My one little word for 2010 is NOURISH.
I figure it’s time to check in and see how that is showing up. Or as my brother says,
“How’s that working for you so far?”
Things that feel nourished already:
- my writing, with the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York in January
Committing to this last fall, and attending last month, was a way to take my writing seriously, and to give me a deadline for a finished manuscript. After reaching “the end” of the first draft in November, and being completely dissatisfied with the work, I was sure I had no place at the conference. But I worked through that, with the help of a new perspective, and am now at work on a completely new version of the manuscript. I was able to get feedback on the new version in New York (more on that later), and I am confident in the new direction.
- peaceful connection, taking nine days completely away from the internet
Visiting the Big Island of Hawaii for the first time was a revelation – it feels completely different from Kauai – and exploring this new place with my husband and my daughter was delightful. I left my laptop at home and didn’t look at a screen (not a computer or a television) the whole time; I felt connected to myself, the people around me, and the place I was visiting in a way I have let slide recently. The raw – and varied – beauty of the place took hold of me and hasn’t let go.
- my health, with a renewed commitment to taking care of my body
I have to admit that seeing myself in a bathing suit was disconcerting – I have put on the pounds in the last few years, and have been uncomfortable in my body. I have wrestled with distorted views of this body my whole life: I would be grateful now to be in the shape I was when Ed & I got married in July 2007, or when we started the house remodel in April 2005, but I know that at the time I was desperately unhappy with what I saw in the mirror. I’ve managed to fit in a workout every day this week (baby steps, I know) and this time it’s about feeling fit and strong, not about pounds or inches.
- inspiration, for photography, community, and sense of home
The first time Ed and I travelled together was to Kauai, a new place for each of us; I learned that when he visits a new place, he likes to bring home a book – booklover that I am, I could get on board with this idea, and we still enjoy the books we brought home from that trip. This time, we came home with a newly published history of the Big Island, a collection of photos from the Hawaiian islands, and an oral history (peppered with black and white portraits) of contemporary Hawaiian elders (of all ages) who seek to preserve and cultivate the rich culture of the islands for future generations.
Things I still want to nourish this year:
- connections with family and friends – it is just too easy to let slide the relationships that have nourished me at other points in my life. I want to make the phone calls, write the letters, set up the coffee dates (or the Skype calls) that will keep those connections alive and well.
- growing food and flowers at home – even in under the trees where we are, there are a few places we could get rid of rocks and tree stumps to plant beautiful gardens. There is a small space away from the road where I would be comfortable growing food to eat, and this year, I want to make that happen, even if it is just a few lettuces and beans. It can grow.
- my portrait photography skills – I have had the opportunity this last year to do several portrait sessions (single and group) and I am eager to build on these experiences. I especially like working with young people and may explore doing senior portraits this year. Okay, I will. I will explore this, because I love it.
All in all, I’d say NOURISH is working for me. And playing for me. And playing with me.
Right now, the sun is just a bit of chilly light filtering through the raindrops in the trees. But the days are getting longer – and brighter and warmer – spring is coming. The daffodils I planted are coming up for the second time, leggy stems reaching out, eager to burst open any day now. My dog has wandered in to nudge me with her head and let me know it is time for a break, so we’ll head out on a walk. I feel rested and optimistic.
listening to: Michael Bublé, Feeling Good