Welcome 2012

Life

two crows sitting on the boardwalk
I always like to start a new year with a blog post about things to look forward to. I don’t have any resolutions. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would rather focus my attention on two things: analog and authenticity. This year I want to be more focused creatively. I’ve been thinking about the creative things that bring me joy and photography is way high up on my list of things I love to do. So this year I am really going to explore photography in a way I haven’t before. I am really interested in film photography now so I’m gonna go with it.

I also like to write. Writing doesn’t come as easily for me. I can do it and I think I’m pretty good at it. I should be, I was a literature major in college. But creative writing is a challenge. I am not one to whip out stories. I would like to be able to do that but the ideas just don’t flow freely, if at all. Yet when they do come it makes me very happy. So I really want to develop a writing practice this year. And I’m going to do it old-school. I’m going to hand-write in a notebook.

I want to be myself this year in everything that I do. I want to be authentic. I don’t know if that needs much explanation and I think I’m still trying to figure out what that means exactly for me. But I will figure it out this year.

I am going to try to post here everyday in 2012. I may do a few video blogs.

I signed up for Cannonball Read iv, so expect to see more book reviews here, as well.

May 2012 be filled with peace, love, and happiness!

Welcome, 2011!

Life


It’s 2011! There have been a few years on this blog where I’ve posted my goals and thoughts about the upcoming year. I thought I’d do it this year. It’s kind of an interesting exercise.

This year, though, I’m going to throw out resolutions. Totally throw them out completely. Because I usually set a resolution on New Years Day and feel really excited about it for about a month and then I totally lose interest and then feel like a failure. Instead, I’m going to think in terms of Practice.

I’ll continue this being healthy thing that I’ve been doing (which I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon on the past couple of weeks). But I want to approach it as a practice. I came across this interpretation of the Five Precepts by Thich Nhat Hanh that I really like. He approaches them as Mindfulness Trainings. The Fifth Mindfulness Training is:

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

I love this! So I am going to approach my healthy lifestyle with this mindfulness practice in mind. Granted, it might not be easy all the time, but I’ll do my best.

With this in mind, I had kind of a crazy idea yesterday on my way to work. I thought to myself, “What if, for an entire year, I didn’t buy anything for myself?” Really. What would that be like? Obviously I would have to buy food and things like that. But I’m thinking about purchases like books and, basically, stuff. Stuff that takes up space that I don’t really, really need.

Obviously, today is the first day of the year and I’m not sure I’m going to jump right into this today. But I’m going to think about it a little bit. It’s an interesting idea, I think.

As far as other goals, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing these past few months. Learning the ukulele, continuing with my zazen, etc. Just basically going with the flow.

I’m excited to see what 2011 has in store.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Life
2007 New Year's Eve in Berlin.

Image via Wikipedia

Hey guys! It’s 2008! Yay! I’m ready for a new year.

I love New Year’s Day. It’s full of hope and possibilities. Full of looking-forward to the future. A day where we can wipe away everything and start fresh.

So. I have lots of plans for this up-coming year. Lots of projects in mind.

1. Project 365. I am participating in Project 365 on Flickr. It’s the official “picture-a-day” group. Yeah, I’m going to jump on that bandwagon again (Flickr set is here.) I am not going to post a picture here everyday. Maybe once or twice a week.

2. Project Spectrum. Project Spectrum 3.0 kicks off in February! I’m very excited about the Elements theme this go ’round. The first element that we will be exploring is Fire. I have already started. I made a little trip to the fabric store and had fun picking out red, orange, and pink fabric for a quilt I will be doing. I may actually finish this before February because I’m really excited about it.

3. Blogging. I am going to try to get in at least 4 blog posts a week. I like the format I used for Nablopomo so I think I will use that. Mondays will be the day I post about crafting (so all of you who are uninterested in that can just ignore). Tuesdays will be a random day. Wednesdays will be about current events. Thursdays random. Photography Friday. Saturday book talk.

What are your resolutions? I’m not sure I have any hard and fast resolutions this year but I do want to focus on a few things.

1. Yoga. I have recently discovered yoga and I’m am really loving it! I want to really explore it more this year.

2. Vegetarianism. I’m going to focus more on becoming a vegetarian. If I do eat meat it will be chicken and fish. I am cutting red meat and pork out of my diet completely.

3. Running. I always talk about this on New Years day. But this year I want to get back into a running practice. I got a pretty good start about a month ago but have been lagging over the holidays. Time to get back on track!

4. Photography. I really want to focus on becoming a better photographer this year. This is to be my hobby of priority. I want to learn more!

5. No Sugar! My husband and I are sugar addicts. In a major way. So we are determined to cut the sh*t out of our diet as best we can. No more cakes, cookies and candy! Damn it!

Here’s to 2008 :raises glass:

Have a good one!

Welcome, 2006

Life
Credit cards

Image via Wikipedia

Okay, as I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to post my goals for 2006 today.

  1. Stop using my credit cards. This was one of my goals last year and I failed miserably. I am going to give them all to my husband so that he can hide them from me. Then, if I really need to use them I will have to go groveling to him. This is the year I start on the path to paying off my credit cards.
  2. Running. Okay, every year on Jan 1st I join Weight Watchers. And three months later I stop. The problem so far has been that I spread myself too thin in the “healthy” department. I try to do too much. So this year I am going to focus only on the excercise part. I have always loved running so I will concentrate on being a kick-ass runner. I am going to train for the Bloomsday race in May, so I will have a goal to work toward. If I eat healthy in the process, fine. All the better. But I will focus on becoming a runner again.
  3. Stop watching television. This is something my husband is doing, so I guess that means I am too. At midnight this morning he disconnected the cable wire from the t.v. so I guess he is serious.
  4. Start reading more. This was one of my resolutions last year, too. I really do need to read more for my job. I have to know what the kids are reading these days. The former head of Youth Services at SPL (before she left a month after I started the job) told me that when she started out in the field she read 5 books a week. I don’t think I can do that. But I think I will try for at least 2 books a week. No television watching will certainly help with this goal.
  5. Re-learn to play piano. We just got a Yamaha keyboard for Christmas and I’ve been tinkering around on it the past week. Making music, regardless of how crappy it sounds, has made me very happy. So I want to re-learn how to play the piano.

Happy New Year

Life

We are staying in tonight. It’s still rainy and stormy outside. Plus we are not party people. We ordered pizza and are watching a few movies.

I’ve been thinking about my resolutions for next year. I’ve decided that next year I will not use my credit cards, and I will pay off my credit card debt. I’ve also decided to read more. Since I started knitting my reading time has been eaten into. I think I want to dedicate at least a half an hour a day to reading. Also, like Dianne, I want to eat heathier. This is my resolution every year, I swear. Last year I did pretty good. I joined WW on Jan 2nd and lost about 20 pounds doing that. I stopped WW in March and the old habits came back and ten pounds creeped back up. I really want to change my eating habits this year and change them forever. So I will be working on that.

Reflections on this past year….Well, there have been some really good things that have happened to me personally. I got my first professional job as a librarian. I took up knitting and fell in love with the fiber arts. I met some really cool people via the whole blogging thing. ( also ran into some really awful people, too).

Unfortunately, 2004 has been a not so good year for me, though. I have ended this year feeling really disillusioned with the world. The election left me feeling lost. It knocked the wind out of me and I haven’t really recovered completely. The Iraq war blazes on and the needless death continues.

And now there is the unconscionable death and destruction from the Asian Tsunamis. We will be well into 2005 before we truly comprehend the full devastation.

Personally, 2004 could have been better in many ways, as well. Because of my political disagreements, I have become estranged from my sister. It’s a long, sordid story and one that I would rather just forget. But, well, there it is. Also, right before Christmas, I found out that a good friend of mine at work has just been diagnosed with lukemia. She has spent the holidays in the hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatments. I’ve spent the holidays really worried about her.

I’m not writing this to be a total downer. I’m writing this so that I can look back on Jan 31 next year and be happy that 2005 was a better year than 2004. I will certainly try to make it better. I am hopeful that it will be.