Seems like 2016 was a hard year for a lot of us, and if you’ve been following along here at all, you’ll know it was a rough one here. In fact, today marks a year to the day when Terry stopped work at his job in China. We did have a few months of employment over the summer in Shanghai, but that didn’t turn into the long-term thing we thought it was going to. Usually I’m super into goals for the new year, but I confess I found myself feeling too worn out from the year to make much of an effort to be better in this next year. But one word kept popping back up into my head whenever I tried (with much more effort than it should have required) to picture how I wanted to be in a year.
This last year was filled with a lot of fear and anxiety, and frankly, I’m sick of it. I couldn’t quite bring myself to make goals the way I usually do (the kind of goals that have a specific accomplishment to them, with a deadline, etc.) but I did come up with a few general ideas of where I want to apply this fearless attitude:
- I want to be fearless in my mothering. I don’t want to worry about how other people are viewing me as mother. I don’t want to be excessively worried about my kid. And I don’t want to be afraid of what kind of a mom I am. I’m just me. Fearless mom, hear me roar!
- I want to create fearlessly art. I am not an artist. At all. I mean, stick figures are my speed. But I came across the idea of making an art journal as a means of expressing your thoughts and feelings and it sounded like fun to me. I have no idea where to start. I bought the cheapest set of watercolors Walmart had and a junky notebook, and that’s where I’m starting. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know what I’m doing or have any kind of training. I’m just gonna jump into it.
- I want to write my book fearlessly. I’ve faced a lot of rejection from a lot of agents, and that’s been tough. For now, I put aside the book I’ve been working on for the past few years and I started a totally new project a few months ago.
- I want to learn fearlessly. Sometimes I have so much I want to do, and I have so much I want to learn that I become totally paralyzed. No more. Just learn as much as I can, without worrying about the speed at which I’m learning it, or how much I still have to learn.
- I want to blog fearlessly. I’ve been pretty silent on this space for the last few months (hello there, unemployment depression) but I’ve been wanting to return lately. It’s hard to do when my (already super tiny) numbers have dwindled in my absence and it feels like I’m starting from scratch. But that’s ok. I’m also wanting to try to figure out how to monetize the blog, but I have almost zero idea of how to do this, and very few people who actually read this, and I’m pretty terrified about trying. But that’s ok too. I don’t take counsel from my fears. Onward and upward. (And any tips or strategies on this would be hugely appreciated!)
- I want to cook without fear. I am soooo dependent on recipes. I cook really well (if I do say so myself), but I absolutely must use a recipe. I want to break away from that a bit this year. My goal is to cook one meal a week without using a recipe. Hopefully that will force me to make really simple meals, which is something I need with a toddler running around. Terry’s aunt, who used to be a professional chef, suggested I pick one type of meal and master making it a million ways. Stir-fry. Soup. Meatloaf. Pasta. Whatever floats my boat. Soup feels like a pretty easy starting point on that one, but we’ll see.
- I want to hope fearlessly, and mourn fearlessly. We’ve had our hopes dashed so many times this past year that I feel like I can’t even bring myself to hope for anything these days. But I’m trying. Honestly, truly, I want to have hope in my life, even if that leads to some mourning. And mourning fearlessly too – being sad without feeling like it’s going to ruin my life, and leaning into the vulnerability. Showing up even when it’s hard or scary. That’s what that means to me.
Then I’ve got a few random goals that don’t necessarily fit with the fearless theme (although I’m sure I could fit them in if I tried). Some are goals that I know I may or may not actually be able to make happen, depending on how the job thing goes for us this next year. But, in the spirit of fearless hoping, here’s a few things I’m hoping I can make happen this year:
- Attend a writing conference
- Join a writing group (in person this time, not over Skype, which was hard for me)
- Learn photoshop, not just lightroom
- Create a themed photo shoot – this one’s purely for fun (because don’t we all need a bit more fun in our lives?). I just love looking at themed photo shoots, whether that’s crazy fairy-tale kind of stuff, or something based off a book, or crazy patterned clothes or whatever.
If anyone’s got any tips on any of these goals, I’m all ears here. I feel like I’m starting from scratch on a lot of these with not much definition in the direction yet. Which feels pretty accurate. I have no idea how this year’s going to go, but here’s to fearlessly hoping it will be a bit better than the last!!