My key words for 2016 (as recorded in my Year Compass) are “Movement. Motion. Mobilizing,” which is what I wrote in response to the request for a single word to describe what I wanted. It seemed like this was one word, but broken out into different aspects of the same forward-momentum that I am hoping to manifest in regards to my career, my physical activity, and my creative life. I feel like last year was more of a “sit still and listen” kind of time for me, which lead to a deepening of my meditation practice and decision to enter into more serious zen study. While I don’t want to let go of that, I also feel a bit of a push to explore in different ways and so far, I feel like I’m on that track:
- I keep reviewing the job boards, and applied for something at another agency earlier this month. More interesting though, are the conversations that I am having inside my organization about the need for certain kinds of roles and my suitability for those roles. My goal is to get to the end of this year with something firmed up on the career/role front since my assignment ends early in 2017 and I don’t want to go back to my old position.
- We’ve been snowshoeing at the cabin! Something I have been aching to do since December.
- I started cycling to work last week – did three days, and three days this week. I expect next week I’ll be able to do four (Thursdays are not possible at the moment due to my weaving class).
- I’m doing a bit of community mobilizing around refugee support and neighbourhood building.
- I’ve finally finished my first knitted sweater, started sewing on the baby quilt, started a crochet blanket, and am working on my second knitted legwarmer… but most excitingly:
- I’m learning how to weave! And this has turned out to be a greater pleasure than I had imagined it would be. Learning a new art form is always interesting, but there is something deeply compelling about the way that two layers of yarn/string/thread meet to form patterns and I have fallen down the rabbit hole of learning. So much so that I am in the market for a floor loom and learning all about that. I plan to write a bit more about this process shortly – but suffice to say that this is fast becoming a significant interest even as I realize I probably don’t have time to make all the things!
I have also instituted a couple of daily habits so far that are really working for me and I hope to keep them up through the year:
- Reading five pages of a book per day: I know this seems like a small daily reading goal, but for the last few years I have not been reading as much as I would like and I realized that whatever page number I set had to fit in with the actual reality of my life. I can always find time for five pages – and the act of picking up a book instead of going to my computer, means that I’m much more likely to read beyond that first five pages. Between this habit, and purchasing a wrist watch in 2015, I find myself turning to the devices a lot less (the wrist watch means that I don’t use my phone as a time piece and therefore am not looking at it nearly as often).
- Recording the basics of each day in a daytimer: Each night I am writing down the major activities of my day – including cuddling, crafting, making dinner, cycling – as a way of looking at the balance of what I am prioritizing in my life. It allows me to adjust or notice patterns if, for example, time with my partner is being crowded out by other things (which it currently is, though some time off coming up will help shift that).
The idea really is to keep my activity level at a pace that is enjoyable to me without letting things slide into being overwhelming. I find this to be a tricky tension to maintain, but am bringing my attention to exactly that as I move forward towards month two (and my birthday) of 2016.