As I’m struggling with what to write here and reflecting on the last twelve months, I realize that “struggle” wouldn’t be a wholly inaccurate description for the year that’s about to end. In truth, 2013 was actually pretty good, a typical year with typical highs and typical lows. This year I actually kind of accomplished what I set out to do: I had work in a total of six shows, not including open studios [unbelievable], worked on a few interesting projects, met some great new folks, and reconnected with others. I’ve certainly struggled with bigger, more serious challenges in previous years, but I feel like 2013 was a year of searching–struggling–to find my voice, direction, and looking for inspiration. I think maybe this year I finally decided to start collecting all the pieces left crumbled around me from those other, more challenging years. The struggle I felt in 2013 wasn’t from any new set of challenges, but from the task of putting those pieces back together and trying to make meaning.
Just know that if you’ve struggled at all in 2013, next year will be better. Below are a few snapshots from the past year, in the new year I’m going to try to look harder for the everyday beauty around me, and be present in each and every moment. I think I may even try do something I’ve not ever done before… be positive.
What are your hopes, wishes or resolutions for 2014?
I’m taking a moment to end this radio-silence to provide some much needed perspective (for myself). Sometimes it’s hard to look yourself in the eye and see that despite all the ups and downs, you’re really okay (especially at this time of year– for me). So, if you are reading this, here are 19 signs that you are dong better than you think :
- You are alive.
- You are able to see the sunrise and the sunset.
- You are able to hear birds sing and waves crash.
- You can walk outside and feel the breeze through your hair and the sun’s warmth on your skin.
- You have tasted the sweetness of chocolate cake.
- You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
- You awoke this morning with a roof over your head.
- You had a choice of what clothes to wear.
- You haven’t feared for your life today.
- You have overcome some considerable obstacles, and you have learned and survived.
- You often worry about what you’re going to do with your life – your career, your family, the next step, etc. – which means you have ambition, passion, drive, and the freedom to make your own decisions.
- You live in a country that protects your basic human rights and civil liberties.
- You are reasonably strong and healthy – if you got sick today, you could recover.
- You have a friend or relative who misses you and looks forward to your next visit.
- You have someone with whom to reminisce about ‘the good old days.’
- You have access to clean drinking water.
- You have access to medical care.
- You have access to the Internet.
- You can read.
I often don’t take enough time to be grateful for all the little things that get me through the hard times and the everyday repetition, but they are there and they are reassuring [source].