For the past couple of years, I've been choosing a 'word of the year' as I reflect on the year that just passed and get ready for the year ahead. My family and I had some big challenges over the past few years and things are finally starting to settle down. It's so satisfying to just stop and enjoy each other's company. This is going to be a year of nurturing.
I started off by focusing on my physical health, which I haven't paid much attention to in a while. I'm on day 24 of my first Whole30 now and feeling great! Whole30 is a 30 day elimination diet, that focuses of nutrient dense whole foods. The diet eliminates grains, sugar, legumes, additives and alcohol. It turns out I love eating this way! I have a ton of energy, I went down two belt notches and it's helped me to evaluate some bad habits. Perhaps best of all is that the care and attention that I've brought to my relationship with food has had a domino effect into other areas of my life. I feel more patient, organized and focused. Yay!!
All this got me thinking about systems. Fun, right?! Actually it kind of is. I hate a messy workspace, whether it's the kitchen or the office. The French culinary phrase "mise en place" which means "putting in place" has inspired me to take a minimalist and ergonomic approach to work. Everything in it's place, single tasking. For business systems, I started using Asana, a free online project management program. The book Work Clean has been on my reading list for a while; it's about mise on place as it relates to work and life. When it comes to systems for life, I start to get a little overwhelmed. This post by Leo Babauta of zen habits does a great job of outlining how systems can bring simplicity and ease into the everyday.
Another area of my life that I really want to nurture this year is creativity. I have some projects planned that will be all about fun, experimentation and collaboration. (Sneak peaks to come!) I'm not going to be worrying about trends or what Pantone's color of the year is. I will be exploring new processes and techniques. Next month I'm going to sign up for this ecourse: Personal Mythmaking. I'm super excited about this course! I think the course material will tie in really well with a big, crazy art project I'm working on now. (You can take a peek at that project here.)I've taken a few of Janelle Hardy's online workshops and have loved each one. Her classes have become a sanctuary for me.
I've learned the hard way that if I don't take care of myself, being around me (or being me, for that matter) isn't much fun. I feel snippy, grumpy, frumpy and totally put upon. Fuck that! I get the sense that life is challenging me to be my best. If that means saying no to some opportunities I don't have time for or eliminating some energy draining habits, fine by me. I'm thinking less mindless Netflix watching in the evenings, more snuggling, giggling and conversation. At the end of the day, that's what it's really all about.