It’s officially August, that hot dog-breath of a month that tests our endurance and our sweat glands. (Mine are most definitely working.) It’s also the season when I do a bit of reflection. Am I making progress on what I’d hoped to accomplish? Does my daily work align with my larger goals?
When I look back at my goals for the year, I’m struck by two things…
One, how much free time I expected to have. (It was, as one might imagine, a gross over-estimation.) Because I write my goals in January, I somehow expect the rest of the year to have January-like pacing, which, pandemic aside, it never does.
And two, I’m struck by how “domestic” my goals were. They feel very January-like. They focus on writing, designing, updating, and other things I can do while wrapped in a blanket.
I’m working on thinking more seasonally.
What do I want to accomplish in the quiet of winter? In the optimism of spring? In the mad flush of summer? In the reflection of fall? Seasons feel different, and they each bring their own creative energy to the table. I’m working on having a bigger arc to the narrative. I’m working on thinking and planning in months, even years.
So what has gone as expected?
The May Show and Ryn Clarke’s class were just as amazing as I envisioned. I’m proud of a new body of work I created this spring. And I’m working on a revised MSM Creative Planner that is now officially at the printer’s. These were all priorities kept, and projects completed.
What opportunities arose that I didn’t expect?
I’ve had wonderful residential commissions that have filled in the gaps for the corporate work that would normally occupy much of my time. I actually love this kind of work, but don’t usually get very much of it. In addition to those, one of my biggest non-profit clients returned after a two year hiatus.
What haven’t I done that I had wanted?
I started the year jazzed about applying for a National Park residency before finally admitting to myself that I’m not the adventurous type. Why I ever thought it was a good idea, I don’t know. I got sucked in by photos of beautiful scenery in January. Nevermind that the scenery was literally the side of a live volcano. I finally realized I could experience my level of adventure with a lot less stress by just taking a vacation once in a while.
What challenges did I face?
I had some health challenges that slowed my roll for several months. I’m finally (hopefully) on the other side, but it’s been a factor for sure. And right around the time things were finally starting to feel normal again, Alan came down with Covid. Two steps forward, one step back.
How will I revise my goals going forward?
Aside from skipping that whole volcano thing, I had hoped to teach a class in September, but with the commissions plus the client return, I’m not sure I can fit it in. I have projects lined up for the next three months, plus a show in November. My seasons have shifted. I’m in the mad flush of summer, albeit a bit later than usual. Sometimes the best thing to do is do less and focus more.
What about you?
What have you made progress on? What didn’t go as expected? What opportunities arose that you couldn’t pass up? What challenges needed your time and attention?