2015 going on 2016 (Resolution Musings)

Dear friends, 

Greetings from the (last few hours of) 2015. It's been a while since my last doodle letter - and sitting down to write/draw this one made me realize that I have actually made inroads on developing my visual-textual story telling style. Still working on it, but I think it safe to say I'm finding my voice. 

By using less words:) 

Still, I begin by a bit of musing:

 Why make New Year Resolutions? I had two conversations on this topic this month (Dec), What with January 2016 drawing ever closer, this question has been on my mind.   Is there any  real  difference between DEC 31st and JAN 1st?   Why wait for the beginning of a New Year to make positive changes to my life?   Who  actually  sticks to their resolutions anyway? 

Why make New Year Resolutions? I had two conversations on this topic this month (Dec), What with January 2016 drawing ever closer, this question has been on my mind. 

Is there any real difference between DEC 31st and JAN 1st? 

Why wait for the beginning of a New Year to make positive changes to my life? 

Who actually sticks to their resolutions anyway? 

 Did I even stick to my own 'resolutions'? This was the plan for 2015: projects, plans, listed neat. Bullet points, A to E.   Instead, this is what  actually  happened:

Did I even stick to my own 'resolutions'? This was the plan for 2015: projects, plans, listed neat. Bullet points, A to E. 

Instead, this is what actually happened:

 [Instead], I went from  Point A  to (an unplanned)  Point T  - circled back to  Point B ... only to find upon completion that the result actually resembled another previously unplanned  "Project P" .   I didn't get to everything I wanted to do this past year (e.g. launch that kickstarter, 'perfect' the manuscript of my book, identify an education research topic I'd like to pursue...).     and that's alright.      Resolutions. Aspirations. These are my sketches:  when I paint or draw, what I end up with isn't always what I'd intended. Ye these intentions, these rough drafts, they are seeds.

[Instead], I went from Point A to (an unplanned) Point T - circled back to Point B... only to find upon completion that the result actually resembled another previously unplanned "Project P"

I didn't get to everything I wanted to do this past year (e.g. launch that kickstarter, 'perfect' the manuscript of my book, identify an education research topic I'd like to pursue...). 

and that's alright. 

Resolutions. Aspirations. These are my sketches: when I paint or draw, what I end up with isn't always what I'd intended. Ye these intentions, these rough drafts, they are seeds.

***

While I can’t predict the future, I know that I’m well pleased with my present. And I also know that I present has been shaped — not only by my past actions — but the support, the guidance, the love of others. Of you.

The seeds you (and I) have planted in my life, seeds that have been tended to with care, have flowered into a past year that has been truly beautiful. 

So, thank you all for 2015. (Or come to think of it, thank you for the past 25 years - but 25 years is a bit too much for me to recap, let alone inflict upon you to read, so a review of this past year it is!).  It's been a truly wonderful year:  

Looking back, I: 

  • Moved (back) to Durham!  
  • ...and almost immediately went to China - 
  • - because I'd started working at Duke TIP as the China programs coordinator. 
  • discovered that my colleagues are awesome. And passionate. and talented both in and outside of work. 
  • helped launch/build out the pilot Duke TIP in China Summer Studies Program (details). 
  • Read and/or listened a ton of books. 2015 was a year of fiction binge
  • Made a scary-real-looking brain cake. Muahaha! 
  • Couldn't find country dancing in Durham, but found blues dancing instead! 
  • Met someone I like-like while getting groceries:)
  • ^AND I was actually purchasing real/fresh produce because behold. This was the year I actually started cooking real(ish) meals! 
  • Found a writing group who encourages me to keep working at my story. Not only because they inspire me with their talent...but also because when I sign up to read, I actually have to produce something... instead of being afraid of writer's block. 
  • Stumbled upon a group that meets over coffee to do art. Just because. <3
  • adopted a 60 year old piano
  • Have found myself housemates with some pretty awesome people and two equally awesome pups
  • caught up with Duke friends, new and old. 
  • visited with FACES friends, new and old! 
  • Visited family (in both China and Georgia). 
  • practiced mindfulness and meditation sporadically - but have met a group here who's really helping me be better about it. 

 

Looking forward? 

While I (still) can’t predict the future, I know also know that there are things in myself, in my community, in my world, that I would like to change. And I believe these changes can be shaped (in whatever small capacity) by the choices I make and things I do in the present. This life of mine is still a work in progress: 

We are all each weaving our --  and each others -- lives. Our lives are artworks. They aren’t perfect. They’re messy. They’re beautiful. They're unbearable. They are all of these things, and more. In making art, we try, we play, we ‘mess up’, and then we build upon our mistakes. 

My resolution, my aspirations, my sketchpad for chapter 2016 is this: to live in kindness (towards myself and others), to act intentionally, and to remember to see the vibrant colors and beauty that surround me always. I resolve to be the kind of a friend, partner, family that I am very grateful to have. I aspire to live the kind of life that'll lead to a future I'd like to see.

So, co-authors (illustrators, weavers... gosh I should pick a metaphor), here's to 2016! 

Happy New Year! 

Love from,

Linda