on intentions…

Currents 25

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because to me they imply something needs fixing and one is bound to fail. Who needs that? I’ve spent the last 40 years shedding things that make me feel badly about myself. I need not conjure up new ones.

Instead I prefer intentions, or art goals. What would I like to accomplish in the approaching new year? And I write it down so at the end of the year I can see if I did it. For the most part, I do.

I don’t need to join a gym, or lose weight as I’ve been there, done that. And I don’t want to do anything tangible every day for a year. I admire others who can do that, a collage a day, a stamp a day, a sketch a day, a stitched line, a novel page a day, whatever. To me, it is too much like homework or a job!

Besides I don’t think I really need more discipline. After all I am the one who set a goal of designing 25 large pieces in three years time and did it! So, yes I definitely need less structure and more fun!

I was thinking I might add a morning meditation as an intention, but that still feels a bit like a guilt trip. So maybe a mini intention, to work towards being mindful, say for 10-15 minutes each day. Of course this intention involves training others to either (a) join me or (b) not interrupt me to ask what I am doing, or if I am ok?! The answer to that takes me way out of mindfulness!

Perhaps the most manageable, the most reliable, the most possible intention of all is to do hand-work every night! As in what I did before the internet was born. To put down the iPad and the phone, and once again pick up needle/thread or needles/yarn and make something.

Ideally, it will serve several purposes; massage my creative gene, give me back that meditative time so challenging to maintain, and produce something. Way back in the last century before the internet, I knit almost every night. I have dozens of pairs of warm wooly socks that I still wear in winter, scarves for walking, a sweater or two and even a gorgeous wool coat. None of these would have happened if I had been solving a 300 pc puzzle online, or playing scrabble and mahjong against myself. And the bonus is I might go to sleep easier, not having to shut down my brain at night along with the devices.

So there you have it. My intentions for 2018 include staying grounded, retaining the muse and doing hand-work every night. I think I can handle that as they all tend to support each other. And if you see me prowling the internet some evening, don’t shame me. I feel bad enough about it already!

May 2018 be the year you figure out your best intentions, and follow through!

Happy New Year!

5 Responses to “on intentions…”

  1. Martha Ginn says:

    Carol, I so admire how your brain works and what you notice (on your morning walks) and the art you create and the way you like to think introspectively. Sort of casually and not too regimented, so you can enjoy it. You used the word “mindfulness,” which seems to capture the perfect balance between goal setting and just coasting along. And a return to handwork keeps sounding so intriguing to me, so I will enjoy thinking about your doing this. When I sit at night I am almost immediately joined by one to three cats on my lap (little thread grabbers!) so thinking about it might be all I can manage.
    But approaching another year is a great reason for being intentional! Thanks for these thoughts.

    • Carol says:

      thank you Martha! Yes mindfulness is a term that I was introduced to a few years ago, which is a continual reminder. It is really important for all of us, particularly in these stressful times to just slow down, focus on our breath and be fully present. It seems far too easy to go way out in the other direction! Plus it is easy and free!

  2. Carol says:

    My sentiments exactly! People talk about meditation and I just can’t sit there and do nothing. I can think about nothing but it just goes against my grain to do nothing while thinking about nothing. Hand sewing or knitting is the perfect solution, something I do every day for at least 15 minutes. Also our daily walks alone which I know you do as well. That does keep us grounded.

    • Carol says:

      That seems to be the challenge for all who meditate, to just sit there and do nothing! If handwork can bring the same meditative effect though, I am all over it! Thanks for your comments!

  3. Donna says:

    Love your New Year blog. Especially the description of meditation (haha) and your plans/goals for hand work.
    Prayers and best wishes to you and those you love.

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