The end of the year is finally here and my mind is turning over this past year, looking at the good and the bad, and trying to make some sense of it all. A lot has happened this year. In some ways, it seems like some things must have happened a year or two ago, but in reality they happened just this year!
I ended my photography business (of two years, which I left my business job for before that) and decided to finally commit 100% to my art business (of 11 years) when they both demanded too much of my time to keep both. I realized that art is what matters to me. That was a big one. Huge, really, after fighting it for so many years because in society's eyes (and that of many friends and family) art is a career undeserving of respect, most especially if you are a woman (and if you disagree, I challenge you to name even three famous women artists. There have been plenty, but we don't know them. The reasons for that are long and boys-club based, and not worth dwelling on.) I finally came to terms with the fact that this is who I am meant to be, for better or worse, so it's about time I start dedicating the energy to it that it needs. This makes me sound as though I just started my real art business, but I had been showing and selling since 2001 professionally... I just never gave it the real chance that it deserved. I'm doing that now, and that's a very big "Yay Me!" for 2012.
On a furry front, we lost Max, and then gained Lily. Max was a huge loss to me, in a way I didn't quite expect. By the same token, Lily was a huge gain as well. Life has a way of balancing out, doesn't it?
There was a major crisis in my family that I didn't share, but I can tell you that it scared the life out of me and I still worry every night when I go to bed. I'm working on that, but living with fear like this is draining, and makes a daily sort of impact that must be acknowledged (especially for a person like me who tends to swing to the darker side of things more often than not.)
I also ate a lot and backed off of my fitness (which means I gained a lot of weight too.) I'm not sure there is a precise reason as to why I did this. This year was the year of me constantly failing, and I'm sure it all boils down to my coping skills being less than stellar. I took a lot of hits on a personal level this year that I didn't discuss publicly, and I continued to cope by crawling into my hole. Basically, I feel like this year was about taking completely unexpected hits from all over the place, as well as committing and putting myself out there in a way that makes me exceptionally vulnerable and exposed. For some reason, this was a near lethal combination for me.
While the boat feels like it never stopped rocking even once, I'm starting to adjust to the motion. Or at least I'm at the point where I can think beyond immediate reactionary measures and say to myself "Well, what are you going to do about it now? We've done Chicken Little, we've gone back and licked our wounds, we've gotten sad and angry. Now it's time to push forward, no matter how scary, and do something."
I won't make resolutions. I don't like them, because they seem more about creating opportunities to fail than to succeed. Instead, I have 2013 goals.
Work goals for 2013
- Flesh out my body of mainstream work, and resurrect my abstract and surreal work so I can find balance between the two.
- Art fair(s?) I need to attend at least one, probably two. I was going to start traveling, but I'm just not ready to do that yet and I'm unwilling to work with galleries as I have in the past.
- A painting a week, even if it's not a big painting and I'm working on a larger piece, finish a smaller one. I'll allow for some sick time and vacation in there, so... 48-50 paintings for 2013.
Fitness goals for 2013
- Get the food back on track. BFL style nutrition.
- Exercise is pretty much on track, but I'm kicking off the year with another round of P90X (which I've already started.)
- Weight, I'm freaking DONE with fighting myself on this. I will get to around 150lbs for my health and sanity. It's not the perfect goal, I'm sure I'd look better thinner, but I'm 5'10 and it's bang in the center of my weight range, and I've been there before. This time, it will be enough (last time, it was not and that made it a goal unworthy of keeping, as I'm currently evidence of now.) So, that's about a 40 lbs loss I need to make happen, and I will. My daughter will still look at me in horror even then, and she will fear that she'll somehow one day look like me (just like she looks at me with terror now), but it will be good enough for me. I am not a model, I am not a beauty queen. What I need is for my body to be healthy and to work for me. That's IT.
- Run a race in the autumn again. I'd like to get back to the races, as I didn't run a single one in 2012.
Life/Personal goals for 2013
- It irritates the heck out of me to say this, but I'm going to work on phrasing things in a more positive manner (and if one of you people goes all Mary Poppins on me about this being fantastic, I'll hunt you down and smack you.) I don't know that I can change the fact that I am a optimistic pessimist (I think everything is pretty much going to go wrong, but deep down I'm always hoping they won't), but I'm at least going to try to see the brighter side of things even when they suck. I will not be starting a grateful jar or any of those sorts of things, because I KNOW what I am grateful for, and keeping a journal or jar of that fact just pisses me off. (How's that for being positive? Heh.)
- One of my goals has always been to let things go, but the truth is that I never let anything go. So instead, my goal is to accept that things are they way they are even though I cannot let them go.
Life goals are tricky, because so many of them revolve around changing who we are, our personalities, and so on. There are a million things wrong with me, as so many people love to point out. I'm aware. I've spent a lifetime coming to terms with the fact that I am an artist, I am an intense person, and that I have a right to be this way because this is who I am. I am not aiming to change who I am, and instead I'm working on just dealing with that and existing. Existing may not sound like a big accomplishment, but when you spend a lifetime trying to fit into someone else's box or idea of who you are, or should be, or should act, or should feel... Just being is a huge accomplishment, and that is my main life goal for 2013.
Lastly, I leave room for new goals. Because no one should ever limit their goals and dreams simply because of a date on a calendar that only comes once a year!
Happy New Year's Eve to everyone!
(I volunteered to host a teenage New Year's Eve Party and sleepover, so my house will be packed with a bevy of 14-15 yr old girls, and 12-13 yr old boys... and trying to get both factions to leave one another alone. I hear they're pulling out the Wii Karaoke and everything.)