Encouraged by another blogger, I am determined to go back and write about the first six prompts for December. More on the project at Reverb10.
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
Journey. I’ve been on this personal growth journey – both mind and body – since entering my *gasp* 40s. While I accept that a journey like this is lifelong, I’d like to be able to characterize 2011 with a slightly different journey. One with direction. So my 2011 word is: Direction.
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)
Self-doubt. I do self-doubt every day all day. What do I write? Why do I write it? Does anyone ever read it? What do they think? I could definitely stop doubting myself and write for me. If I have an appreciative audience, great. No audience, fine. Critics, fantastic.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
This one is easy. My son’s Bar Mitzvah this past September was an incredible rush. The planning was hard but worthwhile and fulfilling. The money spent was painful but expected. The event itself was beyond my dreams. We held a luncheon in our back yard both to save money (which turned out to be a huge misconception because we had to rent huge tents, tables, chairs, china, etc. which probably cost as much as a venue) and to create a simple but elegant experience that felt authentic and not showy. It wasn’t a huge affair and we couldn’t invite everyone we wanted to, but we did have quite a bit of family from out of town who even commented that this felt so “nice.” They’d never been to an event that had quite the feeling ours did. The best part? My son was beaming. He knew he was king for a day because he deserved it – he worked hard, did a great job, and showed what a wonderful young man he’s becoming.
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)
Wonder #FAIL. Or maybe not quite fail but mediocre effort here. This is something I really need to work on. I am completely charmed when my younger son says, “I wonder…” How does that get beaten out of us when we grow up? How do we get it back. Something to think about.
December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)
As I mentioned above, I’ve been on a journey this year. A huge component of that journey is letting go of illusions. I would like to live a life where reality and my perception thereof align. I think of it as an effort to reduce cognitive dissonance and accept what is. That isn’t to say that one shouldn’t strive for more, set goals, seek change… but rather to be content with how things are while at the same time charting a path for improvement.
December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)
I love Gretchen Rubin and here’s why: Her Happiness Project always asks simple questions that move me forward in my journey. Partially inspired by her, just last week I made two necklaces. They weren’t anything fancy – I’ve done bead weaving that is ten times as complex. In this case, I envisioned a necklace I’d have liked to own for an outfit I was planning to wear. It occurred to me I had the materials on hand and I know enough to put this thing together. One evening while my kids played their new Playstation 3 (their “big” Hanukkah gift this year), I took out my materials and in two hours I had exactly what I wanted. I wore it the next day to my son’s junior black belt performance and even got a few compliments (including one from my mother, which is saying something). It felt great. I have to remember that making jewelry is centering for me. While I’m doing it, I can’t focus on anything else, only what’s in front of me. That’s a huge win especially when I am feeling as anxious as I have been lately.
YAY! All caught up!