I think it is always helpful to own how you’ve done, both the ways you did well and where you could have done better.
My New Year’s resolution this past year was to Love Life. It is rather a hard one to give accountability for, but I think I did alright with it, even though I was not footloose and fancy free. I’d give myself about an 8o% grade, fair and not failing to be sure, but with lots of room for improvement. Still, there were many happy times, and I’m grateful for each of them.
I certainly did a lot this year. Let’s look at it by blog category:
I blogged 79 new paintings of mine in 2021, considerably exceeding my goal of one per week. I was in nine group shows– four of them national or international, and one in a museum– and in these I got two awards. I was also honored to be juried into the Pastel Society of America! During the month of November, I had a huge one woman show exhibiting 77 paintings I did during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. In December, 17 of them were shown in the White Silo Winery, who have asked me back for next year. I gave my powerpoint talk via zoom to art groups, and already am booked to do more of this in the New Year. I only sold three paintings, which is considerably down from the previous year, but this does not include the five abstract paintings I did that were commissioned by a financial institution last September. I enjoyed attending a Plein Air Retreat in Maine with pastel friends in June, and being an artist-in-residence at Creative Arts Camp on Long Lake in August. I’ve tried many new things in my artwork this year, and feel the quality and conceptual depth of the work has taken a huge leap forward. I loved doing all of the above.
Less fun was countless hours of creating the site to license my downloadable art, www.ContemporarySpiritualArt.com. I’m glad to have that site construction done–while still needing to help it find its audience– but the process was tedious and laborious. Building that with my husband from scratch was a huge undertaking, and the result is something to be proud of, even though it hemmed us in quite a bit while we were doing it. Getting this done took time from more “Loving Life” types of things, and is responsible more than anything else for the low score I gave myself on my resolution. Hopefully this colossal endeavor generates some income for us, while it blesses many in the years ahead.
Travel this year was my best opportunity for photography. Both our Baxter State Park vacation in pristine wilderness in northern Maine in August, and our niece’s joy-filled wedding in Louisiana in October were complete photo opportunities, Also my daily walks over and over on the same paths at Huntington State Park yielded much to focus on, with a new blog series evolving monthly from those rambles.
My spiritual practice had some downright fabulous healings and solutions this year, for which I’m still gobsmacked and grateful. I did better the first 3/4th of the year getting sufficient personal quiet study, than I did in this last quarter, when I felt more a squeeze on my time. I’m looking forward to remedying this in the New Year. As an empath in the business of helping others navigate problems, and as an overly generous person, I need to remember to give only of my light and not of my oil.
There is an infinite flow of these! I am finishing my thirteenth year of blogging everyday, which is a testament to an ever-renewing, unending supply of ideas.
I read 64 books this year, overshooting my 52 book goal. I’m still enjoying the range and quality of my reading, and doing our Reading Challenge with blog readers. I enjoyed intermittently participating in four book groups this year too.
We watched very few movies this year. I only blogged regarding three of them, and those were all last winter or spring. I feel “Loving Life” should include at least a good movie every month!
I cooked lots this year and enjoyed it, blogging 38 new recipes.
I blogged 30 new original poems in 2021, and this is such a great outlet for me. I also enjoyed highlighting poetry by others illustrated by my art or photography.
While unfortunately the pandemic is still very much with us, I feel hopeful as I enter this next New Year. I hope you do too!
All in all, 2021 was a fine year. There were MANY high spots of true joy, accomplishment, inspiration, and helpfulness, but the year is leaving me feeling restless and rather depleted. This assessment will weigh in as I make my resolution for next year.