You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments and that bridge must be crossed daily. Over time, that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future. - John Maxwell
One of my favourite projects from 2012 was a little girl's coat sewn with an orange and black wool blend found in the bargain section for two dollars a meter. The fabric is lovely to work with and the pattern a wonderful canvas for creative moments. I've sewn it several times.
Approaching 2013, I wanted to start as I meant to go on which included a clean house, a good night's sleep, time with family, generosity, and an energizing project. I spent the 31st and the 1st stitching a second version of the coat as a gift for my husband's cousin's not that new baby. She was born last May - and this is a size three - so we're okay - LOL.
I planned for three rows of ruffles along the bottom - a long, tedious, and boring step. Part way through, compromising with just one row started to sound like a great idea except one row would have significantly altered the finished look. There was no rush and plenty of fabric and therefore no need to compromise. The only thing between me and three rows of ruffles was creative laziness. When I asked myself am I doing the work of creating my best version of this coat? the answer was no so I sat my behind in the chair and sewed three rows of ruffles.
This year, I didn't want clearly written goals, immediate, mid and long term checkpoints, and a list of step-by-step milestones. I've done that kind of goal setting before and, no thanks, not this year. Having - finally - laid to rest some far too demanding demons, I'm not anywhere near so driven and I'm choosing a more organic and less exhaustive intention - do the work - and an ongoing question - am I doing the work? When I am doing the work, there will be room for celebration and when I am not, there will be room for correction. Good and enough.
Over the past month, I've journalled about creativity and relationships and finances and personal growth and spirituality and health and more. What I haven't done is write out a how-to list because we all know the how-to steps. They are the same time after time. To lose weight, eat less, exercise more, or both. To improve finances, spend less, earn more, or both. To create an X, Y or Z, sew an X or a Y or a Z. To use up the stash, use up stash. To stop increasing stash, stop buying. To write, sit at the keyboard and write. To pray, pray. To study, study. To make a home, be home making. And so it goes. It's not a lack of information; it's a lack of action.
In the area of creativity, my plan is to play and to experiment, explore the details, and become more fully immersed in the process and the project. I want to learn to do by doing and by working consistently in the studio on a daily basis.
For me, 2013 is not about just surviving; it is about thriving. I've been wasting too much time that could be better spent creating. I want to stop talking, take action, and do the work. I want to get up each day knowing what my overall objectives are and what it will take to achieve them and then do the work. I believe this will be a gentler, more self-caring, and achievable approach although I imagine by the end of the year I will be heartily sick of the phrase - do the work - even as I have developed new habits and a new direction for the future.
The great composer does not sit to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. - Ernest Newman
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - the perfect tangerine colored buttons IN stash!