General Posts

My Hopes for the New Year

View of Potomac River from Weaverton Cliffs on the AT

I have been quiet here as of late but I wanted to write now because I feel that when I put my thoughts to “paper” I am able to heal as well as have others relate to me. Its always a let down for me after the holidays are over. After so much celebration I feel myself hitting the emotional bottom around this time. This past year has been so hard since my mom isn’t here anymore. I had high hopes for 2015 but a lot of personal upheaval has left me ragged. It took a lot for me to push through some days, a lot of mornings I would wake up in a panic with my heart racing. Not all of it was bad though. I was able to complete the Patapsco Epic 50 mile mountain bike course, do my first solo overnight bike camping trip, hike a bit on the Appalachian Trail with my friend Cathy, visit with family this summer and take mom’s ashes to the farm, and complete some pretty cool projects with Cunningham Studios.

Throughout this past year I have had to remind myself that the decisions I have made, although hard and ugly, are the best for me in the long run.  My mother’s passing triggered a lot of introspection and honesty. I don’t like to hurt others but sometimes its unavoidable. I am lucky that I have a good group of people surrounding me that love and care about me. One of my goals for this year is to keep focused on my needs and desires and to be the best I can for others. I struggle with feelings of selfishness and guilt but I try to remind myself that if I am not taking care of me then I can’t give others my best self. My other goals are to be positive when meeting challenges, treat people with love and care, and not take things personally that I don’t have control over.

Its also been hard to feel creatively inspired these past few months. I worry that I won’t be able to complete the amount of work I need to in order to have enough for my first solo show this coming September, but as my friend Sheri Hoeger said in her blog Art To Live By:

” I also give myself permission to not be as productive as I normally would be. Some days to not be productive at all. Cry when you need to cry. Reflect when insights strike you. “

For someone like myself who has to be doing something every minute of the day; not being productive feels very uncomfortable. I have to tell myself its ok not to want to paint right now. That inspiration will come back and I need to give myself permission to slow down and not criticize myself. Death and loss make you rearrange your priorities. This article in the Huffington Post sums it up quite nicely:

“Rebuilding [from loss] can be an incredibly challenging process. The work of growth requires detaching from and releasing deep-seated goals, identities, and assumptions, while also building up new goals, schemas, and meanings. It can be grueling, excruciating, and exhausting. But it can open the door to a new life.”

So with the new year here, I vow to stay positive and patient, uncover my authentic self and hold myself and others in lovingkindness.

I hope that life is kinder to us all this year.



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