I feel like 2009 has been all packaged up in a neat little cyber parcel ready to be archived on the blog shelf and reminisced over at whim. A big thank you to Gwen Bell for these fun prompts to help us all reflect on the past year. Without further ado, my final musings to wrap it all up…
December 28 Stationary
When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationary find of the year?
I really like the thought of writing letters, but alas, my stationary is relegated to the purely utilitarian task of note taking and since I’ve run out of sketch book, sketching. It’s not heart melty or ink flowy. So, the prize for best stationary goes to my practical retractable pencil. I don’t know how I ever made art without it. It’s perfect for illustrating fine details and I think it would be pretty flowy to write with too.
December 29 Laugh
What was the biggest belly laugh of the year?
Mike and I had three friends stay for a couple of weeks with us in our motorhome, “Nettle”. It was dubbed the “Caravan of Comedy” during the time due to the hilarity that ensued. Good times…
December 30 Ad
What advertisement made you think this year?
The Lonely Planet dubs Tunisia a poster-child for successful post-colonial development and a model for how a moderate, secular Arab state can resist fundamentalism. Whilst here we’ve seen many billboards plastered to the sides of buildings and posters on shop walls of president Ben Ali looking smiley and warm. These have given us plenty of pause for thought when we come from a country that makes fun of our prime minister in comics in the major newspapers.
December 31 Resolution you wish you’d stuck with
(You know, there’s always next year…)
I don’t make new year’s resolutions. However, I did start an exercise from “The Four Hour Work Week” a month or so ago, which is in the same spirit as resolutions. The author, Tim Ferriss, calls it “dreamlining”. Basically you write down what you want to have, what you want to be, and what you want to do and then make a short-list of the most important ones. Then you work out how much money you have to earn each day to be able to achieve your top 4 dreams in 6 months. You start doing something towards achieving each dream that same day and every day thereon. It’s been great for me. I came away from it with clear priorities for my life for the next 6 months. I began prioritising time for art, which I hadn’t been doing before then. I started building my online creative business that very day and am at the point now where I’m ready to sell my art on Red Bubble and Image Kind and have designed 57 original collage papers to sell on Etsy. A month ago I didn’t even know how to use photoshop and a month and a bit ago I hadn’t even considered selling my art.
On a side note, whilst writing this and thinking of the dreamline exercise in terms of new years resolutions, I’ve come up with a few theories as to why new year’s resolutions fail:
- Most people’s new year’s resolutions bore them to tears. They aim to aim to floss their teeth everyday, for example. Who could possibly get excited about that? In the dreamlining exercise the author cautions the would be dreamer to dream big, unrealistic, wild dreams. Nothing less will induce the motivation required to achieve them.
- People make resolutions based on what they think they should change about themselves or their lives rather than what they want to change. Again, the author cautions us not to be tempted to put down socially desirable dreams like “fight world hunger” when what you really want is a shiny red ferrari. These socially acceptable but completely passionless goals won’t stoke your “I’m gonna change my life” fire either.
- Finally, when creating the dreamlines we narrow it down to a short-list of four. Not only does this help us focus on what’s important but it also means we can do each of our dreams justice by giving them the time and energy they require to be fully realised. Remember, the dreamline is timelined – you aim to achieve your goals in 6 or 12 months. So, you focus on the most important goals and then once you’ve achieved them you get to do another four! I’m guessing most people’s new year’s resolutions lists will have more than four items on them.
Thank you all for coming to read my Best of 2009 everyone! A very happy 2010 to you all!