The December List
It'll be a long, dark winter ahead as the world waits for the COVID-19 vaccines to get approved and distributed, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel now. We can begin to imagine an after even if it might take until the spring or summer before we can realize it. But first, one more month to go, as we enter the last chapter of the saga that has been 2020. Here are some of my plans for this month.
Begin on the next 50 pounds of clay
I have a shipment of clay coming tomorrow and I'm going to be breaking into it straight away. I'm finishing up my last items for the year and need some of this new clay to complete a few pieces. For the most part however, this batch will be for me to sculpt with all the way up until my water breaks(!). I'm going to maximize - within reason - these last days of my third trimester to get a start on inventory for 2021.
Accept the colossal, unknowable life change in my near future
Usually around this time of year, I like to start setting goals for Mammoth & minnow for the coming year. But with a baby on the way, I have no frame of reference for what is realistic when I become a mom. I don't know how much time I'll need off from the studio, or if/when I'll be able to sculpt anything at home. I can't plan in the same way as before, and it makes me a bit uneasy. Even with the small head start I can build up this month, I'll probably be short on inventory for quite a while.
I figure the best thing I can do is to go with the flow, and when I sit down to imagine my next dreams and goals for M&m, I will think bigger and longer term, and focus first on ways to enlarge myself through my practice and to grow in my art. For now, I'll set fewer immediate targets for production, sales, and other more tangible/measurable metrics.
Dig myself out of my work hole
Unfortunately, my job gets really busy around year-end, and this one has been the worst yet. I've lost many hours of sleep recently, fretting about how I'll possibly get things in a good place before maternity leave, and stressing about the possibility that the baby comes early, giving me less time than I'm counting on and need. This stress isn't good for anyone, and I have to lift myself out of what currently feels like an overwhelming workload. It's meant longer nights, logging back in after dinner is done, but I feel my familiar tactical strengths kicking in to help: list making, clear daily and weekly goals, and documentation galore for my transition plan. It's a lot right now, which I'm sure many people can relate to, but I know I just have to get past it by getting through it. So after this post goes up, I'll be back to work finishing the last two things I'd put on my list for today.
Experience the holiday season through dessert and drinks
On a lighter note, I'm looking forward to lots of baking and lots of non-alcoholic cocktails this December. Since our home is currently a messy little nest due to renovations, and therefore we haven't done any holiday decorating, we're going to get festive in other ways.
I'm not able to imbibe my preferred sparkling wine, but I at least have the perfect excuse to load up on sparkling apple cider, which I've loved since childhood. I'm also treating myself to non-alcoholic cocktails made with Ghia, a booze-free aperitif, that I can sip out of one of our heavy-bottomed glass tumblers. I’m excited to bake holiday goodies and fill the home with warmth from the oven and good aromas wafting about.
Have a conversation with my husband about what this year has meant
I've never spent so much time with Kev, and I've loved it. Quarantine with him has been a very positive experience, and I feel that we've grown closer from becoming co-working buddies. I believe that one of the biggest strengths of our relationship is in how we communicate, and I want to make space this month to reflect together on what 2020 has been for us as individuals and as a team. We haven't done this before, a dedicated time to look back on an entire year, but I really look forward to this conversation and the opportunity to acknowledge, connect, and reflect.