Well it took me until the last minute to decide what my one word for 2014 was going to be. I don’t make resolutions, I just set an overall goal for the year to come. The One-Word challenge fits right into that, setting the tone for what I want to focus on. I’ve been doing it for a few years now. Last year, my word was “priorities” and I did pretty well with it – cutting back on some responsibilities that were cutting into my family time, and cutting back spending on things we really didn’t need. The heart of the challenge is to choose a word that you can apply to all areas of your life to make the changes or improvements you want and need.
So after a bit of thought, I have a word just jumping out at me. In fact, it’s the very first word I thought of this year, but it seemed too narrow at first.
Yes, art. Let me explain.
I have never considered myself particularly artistic. Mainly because I cannot sit down with a brush or a pencil and create something out of nothing. But art goes so far beyond that. Art is creative and individual. It’s personal. It’s passionate. And everything in my life could use more personal attention and passion.
The obvious application is in the things I share here every day. “Art” is sharing inspired projects with you. I write here because I love it, not to keep up a certain schedule, to create a minimum number of things each week, or to chase what’s popular. Of course I love it if you make my blog one of your regular reads! But I don’t write because I think you’re expecting me to, and I’m not going to fill empty days with contributors. I’m not a mega-blog – when you come here, you get me! This hasn’t changed from my current philosophy – all it does is remind me that I’m in it for the art, and how lucky I am to have this outlet.
But here is where my life could use more “art”. In parenting and marriage, there are things I take for granted, or that I try to do “by the book”. Well, forget the book. I am one of a kind. My husband and my kids are also one of a kind. With four of us all smushed into a family, we have a dynamic not quite like any other family (look at your own family, you’ll see what I mean). When it comes to helping your family members feel loved and appreciated, and encouraging them to grow and be confident – it’s not one size fits all.
My family deserves a mom and wife who will take an individual and passionate approach. I need to put the energy into them that any artist puts into their work. I need to care and feel and take action. I’m not talking about all love and no discipline – everyone still needs a healthy dose of routine and rules, obviously! But in these early years, my kids are being molded into who they’re going to grow up to be. I can put as much or as little effort into helping their little personalities take shape… and any good artist will take that medium in their hands, consider the strengths and weaknesses, and work with it. Stone is stone, clay is clay – I am not going to change anyone. But there are specific approaches and techniques that work to bring out the beauty in each one-of-a-kind work of art.
Okay so that all got a little deep, but I’m really getting excited about the possibilities this year by focusing on taking an artist’s approach, and being true to my vision.
What about you? Have you picked one word for 2014, or are you considering it?