Sunday, January 3, 2016

January 1 "Compass Readings"

So, as noted on Facebook, I did find time on January 1 for my semi-annual taking stock "compass readings"...not MUCH time, but a bit. 
I've been doing that on New Year's Day and my birthday for maybe 30 years now. I don't make resolutions or set goals; life offers pressures and challenges enough, really. I don't need to pile more on my plate.

This is one reason I don't do "challenges," either, those lists of art ideas, or weight loss challenges, or writing challenges, or 30-whatevers-in-30-days things, or fitness challenges; FitBit is a tool, not a bludgeon, and I don't care to shame anyone or BE shamed.  

(And okay, yes, tempted by the Whole 30 idea, but...maybe not.)
I need room for flexibility and spontaneity. I need to be open, to listen.  I've always felt constrained, trapped, even, by too many things on the schedule, even if they're likely to be pleasurable.
So my compass readings are simply looking back over the past year, from the vantage point of this reading to the last, and considering where I've been.  If it feels right.  If I feel I'm still going in the right direction.  Conscience, family, creativity, work, love, satisfaction, all figure into those "feelings."  
Sometimes I get "direction" as to course corrections I might need to make.  Sometimes simply confirmation that this is right, for me.  
Almost always, the BEING there is confirmation in itself.  As I added on my note, above:  "Here.  Here.  Always HERE."  Not Watkins Mill lake per se--though that's been a frequent destination--but OUT there.  In nature.  Listening.  Being.  


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this Kate. I really appreciate your 'new year' journal entry. I love your artwork and find it so inspiring, the nature scenes and deep beauty of the place. Thank you and may your 2016 be a wonderful year for you and yours. ~Catrina

  2. Thank you, Catrina, I'm glad you liked it!

  3. As usual, I enjoyed this post. I think I am doing my last challenge right now, bowing out. I am pretty picky about them -- The only other I've done is Brenda's and that was specifically to push me to drop my dependency on using pencil. It worked. I chose the 30 paintings in 30 days because I thought it might push me a bit in a project. It is stressing me out. Roz's IFJM does not, and I don't know what it is about this -- perhaps because I have tied it to a project I want to finish -- but I am already over it.

  4. Yes, funny how those things because a job, not a joy sometimes...I just can't take those on!

  5. Oh yes! Wonderful post. I always feel you understand me perfectly! The moment I commit to something like this, I know I will have an idea, or see a new direction and be off. My mind needs to be open for possibilities and my spirit needs to be able to wander.x

    1. That's how I function best, Jules! I don't like New Years' resolutions or someone else's creative challenge--mostly that makes me feel stifled or constrained, and resolutions are a recipe for failure. PLUS boring!


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