A blur. That's what time is these days. A blur of energy and emotion. Time has FLOWN and we find ourselves on the cusp of a brand-new year.
Are your living rooms still hiding shreds of wrapping paper and ribbon? Are your refrigerators overflowing with Tupperware and Zip Locks packed full of holiday leftovers? Do you still have the odd relative snoozing in the guest room? If so, you are lucky. Sometimes it's in the aftermath of a big event that you finally find the time to take a deep breath and reflect on what just happened....savor that.
To all that celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a phenomenal one. To everyone in general I wish you peace and joy during this time and into the new year as well.
The new year. I love opening a brand-new calendar. Crisp pages unmarked, the year divided into 356 neat and tidy identical squares--all blank but for their numerical identifier. Days full of potential--good and bad, but days that mark the passage of time in which we flow like salmon in a stream. EXISTENTIAL, MUCH?
Are you exhausted yet? I am. 2015 kicked my butt. Great things, terrible things, overwhelming things and intensely BORING things happened in my life during 2015 and while I have done my best to learn from all the lessons 2015 felt obliged to SHOVE DOWN MY THROAT, I am looking forward to a gentler, kinder 2016.
NO RESOLUTIONS. Just...stop already, okay? DO NOT GUILT-BUY THAT GYM MEMBERSHIP. Do not set yourself up this year. Simply accept that yes, a new year is about to begin, but that does not mean you have to force yourself to swear by some list of promises you may or may not be able to keep. Resolutions piss me off. Why? Because being forced to make a list of self-improvement implies that from the get-go YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH AS IS. Crap to that, I say. Take the new year for what it is...12 more months to exist and do the best you can as a human being crammed on a planet with 8 billion other human beings. Keep it simple.
My goals? To be kinder. To be quieter. To listen more and speak less. To make more art and give it away. To eat really good food. To smile more. To listen to more great music. To see more of my friends. To buy art from artists I love. If I have one "resolution-ish" thing to add to the list it would be to try---ugh---to not spend so much money on shoes. (Screw that, we know it's not going to happen. At this moment I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of FOUR NEW PAIRS OF SHOES I DO NOT NEED BUT ARE SO CUTE!!!! Seriously, Nordstrom Rack is having an UNBELIEVABLE year-end sale....)
I took quite a bit of time off artistically at the end of this year. My real life job is exploding--so many new and exciting events going on within our organization (Rare Species Conservatory Foundation). My role has expanded and so has my husband's. It's exciting and terrifying. I built our new website from scratch using WIX (more on that in another post--I love WIX!). We have new staff, new programs and babies everywhere. Baby primates and bongo antelope--the best gifts and more than I could ever ask for. My focus has been here, on the farm, not in the studio, and that is really okay. If 2015 has given me anything it is a bit more clarity of purpose. Art will always be my refuge, but I find I don't need to bury myself in it in order to feel better about the world. As a conservation biologist, I am deeply aware of what a perilous time we live in for humans and nature alike. A terrible time, to be honest. But I can't hide from that and if what we do here at RSCF can help a fragment of our natural world survive and hopefully THRIVE, then I am doing good work.
Yes, this is the world's cutest family of pygmy marmosets.
I haven't really been in the studio since October. Considering I finally got a brand-new stand-alone studio on our property that may seem odd. You'd think I'd be in there 24/7. In a way, the new studio has relieved the pressure I felt before to create frantically, whenever I had a moment to spare, standing over the overflowing bench in the garage, working in 20 minute chaotic spurts. No more. My studio is there, waiting. It's not going anywhere and neither am I. I've got time.
So, in this rambling post, I offer you all a few pieces of totally cliched, yet good advice. Slow down. Quit hating on yourself. Accept who you are at this moment and love that person. Make art when, where and IF you want to. Give some of it away, and buy somebody else's. Go outside and look up. Breathe.
To start 2016, I am giving away a bit of my art. A set of two hand-forged, 8 inch copper bangles. Comment below how you plan to make 2016 a better year for YOU, and next Tuesday I will put your names in a random name generator to pick the winner. My gift to you!!!
I wish us all a fantastic 2016--NOW GO MAKE SOMETHING AMAZING!