The February List (Happy Lunar New Year!)
Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Tiger, and it has me inspired to unleash my ambitions and jump into action. February often feels to me like a launching point for the year, kicked off by my birthday (it coincided with LNY this year as it does every so often), which is a reminder to reflect on and audit my life, goals, and priorities.
After last month's rest and recovery, I'm embarking on new journeys this month. Here are some of my plans.
Learn my new job
I started my new job on Monday, and after a year off from having a day job, I’m slightly nervous. But I'm also feeling motivated to dive back in, learn quickly, and thrive in this new role. Becoming a mom has really shown me how valuable my time is, and so I want to put effort into this new endeavor on which I’ve chosen to spend my time.
There’s also a part of me that wants to prove to myself that I CAN make it all work: parenthood, a “traditional” career, an artistic practice, and a small business. I expect that it’ll require give and take between these things, and that I may soon need to adjust my conception of what “making it work” means.
Clay every day
In January, I’d said that I wanted to take some time to slow down, and I did just that, albeit partly by force. During our bout with Covid and for the catch-up weeks afterward, I allowed myself a break in a long stretch of daily practice with clay.
One of my goals for this year is to make ideas into reality rather than carrying them around in my head. Another is to engage in deliberate practice of my craft. I’m now ready to pick it up again and ramp up to having multiple pieces in progress at a time. With the demands of my new job, I’ll just need to make sure I wrap everything up snugly in between sculpting sessions.
Mornings were hectic even before adding a baby to the mix. I would get up, get ready, feed and walk the dogs, and pack up to leave for the office as quickly as possible. In this new job, I’ll be primarily working from home for the time being, so hopefully I’ll be able to find some time for myself in the hour I previously would have dedicated to the morning commute.
I’d really like to claim a small slice of every morning to unplug and complete a page in my notebook with sketches of ideas and free-written words. I’m creating a new routine on the weekdays this month, and this is something I’d like to build into that. It’s a way to stay connected to my creativity, and that’s particularly important to me now that I’ll have less time to spend on pottery.
Pick up flowers with the groceries
I've found myself going grocery shopping more frequently now that Jazzy has made the switch to whole milk. Trader Joe's is my grocery store of choice and I've been making a point to bring home a small bunch of fresh flowers or decorative greens with each trip. At $4 - $6 per bunch, they are a good deal, and they usually last a whole week before they need to be tossed. Until our garden blooms (fingers and toes crossed here), I'll get my flowers from TJ's.
Create a workspace I love
My goal since moving in has been to make the basement of our home feel welcoming and cozy - to live in it just as naturally as we do the upstairs. Although our basement is partially above group and therefore gets a fair amount of light, we're so used to apartment living that we don't really know what to do with the extra space. Renovations went a long way toward making the downstairs enticing, and I'm really pleased with the setup in the main room. There's more to be done, however.
I've decided to set up my remote working space in the basement, moving my Husky work table out from my little pottery nook into the main room, under one of the windows. I need to rethink the design of my pottery nook anyway, and the work table move frees up space for my pottery wheel, which is still sitting in its box.
I'm not going to rush into buying new furniture, so this goal may not be completed in February, which is fine. In the two days I've been working down there, I've hung up some pictures and organized my supplies, as well as figured out some storage solutions to procure that will help without taking up too much floor space.
Aside from these plans, the near future holds a birthday date night, a trip into my new office, and the arrival of a new clay body to experiment with. Despite what any groundhog may have to say, I'm mentally prepared for many more weeks of winter, and trying to add joyful plans to the calendar to have things to look forward to.