Oh yes, another challenge. I seem to need them to keep me moving in a certain direction. I even like them. But, having said that, I'm being kind to myself about my ability to do 'anything, not everything.'
I'm a little late to the game, but have been peripherally doing the Reverb10 challenge since December 1st - some on my blog and some just with my sister, or reading Christine or Tena's postings. I decided to just do it myself, not just wish I was doing it.
The Reverb10 group have a set of brief writing prompts to help us reflect on 2010 and manifest what we'd like out of 2011. Seems highly appropriate for me, since I've been trying to accomplish things, grow, and figure out what I want from next year and make sense what I can and can't control etc. Also, I like writing prompts. It's a bit like improvising without having to move around the room or speak aloud.
I'll do a fast catch up today, and can use reverb10s prompts to flesh out No New For Tara/No New is Good News as we head into the final 25 days of nothing new for a year.
Dec. 1st: The prompt was: "December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)"
I already did this in One Word to Rule them All. My 2010 word was "Grindstone". 2011 was "Release".
Dec. 2nd: The prompt was: "December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)"
This is a toughie. I often feel like I'm over scheduled and have a hard time squeezing in writing. Having said that, I've blogged 223 posts (including this one) this calendar year, so I must be doing something right. The things that get in the way include procrastinating, getting overly tired, or letting the day get away from me with errands and chores. I'm not sure what specific things I can give up, but maybe by scheduling in writing time I can make sure it happens. Especially on weekends, making it earlier than later? Chores can wait, this pleasure should take a front seat.
Dec. 3rd: "The prompt was: December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)"
We did this verbally at Stitch & Bitch on Friday at my sister's house. The moment I picked was a time I actually blogged about in January under the title Buying Experiences. It was a hike I took on a magical day in Newfoundland when I still had 3 grandparents. My father, aunt, and uncle were with me. There was snow on the ground, but the water was 'flat calm' and the air still and mellow enough to dress quite lightly. We climbed Burnt Hill and I felt vividly alive. I can smell that day. Salt air, crispy crunchy twigs and things underfoot, moose poo to frozen to be a hazard, a view like a black and white panoramic photo. Dark and gorgeous. Unspoiled snow. And being silly with my family outdoors. Dad took his new camera and a million photos and ran up and down the hill with the energy of an adolescent. Enthusiasm to burn. It really was such a great day.
Dec. 4th: The prompt was: "December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)"
Hmmm. Doing the End Cancer Walk, had many moments of wonder, for sure. Being a part of something bigger than yourself, seeing the kindness of strangers, pushing through pain as a team. Also, letting my one-year-old cousin brush my hair. It's really a very wonderful (though not very hair-tidying) experience. You get on the floor with her, she takes this impossibly soft brush in her fist and brings it to your hair. She stops occasionally to rub cheeks with you and concentrate vigorously on her important task. But, you might also get her to giggle if you tickle her a bit. I think that I could probably use a bit more wonder in my life and will keep my eyes peeled...
Dec. 5th: The prompt was: "December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)"
Well, I may have touched on this in my post on Why Am I Rolling This Big Rock, Again? I think what I am working to let go of is my incessant needs to: fix things, be right, and change stuff. That doesn't mean I don't have goals on making things better though. A bit confusing, but it is making me happier to not resist and fight everything with a need to fix/change/improve etc. I also had to let go of some things I did not want to this past year, like two beloved grandparents, and some important people I worked with. The most death I've experienced yet in a year. Finally, I let go of my secure-safe-haven job and tried something new this year (only for a year, so not super risky, but still...)
Dec. 6th (Today): The prompt was: "December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)"
So, we are at today's prompt. What was the last thing I made. I made one slipper and am half way through its mate. The materials used: one pattern from Nanny Stuckless, her green knitting needles, and two balls of donated yarn. The original pair I made with her personal tutelage you can see here. I'm making pairs for her daughters, since this will be their (and my) first Christmas without her. We will certainly all be missing both my grandparents a lot this Christmas, and if there is one thing they loved (and that fits a theme of not buying new stuff) it was to see us do something with our hands, like knit. I happen to know my grandfather and grandmother were both much more impressed by the homely dishcloths I knit than they were by my two degrees. And they kind of have a point.
Okay folks, time to hit the road for job number two.