6-month check up
- Memorize a poem - This is only difficult because I still haven't decided what to memorize. It's between Rilke, Plath, and Eliot though I feel a pull towards Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (though of course I'd have to chose which stanzas).
- Re-read "Letters to a Young Poet" - just started it last month, but it's so rich and relevant that I am taking it very slowly.
- Create an inspiring writing space - This has actually come along quite nicely. I've painted the spare bedroom "cathedral gray" and moved all my books into it, which I was wary of making the room seem too small and crowded, but those books actually breath a womb-like breath into the space. I thought I would use my mom's old sewing table as a desk, but it turns out to be much to high for any of my chairs and uncomfortable to write on. It's my next action item.
- Go dancing - I've not yet gone dancing this year and hope to remedy that indeed. Does rollerskating count?
- Visit every bookstore in Seattle - I've since truncated this goal to only used bookstores. As of today, I've been to 1. Obviously I need to get cracking here. Want to figure out what to do with the information post-visit...a write-up, a blog post? Not sure.
- Make #2 dress from vintage pattern - I have two children's outfits to begin making, and they are being cut from vintage patterns, so I do think this counts. However, for my birthday I would like to work on a dress for myself. I have a pattern already.
- Write a book of poems - I am happy to say that I've been working the last few days on collecting the poems I write in my journal. I will begin the process of typing and editing in the next month. It is still a goal to write a poem per month, so I will need to continue this throughout the year. I had recently experienced a slump of inspiration, but when I honestly examined it, I realized I was the one keeping myself from inspiration because I wasn't practicing or even creating the potential for a poem. This is what I've been working on most...which I believe to be an integral part of being any kind of artist, so it does directly contribute to this book of poems. Anything, anyone, anywhere can be a poem. Plath's Blackberrying comes to mind...a simple poem about her afternoon with nature. It strikes me because it's a very plain subject, even a boring muse. However, I am trying to teach my poetic eyes that a poem is almost never about the subject, but about the vision of that subject...how I uniquely see it.
- Try a new recipe once a month - While my data-obsessed self would have loved to cross this off at the end of each month, I've not been consistent with it. I have tried at least 4 new recipes that i can remember off the top of my head, and I feel satisfied indeed with this progress. Made dinner for friends the other night and tried out this tortilla soup recipe - divine! Going forward, I am thinking of planning which recipe to try that month so I can ensure it happens. I've been very intimate with a French cookbook lately and am really eager to try several of its recipes.
- Plant an herb garden - CHECK! Well, Joel planted, I weeded...but those herbs are so incredibly happy! We have Italian parsley, cilantro, chervil, and Greek oregano. As soon as the weather stays consistently warm (not holding my breath), we will plant tomatoes.
- Make dates with Joel - This is well underway thanks to our therapist.
- Make dates with me - I'm sorry to say this may be the most neglected goal. Must remedy soon. Again, as with anything I want to accomplish, unless I PLAN it, it really doesn't happen.
- Re-instate savings practices - We are doing a lot of financial planning and shuffling, so I feel good about the progress though sad to say our savings account is pretty naked.
- Be kinder to self - How to assess this? I feel I am , but there are always many more opportunities to grow in this area. I think specifically these last months I'm working on loving my physical self. This is an interesting area because a few years ago, I had successfully extracted some pretty nasty thoughts about myself that I believed. Strangely enough, they crept up again earlier this year and instead of being afraid of them, or quickly denying them a voice, I've since learned to turn around and engage the origin of the thought, asking them instead why they are there - what they are truly trying to say to me. I believe each shadowy thought has a light on its flip side, and I am walking through the dark forest to come to the shore. It's much harder than shutting them up, but I'm hoping this way to exorcise them for good.
- Challenge myself photographically - There has been a big push around here towards this. I am a solo-shooter at my first wedding next month and doing tons of research on my camera, poses, and slowly discovering my confidence and aesthetic. Though it would be a nice way to make money, I sincerely doubt I'll ever want to be a professional photographer - it just way too exhausting. The last wedding I shot (2nd shooter), I didn't pick my camera up for weeks afterward and I just don't think it's worth it. Now I might gain stamina and learn to work professionally while still retaining my artistic integrity, but I just don't know at this point. I did buy new equipment and am reading books and blogs about photography in general, and I feel really good about it. While I am all about the happy accident photos, I want to be more intentional and educated about my shots.
- Drink less - check! I've been doing well here - not too rigidly denying myself, but also being very intentional and conscious of why I am pouring another glass of wine.
Hope you are remembering what you wanted for 2011, revisiting your goals, and finding the January momentum to carry you through the next half of the year.