I love the week between Christmas and New Year. Time seems to stand still and everyone is in the mid-holiday jolly mood. Folks no longer have that frenzied glaze that comes over them right before Christmas when they're trying to get everything done by Christmas eve, and so they're relaxed, full of good cheer and kindness. It's still ok to sing Christmas carols, but your thoughts might be on dismantling the tree and eating healthy too.
For me, I love to take this week and wrap up old business of the year and prepare for new business and a fresh, shiny new year. I get the urge to do a little spring cleaning of both my house and my soul. I like to spend time reflecting on the year that is ending, the things that went right, and not so right and how I can change things to make them better. I also take the time to thank folks I may have missed in the frenzy of the year and I try to wrap up any old business.
As I look back on 2010, it was a very good year and a hard year. I made huge life changes in 2010, starting with moving to a new house, a new city, a new state and changing my career. Leaving Los Angeles was a dream I've had since I was about 10 years old, and it only took me another 30+ years to do it. The move was both wonderful, and difficult. I didn't anticipate how uprooted I would feel and how much effort I would put into making new roots and new friends. The beginning of 2010 was a little lonely, but I've made some wonderful new friends here in my new hometown, and the quality of our life has improved immensely. I also didn't realize what a huge life alteration it would be changing from a career as a biochemist at a university, to a career as a knitwear designer at home. This has been a good change for me, but it has taken adjusting and I'm surprised by how much I miss going in to the lab sometimes. I don't regret it for a moment though, working for myself has been rewarding beyond measure.
On the physical side of things I spent today cleaning out the fridge and refreshing my sourdough cultures,
cleaning up my office
and hanging some pictures.
The house feels spruced up and ready for action! My office feels ready for me to create and that's a really important feeling. I used to live in a very cluttered space and it is difficult to create when your space feels cluttered and closed in. One of the things I am most thankful for, is that our move to Oregon has resulted in wide open space around us. Our city is less crowded, our house is less crowded, and my studio is a perfect place for creative work to happen. I feel very lucky.
At this time of year I also like to think ahead to the coming year and I make New Year's resolutions and set goals of all sorts. I know resolutions are not for everyone, some people feel pressured by them, others think they're not useful for various reasons. For me, they help me to figure out where I want my life to go in the coming year. I don't rigidly hold myself to them, but they're useful as a motivational tool and an introspection.
This year I'm trying a new way of thinking about resolutions. I'm listing the things I want to be important without getting specific about the details. For 2011, these are the things I'd like to rise to the top (in no particular order).
How about you? Do you like to make New Year's resolutions or do you just take things as they come? Either way, here's to the new year that is just around the corner!