first word that sprang to my mind was "patience." I tend to be impatient. I always want "it" (whatever the "it" of the moment may be) immediately. If I order something online, I want it now. If I dye or shibori fabric, I want to see the result now. With every piece that I make, after the design decisions are made and the construction is well under way, I want to be finished now. I am constantly running to the next project, the next thing, the next idea. It's a rather frantic way to live and to work.
I read an interesting post by my friend Gwen Walsh last week. Gwen posts weekly on Linkedin, and her articles are always worth reading. Last week she wrote about "The 'Perpetually Busy' Trap". While not directly about impatience, she talks about the "frenetic state of motion...running from task to task." She stresses the importance of stepping back and taking the time to think and to plan. In fact, she advocates scheduling time to do so. Her viewpoint is from the corporate world, of course, but I feel that her message applies to my work as well.
But will the mantra "patience" take my work to the next level? Is it enough to be patient?
Another word I considered was "savoring." While I'm running from one thing to another, I want to savor the good things that happen, the wonderful things that life has to offer. Friendships. Travel. Family. My garden. The joy of creating.
And that brought me to "joy." I think that may be the one.
I LOVE what I do. The process. The resulting quilts. The friends that I have made. The travel it enables and requires. And I admit, I love to show my work, to receive positive affirmation, even to compete. After many years in the corporate realm, I feel very fortunate to be able to spend my working life creating.
So for 2016, when I seem to be losing focus, or I become impatient, my mantra will be JOY. I will try very hard to focus on the joy that the act of creating, showing and competing bring to me. Because I am certain that if I focus on the joy the year will be a very good one indeed.