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Archive for January, 2011

Monday Post ~ January 31, 2011

Dreaming, doing, living

What would you like to accomplish creatively this week? Given the specifics of your schedule, decide on a realistic task or a milestone to reach for. Share your goal(s) as a comment to this post, and let us know how things went with your creative plans for last week, if you posted to last week’s Monday Post.

Suggestion: When you’re deciding on your creative intentions, it’s a good idea to think about WHEN you’re going to write those 2,000 words or paint that canvas. Try to schedule the time slots in your calendar (if you keep one), understanding that flexibility may be required. If things don’t happen when you wanted them to, that’s OK. Give yourself a gentle push with one hand, but pat yourself kindly on the shoulder with the other if you don’t reach your goal for a given week. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Ride whatever you’ve got.

It’s also useful to have a sense of your minimum requirements (come hell or high water I’m going to write 100 words) while keeping a lookout for sudden opportunities to do more. You know, the day that the baby takes a monster nap or your partner takes the kids out to run errands and you find yourself with an unexpected “extra” half hour. Grab that time for yourself. You can catch up on the dishes and the laundry later. If you keep something creative in the back of your mind for those sudden opportunities, you’ll be more likely to use them to your advantage — rather than squandering your precious bonus moments on Facebook or vacuuming out the sofa cushions.

Jenny: Having Kids Early vs Having ‘Em Later

I had a very enlightening conversation last night — one of many, in fact — with my host here in Sydney, Ms. Jodie Ekert.

I first met Jodie many years back when we were both fresh faces on the stand-up comedy scene (not saying anything about the current state of our faces, mind you, I am speaking purely metaphorically…ehem) — we hit it off and when some many months later she came to town to perform and was looking for an MC, she called on yours truly.

Fast forward x years later and we’re now playing mummy club together in her suitably faboosh child-friendly pad — her bub 15 months, my little dude just a little older — and we found ourselves with a whole new level of common ground over which to chin-wag.

And so it was that the topic turned to the effect that having kids has on your life when you have them early in life versus later. And Jodie’s take on it was an interesting one to me, given that my experience of parenting has been quite different, at least in terms of the timing in my life.

You see, I remember very boldly proclaiming to somebody that “I’m not having kids til I’m at LEAST 33!”, not realising of course, that at that very moment, I was indeed, pregnant.

Ha. Ha.

I was 22.

And once I’d overcome the initial shock of this unexpected twist of events, my first thought turned to all the things I’d wanted so badly to do with my life but hadn’t.

Backpack through Europe.

Carve out a career in showbiz.

Go to Nepal and hire a sherpa.

I was kicking myself for not having taken action before now: why hadn’t I just pulled my finger out and made these things happen when I had the chance? Now that I was going to be a mother, I’d have to just resign myself to those dreams going on the backburner for the forseeable future, if not off the stove altogether.

Then something in me snapped. I resolved — in my traditional melodramatic form — to absolutely NOT let this new stage of my life mean the end of the things I really wanted to do. I was so completely resolute in this, so determined to still make serious headway on even the maddest dreams and adventures in my heart that I think, to be honest, I actually became quite selfish.

I still believe I was a good mother in those early years, in that I cared for my kids, loved them to bits and made sure they were well looked after – but I also recognise now that I became so damn hell bent on achieving what I wanted to with my life that at times my mind wasn’t really present just to enjoy my beautiful babies right then and there, which makes me sad now especially as I realise how quickly those first years really do pass.

Would I change anything?

I don’t know.

The flipside of this, of course, is that my kids have always known (and will always know) a mother who is at least trying — with various levels of success and failure — to look after her own needs and pursue her own goals, as crazy as they may be. Whether this turns out to be a positive thing for them, I can only hope. Time will tell.

Anyway, I am in typical Jenny-fashion, getting rather side-tracked here.

My point is that for me personally, motherhood at such an early age hugely impacted on the way I live my life (duh!) in the sense that it made me resolutely determined to carve out the life I’d barely even begun to live.

Jodie, on the other hand told me that she felt — as a first time mother at 32 — that her struggle was more about dealing with the sense of loss of the life she’d already had. i.e. the career she’d had, even friends she’d had – the difference between her and I being that I’d barely even begun to carve out my life when motherhood hit, whereas she had an established life that then had to change.

Let me hereby state for the record that both of us adore our little ones to bits and are so happy that they are in our lives — but it is fascinating to me the effect that becoming a parent has on your whole world.

It was only last night that I really thought about my own experience from a different angle.

That is, up until now I’d kinda thought at some level that maybe if I HAD done all the stuff I’d wanted to do pre-kids, even if I HAD waited til I was “at least 33″ to have babies, maybe even if I HAD backpacked, treaded the boards and found my sherpa before embarking on the adventure that was family life, that the transition to “mother” would have been simple.

It’s now that I realise that’s just not so.

There’s never a “right time” to have a baby. They change your life no matter what.

And carving out a life for yourself is not just something you do in your early twenties — it’s a lifelong undertaking.

What do you reckon?

[Cross posted from Comic Mummy]

Kelly: Perceptions

I got an e-mail from my father recently with the subject line “This is our old house!” I looked at this picture but didn’t recognize the house, so I asked him the address. He couldn’t remember the address but said it was the one by the old Levitz and the arch in North Miami; we lived there through my elementary school years. I immediately e-mailed back with “17045 N.W. 11th Avenue, 305-620-0367. I remember the house being pale yellow with a big tree in the front yard.” Dad said that, yes, it had been yellow with a big tree in the front yard. I remember that Dad’s boat was always parked on the trailer on the side of the house where that car sits now. It was a pale blue boat with a large number 44 painted on the side. Dad was a daredevil, racing both boats and motorcycles when I was a kid, probably why speed is still in my blood today. My friend Timmy lived two doors down, and my best friend Terri lived around the block. My mom and dad were good friends with Carol and Wally across the street; they had children, too, but I can’t remember their names. They were even younger than I. Dad was down in Miami on business, and when he saw that old arch, he became curious about the old neighborhood and found the house. Looks pretty sad now, doesn’t it? That address was the opening line of this emotionally raw essay.

It’s fascinating to me how our perceptions change as we grow up. When I was a child, that house seemed huge! But thinking back now and seeing this picture, obviously it was quite small. Dad said it was about 800-900 square feet, three bedrooms, one bath. I remember there being a Magnolia tree in the corner of the back yard. I think the tree in the front yard was a Magnolia as well. Based on this little house, I guess we didn’t have much money growing up, but I clearly remember that I never lacked for anything I needed in those days. My mom was a nurse and my dad worked more than one job while going to school at night; they were 20 when they were married in May and I was born in December of the same year. It wasn’t until I grew up that I realized that math didn’t work out quite right.

There was an elementary school at the end of our street, but because of the times and busing in Miami in an effort to better integrate schools, we weren’t districted for that school. I was to ride the bus to a school on the other side of town. Instead, my parents put in me a private Christian school closer to home, where I was sent home more than once, a tomboy rebelling against the “dress” code by wearing pants. My sister was also born in Miami, but then we moved to St. Petersburg before she was a year old. We were in St. Pete for two years before my parents divorced, and Mom, Kim, and I moved here to the Jacksonville area to be near my Nana and Granddaddy.

My girls and I were driving through “the old neighborhood” a while back, and I showed them the house their daddy lived in when we met and where we lived together for six and a half years. “It’s so small!” they both said. It was about 1,000 square feet, three bedrooms, one bath, built in the ‘50s, a cute little concrete rancher in a neighborhood that has now had its share of neglect. Once we were ready to get started building our current home, we put that house up for sale on a Friday, and I went over to Tallahassee for a football game.  When I got back that Sunday, DH had already sold the house. We didn’t expect things to happen quite that quickly! Luckily, DH’s daddy’s house was vacant at the time, so we were able to move in there, the very house DH was born in and grew up in. It was about the size of my childhood house, and we lived there for the nearly year and a half it took us to build our home.

I think of my perception of my house when I was in elementary school and wonder what my girls think now. Our house is not overly large by any means, especially when I think about the houses my mother and her third husband lived in and the homes of many of my friends, but yes, we are blessed to have a river in the back yard. It’s interesting for me to see how my girls react to the houses of their friends. They have commented that their friends’ houses are smaller than ours…but they’ve also commented that their friends have “soooo many toys!!!” Maybe that’s perception, too, a perception on what’s really needed.  In their friends’ houses, yes, there are lots and lots and lots of toys. Here at our house, sure, the girls have some toys, but we try our best not to give in to every new toy on the market and instead encourage playing outside, making art, playing games together, and playing with the toys they already have. They always have their favorites anyways, don’t they (and the piano makes a great fort)? I don’t remember having a lot of toys. But I do remember always being outside playing, whether in the back yard, over with Timmy, around the block with Terri, or a combination of all the above.

I know you’ve probably heard that old saying about wanting more for your kids than you had as a kid. I wonder if in these days of excess and social media overload if that line of thinking can be a slippery slope. Maybe going back to those simpler days of no internet, no video games, fewer toys and more time playing outside is what our kids, and we, really need. That’s where memories are made.

[Cross posted from Artful Happiness]

Monday Post ~ January 24, 2011

Dreaming, doing, living

What would you like to accomplish creatively this week? Given the specifics of your schedule, decide on a realistic task or a milestone to reach for. Share your goal(s) as a comment to this post, and let us know how things went with your creative plans for last week, if you posted to last week’s Monday Post.

Suggestion: When you’re deciding on your creative intentions, it’s a good idea to think about WHEN you’re going to write those 2,000 words or paint that canvas. Try to schedule the time slots in your calendar (if you keep one), understanding that flexibility may be required. If things don’t happen when you wanted them to, that’s OK. Give yourself a gentle push with one hand, but pat yourself kindly on the shoulder with the other if you don’t reach your goal for a given week. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Ride whatever you’ve got.

It’s also useful to have a sense of your minimum requirements (come hell or high water I’m going to write 100 words) while keeping a lookout for sudden opportunities to do more. You know, the day that the baby takes a monster nap or your partner takes the kids out to run errands and you find yourself with an unexpected “extra” half hour. Grab that time for yourself. You can catch up on the dishes and the laundry later. If you keep something creative in the back of your mind for those sudden opportunities, you’ll be more likely to use them to your advantage — rather than squandering your precious bonus moments on Facebook or vacuuming out the sofa cushions.

 

Wendi: A Writer’s Introduction

I am a WAHM, working as a freelance writer and photographer, currently in Act II of a very happy and successful professional life. Prior to taking on these creative challenges I spent nearly 20 years working for two national nonprofit children’s organizations.

Through each of my professions, the one thing I have always been committed to is helping other parents get more joy and be more successful in the hardest and most rewarding job ever. When I’m not wrangling babies I’m a writing articles about nonprofit business management for Stevenson, Inc.

As a freelance writer my works about parenting and child welfare have been published on a regional and local level. I was recently featured as a guest blogger on Fans of Being a Mom and keep my own blog, Warts and All.

On the creative front, I love experimenting with my new digital SLR camera and sharing my love of photography with others. With two young children, I have to say that most of my creativity right now goes into planning what I will enjoy doing when I have more time, including scrapping some of the 10,000+ pictures I have taken since my kids were born. Right now I’ll settle for just getting them organized.

I’m an avid reader and love connecting with other moms over all things parenting.

I live in upstate New York with my husband and our children, ages 7 and 3. I can be reached at www.wendibrandowwrites.com.

Bonnie Rose: Look Closely

I’ll admit it.

I’ve been neglecting my scrapbooks lately. I have.

I’ve been playing so much with color and different mediums, that I’ve neglected adding to my scrapbook albums on a regular basis.

And time is going by.

I used to be such a faithful scrapbooker. So faithful.

Not doing pages in chronological order — because that’s just too impossible for me! — but I used to be a lot more into creating pages than I am now.

Now I’m more into evolving as an artist.

Playing with textures, different mediums, and exploring the color wheel. I am evolving.


So last week, when my girls were here with us, my daughter Bethany made the comment that I haven’t created any pages in a while, and you know, she was right. Dead right. I haven’t.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel guilty about that at all. I am evolving. And there are days when I journal, days when I play with color, days when I write, days when I meditate, days when I learn, days when I read, days when I play with canvas, days when I play in my sketchbooks and art journals, and there are days when I don’t create much. I just get inspired.

I am always filling up
my creative tank somehow.

So this morning, I decided to create a new page for my daughter’s album. Something I hope she will look back on and realize how often her mom thinks of her.

It’s all about
looking closely as you travel life’s journey.

Supplies used:
gingham 12×12 scrapbook page
dictionary paper
acrylic paints
white acrylic gesso
glimmer mist
flourish stencil
Japanese washi tapes
jillibean soup journaling sprouts
Black pitt pen used for journaling
rubber stamp from CatsLife Press
black alphabet stickers


I hope she loves it.

XOXO

[Cross-posted from A Life Unrehearsed]

Monday Post ~ January 17, 2011

Your Creativity in Action

What would you like to accomplish creatively this week? Given the specifics of your schedule, decide on a realistic task or a milestone to reach for. Share your goal(s) as a comment to this post, and let us know how things went with your creative plans for last week, if you posted to last week’s Monday Post.

Suggestion: When you’re deciding on your creative intentions, it’s a good idea to think about WHEN you’re going to write those 2,000 words or paint that canvas. Try to schedule the time slots in your calendar (if you keep one), understanding that flexibility may be required. If things don’t happen when you wanted them to, that’s OK. Give yourself a gentle push with one hand, but pat yourself kindly on the shoulder with the other if you don’t reach your goal for a given week. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Ride whatever you’ve got.

It’s also useful to have a sense of your minimum requirements (come hell or high water I’m going to write 100 words) while keeping a lookout for sudden opportunities to do more. You know, the day that the baby takes a monster nap or your partner takes the kids out to run errands and you find yourself with an unexpected “extra” half hour. Grab that time for yourself. You can catch up on the dishes and the laundry later. If you keep something creative in the back of your mind for those sudden opportunities, you’ll be more likely to use them to your advantage — rather than squandering your precious bonus moments on Facebook or vacuuming out the sofa cushions.

Joyelle: Why I Make Art

My name is Joyelle Brandt, and I am an artist/blogger/songwriter/mommy. Kind of feels like an AA introduction doesn’t it? But I guess that is appropriate, because creating is kind of an addiction for me. I do photography and mixed media art, and I write and record songs. Creativity is my sanity-keeper, through the sometimes long days at home with my 3-year-old son. I love being a mom, it sure beats all the day jobs I had before, but it is also the hardest thing I have ever done. I turn to my art to express myself, to relieve stress, and to remember the person I was before having a child.

I had an opportunity to clarify this for myself last August, when one of the neighbourhood kids was over for a playdate with my son. She’s 8 years old, and seemed fascinated with exploring our house. In particular, my microphone and Digi 003 were quite interesting to her.

“What is this?” she asked.

“My recording equipment.” I responded.

“Why do you have it? What’s your job?”

“Well, mostly my job is being Gabe’s Mom, but I am also recording a CD.”

“So you’re famous?”

This one caught me off-guard. Unsure how to respond I stammered… “Well no, but I’d like to be… Um, I mean not really famous, like those people who are stalked by Papparazzi or anything, but…” How does one explain the concept of an independent musician who creates music for love, and has long since realized that she is not cut out for a touring musician’s lifestyle?

We moved upstairs, where she turned her attention to a multimedia art piece I was working on. Again, the questions: “Did you make this?”

“Yes.”

“So you’re a famous artist?”

Wow. The fame thing again. And I wondered, is this just a natural response for someone who has grown up in our fame-obsessed culture? Is it assumed by today’s youth that to pursue an artistic calling is really a pursuit of fame? Because I’m pretty sure that the majority of creative people have absolutely no interest in fame whatsoever, and in fact many creative people are quite introverted. Finally I found a response: “No, I’m just someone who likes to make things, it makes me happy.”

And that’s really what it’s all about for me. I still have dreams of achieving a level of success that would allow me to make a living through my creative pursuits, but when it comes down to it, I make things, whether they are recordings, art, or otherwise, because it is what I do, because it makes me feel truly alive. When I am creating I feel that flow, the hours slide by me unnoticed and the worries of the day disappear from my consciousness. And I want to have that feeling as much as I can, in every aspect of my life.

My goal is to live my life artfully. Charles De Lint summed it up best when he said “All endeavor is art when rendered with conviction.” Creativity is not limited to artistic expression, although it is often manifested that way. It is a way of thinking, a way of being in the world.

I want to make art out of everything I do, from the way I parent my son, to how I decorate my house, to how I throw a party, to how I paint a canvas. It’s all the same thing. Because at the end of my life, it is not the level of fame or not-fame that will define my life. It’s whether I lived true to myself, whether I made of my life a work of art. So here is to the artful endeavor, and to all the creative people out there. May you live your days beautifully, and find joy in every creation.

Joyelle can be found blogging through the days here. You can listen to her songs here. Some time this year, you can visit her brand-new Etsy shop. She hopes.

Bonnie Rose: Color Your World, the e-Course


Registration is now open until January 31, and is open to the first 50 participants!

I hope you will join me!

Color Your World — The e-courseis designed to help you change the way you see yourself and your world, using art, color, photography, and journaling to access your hidden thoughts and dreams and encourage your own personal realizations, all in the safe space of a like-minded community.

Your own safe place.

As I guide you through this process, I’ll be sharing my own personal insights and inspiration gleaned from my own life, my own story; when participants come together online a tribe is formed, and the encouragement and fellowship found in these dynamic groups supports each person in their own journey — so if you’re yearning to reconnect with the real you and color your world — this is the place to start! We’re going to learn how to color our worlds. To add color. To add life. I’m here to teach you, how to live your life happier, more creatively, and so much more in color!

How is the Color Your World course run?
This course (session) will be eight weeks long.
It will begin on February 1, 2011.
It ends on March 31, 2011.
Last day to register will be January 31, 2011 at midnight, CST.
It will be a safe place, for women only.

This eight-week long online course includes:
  • eight weeks of DAILY creative jumpstarts, ideas, inspiration, prompts, and writings to help inspire you to live a more peaceful, happy, colorful life. I want to help you color your world with joy. With love. With truth. With bravery. With hope. And yes, with bright, bold COLOR!
  • oodles of INSPIRATION, special posts full of photos, links, art, interviews and more, only available to class participants (not posted on my personal blog).
  • personal FEEDBACK from me.
  • feedback and critique on artwork.
  • accessibility to me via my e-mail, Flickr, and facebook.
  • accessibility to a private COLOR YOUR WORLD Blogger Blog with daily posts for you to read, to get inspired, and to comment on! This blog will be available ONLY to paid participants.
  • our very own private Flickr group to build our own strong sense of COMMUNITY! A place online where we can all share each other’s art, lives, and photos. A place for all participants to post photos, participate in discussions, and grow more into the strong women we already know we are. A place to discuss the course content. A place to ask questions. A place to grow and build strong and loving friendships and lifelong connections. A place to share all the color in our lives!

More info and the registration page is here!

I hope you will join me!

Bonnie Rose

Monday Page Becomes Monday Post, 2011

The old timers at this blog will remember our Monday Page. For three years, the Monday Page was a dedicated section within this blog used for noting our short-term creative intentions/goals/hopes. The Monday Page was designed to help us focus at the beginning of each week and set realistic targets. Writing down your goals and posting them publicly creates a sense of accountability that for some of us is more effective than mulling over our ambitions internally — and continually putting them off as a result.

The Monday Page had its sporadic usage, but this year we’re going to try something different. Rather than using a separate page within the blog, we’ll be posting a Monday Post at the beginning of each week right here on the main page. If you’d like to participate, share your goals as a comment to the post. What can you accomplish during the coming week, given the specific parameters on deck? In breaking down a larger project, what small forward step can you take this week? Feel free to check in a couple of times to share updates on how your week is going or ask for a little commiseration when everything falls apart (as it will surely do, from time to time).

Suggestion: When you’re deciding on your creative intentions for the week, it’s a good idea to think about WHEN you’re going to write those 2,000 words or paint that canvas. Try to schedule the time slots in your calendar (if you keep one), understanding that flexibility is the #1 requirement for any creative mother. If it doesn’t happen when you wanted it to, that’s OK. If you wanted to write three haiku a day but only managed one for the whole week, that’s just fine. Give yourself a gentle push with one hand, but pat yourself kindly on the shoulder with the other if you don’t reach your goal(s) for a given week. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Ride whatever you’ve got.

It’s also useful to have a sense of your minimum requirements (come hell or high water I’m going to write 100 words) while keeping a lookout for sudden opportunities to do more. You know, the day that the baby takes a monster nap or your partner takes the kids out to run errands and you find yourself with an unexpected “extra” half hour. Grab that time for yourself. You can catch up on the dishes and the laundry later. If you keep something creative in the back of your mind for those sudden opportunities, you’ll be more likely to use them to your advantage — rather than squandering your precious bonus moments on Facebook or vacuuming out the sofa cushions. Right?

Bonnie Rose: Navigating creativity and motherhood

I’m Bonnie Rose Kempenich of A Life Unrehearsed. I am an artist, passionate blogger, writer, amateur photographer, and card designer — living my best life right now in Fargo, ND. I am growing as an artist, experimenting with new mediums and playing with bright and bold color. Bright colors just make me happy! I am a big believer in sending real mail, the warm fuzzies kind of mail. My goal for this New Year is to grow more as an artist, and to inspire you with my art and my writings. I have so much in store for you!

I have a unique story. I believe in being completely transparent, in the hopes of helping other women out there with similar struggles and stories. Click here to read more of my story in detail. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

No one lives a perfect life.

I live a different life than most of you, I believe. My children live apart from me, about three hours away. They are now teenagers, and honestly, our relationship together and our friendship has grown stronger over the years. I see them about every three weeks throughout the school year, and my ex-husband and I share holidays and school breaks. Negotiating my time with my children has gotten much easier with time. I am thankful for that.

For me, art has helped me so much as a mother who daily, misses her children. In the beginning years after our divorce, art kept me alive and sane. I would create photo albums for my children and fill every hour with creative things I could do for my two beautiful girls.

Now I am coming into my own as an artist, and love sharing my art with my children and with the world.

They see me blossoming and are so proud of me, their mother. They know all the pain we all endured years ago, and we all are happy now. So much happier.

I will always need to be creative. I will always need to express myself through art, through my writings. It’s what makes me, me. I strongly believe as women, we often live our lives being everything to everyone, and somewhere along the way, we lose ourselves. We struggle. We want more for ourselves, but are often scared to express our wishes, because we don’t want to feel selfish. I remind myself of this. No one can make me feel badly about myself without my permission. This is true.

It’s a choice.
Yes, our families and our children give us unending joy.
That goes without saying.

But in the quiet times, we must learn to give ourselves that joy.
Make ourselves happy.

As a mother who spends days and weeks without seeing the smiles of her children, I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin. To look around, and give myself snippets of joy.

Joy is everywhere.
We all need to open our eyes and look harder to see it hiding.
It’s there.
It’s there.

Joy.

You can read more about my life and art on my blog. I am a prolific blogger — meaning there is always something new and wonderful to share every day. Please come visit my Etsy shop for unique artist supplies, original art, and graphically designed greeting cards. A portfolio of my creations can be found on my Flickr page here. You can find me on Facebook here. Custom art and card design orders are always welcome! Wishing you all a fabulous New Year filled with dreams come true!


Jodi: My 2011 Goals — in Polaroids

I am not a “New Year’s resolutions” maker. If I want to change or accomplish something, I just do it. It seems foolish to wait until a certain date to make changes that you could, if you wanted to badly enough, make right now. But, I do look at the turn of the year as an opportunity to reflect on what I’m doing right (house clean, kids fed, husband smiley) and those things that I’m slacking off at (me time, my career, my outlets, my, my, my…). So, being a photographer who is obsessed with all things photographic, I decided to do things a little different this year. I recently discovered Jamie Ridler and her dreamboards and I really like that they put a picture to an idea. To me this makes it more real, so I borrowed this line of thinking and put my own spin on it!

I have a variety of cameras. My Canon 7D, my Minolta-35 mm, 120 medium formats, and 620 film cams. I also have a great collection of actual Polaroid cameras. They are probably my favorite of all of my ‘vintage’ cameras as they give me instant gratification (not to mention the amazing 70′s feel). So this year I set my main 2011 goals and then photographed them with my Polaroid Spectra 1200.

I recently made the difficult decision to close down my current daycare business in hopes of starting fresh with a photography business. 2011 for me is a completely fresh start and with that comes all new goals that could be set. My primary goal is to get my business established and generating some income. The first picture shows a small portion of my camera gear that is itching to be used in my new business. They also represent the vast amount of stuff that is piling up due to the fact that I don’t have a dedicated space.

Goal #1

Open my Photo Studio -- maybe 1/4 of my photo gear.

My second goal is tied to the first. I have always loved to dabble with paint, pastels, chalk, and all things crafty. I recently discovered that I have the desire to make my own textures and possibly artwork that incorporates my photos. I haven’t exactly narrowed this down — it’s a work in progress for now. All I do know is that I have two easels, sketch pads, watercolor canvases, and more paint, pencils, and chalk than one person probably needs. And they are homeless. They are currently piled up on my tiny desk in my room beside my littlest’s crib. My husband is always banging into them. He’s not very happy about this.

Goal #2

Create an Art Space -- it's piling up!

My third goal may be the one I’m looking most forward to. I am a caregiver by nature. I have run a daycare for 7 years and I have four kids. Before the daycare I was/am still a Certified Personal Trainer (ultimate career where you coddle people — exhausting) and I tried once during the 7 years to go back to work. I found work at the Red Cross doing personal care. In short, most of my adult life has involved me taking care of everyone around me. This year I solemnly vow to make more ‘me time’ and, here’s the kicker, not feel guilty that I could be doing something else. My picture shows my fave Aeropostale slippers and many Lush bath bombs that are unused. One is from Christmas last year! Yuck!

Goal #3

Make more 'me time' -- some of these bathbombs are from last Christmas!

Finally, I have always been a voracious reader. Between my cookbooks piling up in the kitchen, novels on my bedstand, photography and writing books in my office, aka the kitchen table, almost every corner of my home has a pile of books. The problem is that when I finally get the kids to bed, usually by 8, I still seem to have a million things left to do, whether for the current day or to get a jump on tomorrow. By the time I finally get up to bed, my favorite place to read, I fall asleep. I have to give myself permission to leave things for the next day and give myself that extra time to read.

Goal #4

Read more! I would love to finish any one of these!

I am hopeful. All the goals I have set are attainable — or I will make them attainable. I want my own business, I deserve more ‘me time,’ and I need to have a creative outlet — artwork and reading. I have posted the Polaroids on my bulletin board in my kitchen. I will look at them every day and when I accomplish that particular goal I will remove the Polaroid and tuck it away. I may even replace it with a new one!

2011, here I come!

Good luck with your 2011 goals — I’d love to hear about them!

Jodi

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