It is that time in the wheel of the year when many of us are called to be a bit pensive about things. To consider the seasons that have passed and what they had to offer to us and what gifts we gave in return, as well as to gaze through the telescope of time, looking to what’s in store in the days, weeks and months to come. I find it’s helpful to select a word which resonates for me in the deep pockets of my heart and to keep that word at hand through the year, almost as a keel to keep me on course as I sail on….. Last year’s word was FOCUS and I utilized it with great care and reverence. But I don’t believe we give up on a word once it has served us for a year, it merely acts as an addition to the tool box of life. And so this year’s word, DEPTH will work with last year’s: Depth of Focus. I like the sound of it.
As a reminder of these chosen word talismans, those in my creative circle sometimes trade word laden gifts. Above is one of these crafted by Michelle Blades of Bird in the Attic Studio. Her world of whimsy and wordsmithery is simply enchanting and I am tickled with my murky depths ornament. A reminder to go deep in all that I do in this New Year on the calendar.
Along with a word on which to focus, I like to make a little list of the mores and the lesses to consider. Much like Ye Olde New Year’s Resolutions, but with less room to fail, the mores are all the things I’d like to add to my day to day while the lesses are things I could stand to curb.
One of these ‘lesses’ is the time I spend monitoring and engaging in social media, for both work and play. Much has been written by many about just this thing and two of my favorite blogosphere heroes, Rima Staines and Neil Gaiman have recently shared their thoughts on this dilemma. As I consider what depth will look like in my life and work I know that the bite sized information available at the candy counters of Twitter and Facebook, Tumblr and other such temptations acts as both a driver of work and connectivity, and a swallower of precious time and productivity. Simultaneously. Of course this can be endlessly frustrating and one could chase one’s own tail for days on end trying to come up with a solution to the quandary of it all. But I don’t think there is a solution. Like all complicated systems that come with good and evil, there must come a balance and we must simply ride the pendulum the best we can, attempting to know truthfully how much is enough for each of us.
As December roared through town, swinging at my head with engagements and obligations, flurrying and hurrying, I began to think very concretely about how not to fall prey to the insanity of it all and I realized that time off from the virtual world, as much as I love so much of what it has to offer, was key to an even keel personally and professionally. Along the same lines, I have opted to listen to music without ads to keep the screaming part of the world at bay, and this has already made the first few tentative steps down into the artistic rabbit hole easier and more successful. I plan to keep these minor (yet major) changes in place as this new year gets underway. As it has been for so many years now, it’s these micromovements, set to the course toward what feels to be our true north which really make for sustainable change and growth.
I wish you more mores in your lives, and fewer of the lesses which cling to your backs as well. Happy New Year. May your blessings be bright and bountiful.