Though January is already half gone (huh? whuuuh?), I've only just been able to think over the coming year and my hopes for it. I'm not calling my thoughts "resolutions," not that I think there is anything wrong with resolutions. They get a bad rap. So many people make fun of New Year's resolutions as pointless and made to be broken, but I say it's not so. It's good to be mindful about your life. Your life can be something that happens to you, or it can be something you build, consciously and conscientiously. There's a great piece of advice -- can't remember where I heard it, but it originated with someone's German ski instructor, Horst. It was this:
"You will go in the direction you are looking."
Isn't that fabulous? So simple and true -- not just of skiing, but of life. That's what New Year's *mindfulness* is all about. To get yourself looking in the direction you want to go, so your body can follow.
So, me. It's pretty much the basics, really.
-- Health and well-being and baby weight and feeling good in my skin.
-- Writing every day and finishing, in a timely manner, my novel in progress.
Those are the two things that are ALWAYS my "resolutions" every year. One year, one magical year, after not doing them and not doing them, I finally did them. Both. I finished my first novel AND lost the weight I wanted to lose (healthily) in one terrific year. Let 2010 be another such year!
In addition to the old stand-byes, there's this:
Live a beautiful and memorable life with my family. Do things. Make things. Go places. Have fun. Take pictures. Keep a journal.
My new mission statement:
Enjoy the world.
Have a beautiful life.
There are some specifics attached to those, like: go camping; have a warm beach holiday (maybe Mexico?); cook more new things; get back to journaling!!!!
JOURNALING! I haven't been a consistent journal-keeper in years. Years. And I'm kicking myself now for not starting again when Clementine was born. What was I thinking? You think you'll remember everything, how you felt putting a tiny little onesie on your tiny little newborn for the first time, and what nights were like those first few weeks, and the little lamb-like newborn cry, and the first real smile, and all the marvels, day by day. I've taken lots and lots of pictures, and that's good, but the words. The thoughts. Missing. And never to come again.
It's the same with my relationship with Jim. I met him at the start of art school, and various things in my life conspired against journaling then, which I had done consistently up until that point and I STOPPED. So I don't have a record of our first months and years (now 11 years!!) and I wish I did. I wish I could go back in time and put a pen in that younger self's hand and say, "Listen, you. Write."
Thinking about these lost times -- remembered, but not as fully as they could be, it really brings home the "once-ness" of life. Life is once, and it is irretrievable. Living it fully is the first and most important thing, and if there's only time for that, and no time for recording it, so be it, but if you can do BOTH, both live it, and record it, you should. Words and pictures and movies and art and even music, all the ways of capturing life as it flies by, capturing the imprint of it on the page -- like capturing the shadow of a bird in flight, the way Magpie does in Blackbringer.
So, I'm getting back to journaling. Clementine is 5 months and I want to remember it all, as well as possible, so I'm going to start a new journal. I've been thinking this for a few days, and being me, I of course envision an ELABORATE arty journal full of collage and color and stuff (if there's one thing I do consistently in all areas of my creative life, it's: make things more complicated than they need to be), but the elaborateness of the vision is intimidating. Who ever has time to begin something like that? Never. So instead of starting something you CAN get your hands around, at midnight perhaps, after everything else is done, you just never do it. Ugh. So this morning I grabbed one of my many cute waiting-for-content blank journals from the shelf and started writing in it. So simple.
Also ... unsatisfying. I still want that color and collage and pictures pasted in and little drawings and paper doll people and scraps and string and magic ... So. I'm going to the art store later and see if I can't make that happen. But the humble journal will be sitting by, just in case.
So there's that. Do you journal?
Oh, and by the way. Clementine made the shift from bassinet to crib last night, sniff sniff. She's outgrown the bassinet. She looked so teeny in the crib by comparison, instead of filling up the bassinet. So now she's about 10 feet away at night instead of 2, which is still very near! Her little nursery is adjacent to our bedroom through an open archway, so it's not even really like she's in another room (I don't think I could take that), but still. It was weird having her even in that other space. I lit the nursery with her ladybug star-projecting nightlight (cool) and her weird and awesome glowing dinosaur light that turns rainbow colors, so it was kind of disco in there. She slept soundly until about 2:30 and then I could finally bring her in our bed to nurse. I missed her :-)
And then, this morning, as if to prove she's truly outgrown the bassinet, when I set her in it to make the bed, she was grabbing the cover off the shade and yanking it down. Yeah, she shouldn't be able to reach that. Bassinet, finis. Until the next time :-) (That's another plan for the coming year -- to *start* another baby. If it's in the cards.)
And while I'm rambling about Clementine, can I just say that 5 months is awesome? She's sitting up, eating little nibbles of rice porridge, babbling like a brook (she says mama! But it's just a coincidence. It's just the sound she makes: mah-mah-mah, etc), rolling around, grabbing everything, laughing, trying to drink out of my coffee cup, playing peekaboo, and all kinds of other stuff. Wow. It's the coolest.
Okay. That's it. New Year's mindfulness and journaling and Clementine at 5 months. More later (hopefully) on the progress of fun, colorful journaling and more art-making!!!