my stories

In Process: January

This is Not a Manifesto

Wednesday AM | Week in the Life 2014 spread by Yolanda Lockhart-Howe 

Most people seem to hit the New Year hard. They're inspired, driven and full of declarations about what they're going to accomplish, change, blow up in their lives in the upcoming year. From a distance, I can admire all that. But I also find it deeply bewildering.

Where on earth does everyone find so much energy for their list-making and planner decorating? How are people writing multiple 1000-word manifestos on their plans for crafting and memory keeping before we've reached the end of the first week of January?

This is not a criticism of the Type-A's and all of their productivity. I admire it. It's just completely foreign to me. Setting intentions (unraveling what needs to be changed, looking at it closely, making a plan) is a slow process for me. I rarely feel like I know what I need to get from a year until I'm knee-deep into it. Heck, it took me a good two years into my thirties before I unraveled what my twenties had been about.

It's hard for me to figure out how people are able to impose on the year what they want, how they know what that is on January 1st. For me, it's more a process of revelation. Things are uncovered, discovered. I look at it intensely, ask it questions, and see where it takes me.

So, this is not an action item list of Great Things I'm Going to Do This Year. This is not a manifesto. It's just a little list of things I'm working on right now, and that I hope to tell you more about in this space in the days and weeks to come.

  • Revealing photo book that documents our cross-country move from the West Coast to the Midwest. I have had the finished book in my hands for a few months, now.
    I finished it right before my surgery in September. I hope to have a series of posts up by the end of the month that detail my approach to making this book and walks you through the finished version.
  • Finishing my Week in the Life 2014 photo book. I completed the documenting part of this project last fall. I am about 75% finished with building the book using Blurb BookWright and Photoshop. It's been my major project since the year began. My favorite spread (so far) is at the top of this post.
  • Starting to build my 2014 Family Album (see 2013 here). I am pretty sure that I am keeping the same layout for 2014 as I used for 2013. And, it will likely be the end of this summer before I finish this book.
  • Thinking about creating smaller, quarterly photo books for 2015.
  • Wondering if quarterly photo books are just too much, unnecessary fuss.
    (Answer: probably.)
  • Learning how to make patterns and digital paper collections in Illustrator through a cool online class I won. I've just finished week 1 of this 8-week class and I'm really excited to learn something new and get pushed out of my Illustrator comfort zone (which consists of manipulating vector objects made by others and pulling them into Photoshop, my BFF 4 EVER).
  • Pondering what returning to full-time work is going to look like, and 
  • Looking at job listings online.
  • Planning our dinners through the end of March. I picked a theme for each day of the week and made an iCal calendar with links to the recipes online. Working on Week in the Life has been truly revealing as to how much havoc not having a planned dinner regularly throws into our lives. I'm almost 40. It's time to get that problem under control.