I’m halfway through this year-long project now. It’s amazing that it has been going on for 6 months already. In my first quarter update, I recalled a few key things I had learned and experienced thus far… newfound confidence in my own creative ability, learning to connect and create together with others, and learning to let go of expectations and allow the juices to flow.
I’d say all of these things have been further enforced over the last few months, too. I’ve also learned some other important things…
Coming to the halfway mark has got me thinking about how I can continue this project next year in new ways… perhaps I will narrow it down to a 12 Month project on photography or nature art? Or perhaps I will expand it to allow others to follow along and contribute their projects and processes along with me? Another option will be to focus next year on continuing and completing many projects.. as I have started to compile quite a list of projects that were either too big and complex to do in one month, or that I ran out of time to fully complete in a month. Whichever direction things go in, it’s exciting to be thinking about where things will go from here!
The Importance of A Passion Refill
I recently heard on the radio the well-known quote “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” (Diane Ackerman). I have always loved this saying. It has come back up at the right time for me, and made me think about some things in a new light.
In the past three of four months, I’ve really picked up a more active lifestyle. I’m in better shape than I’ve probably been in ten years, and because of that, I’m suddenly excited about new activities I never thought I could really do before. I’m positively obsessed with indoor rock climbing (surely my climbing buddies can attest to this – as it’s all I talk about all week and I become an enormous dork, exploding with excitement, on climbing days). I love everything about it.. the physical challenge, the teamwork, the strategy and planning involved. It gets a completely different side of my brain working – and is positively refreshing in the most glorious of ways.
The beau and I are taking a kayaking lesson in a few weeks too, and going to a practice session this week as well. We’ve also been camping, hiking and swimming like crazy. All of this physical activity and being outdoors is filling me with incredible amounts of passion! But of course, while I am out scaling walls or hiking trails… I am not working on my creative projects! *gasp*
I’ve struggled with this for months now. Almost every month, without fail, I end up “wasting” the first 2 weeks gallivanting about with other activities that I love while my precious project gets downgraded to secondary. Naturally, it looks like procrastination. But it doesn’t really feel like procrastination. It feels like I am allowing myself to experience all the things that bring me joy and fill me with passion, instead of forcing myself to only have one.
I’ve started to realize that just because I set my project aside a bit for a few weeks does not mean that I am procrastinating. There is nothing bad about setting one thing aside for a short bit as long as I feel right with it. It’s when I feel a need to avoid the project out of some kind of fear that I must make sure to focus on it and not other things.
Making the choice to do other things that fill me with passion during those first few weeks actually seems to be a good thing. It typically leaves me feeling refreshed with with loads of energy to be passionate about my projects and committed to getting them done. So, I have decided that taking a break to refill my passion for a short time is really quite important to the process of creating and to the joy of my life. After all, if I imagine holding myself up in a room and forcing myself to create things while neglecting everything else that fills me with joy – well that sounds like exactly the opposite of what I wanted to create out of this 12 Month project! Certainly not a way to foster childlike wonder and the idea of doing and creating just because you love it. Granted, there are times when you won’t love a project, and you must push yourself to do it or finish it… but that should not be the norm.
So here’s to being an excited croc! – Embracing all your passions so that you are so fully inspired and so bursting with creative energy from all the joy you have experienced that you simply cannot WAIT to let it out in something wonderfully creative, crafty, and clever!!