i'm sitting here thinking about you. about all the things you gifted me this year, all the things learned, celebrated, cherished. i think this year was about me stumbling a little bit, trying to hold on to my creative fire while juggling the many directions. it was about learning to let go, asking for help, and getting the foundation of my business more secure. it was about riding the wave of my creative life. it was about adjusting to a new city, a new life outside of our old life in california, and trying to find my way in that new city and new life. it was about celebrating some pretty amazing successes and traveling adventures. it was about the consistent thread of love, friendship, and family that held me together along the way. and most recently it has been about taming the non-stop brain activity of creative energy, questions, options, and ideas. through it all, there was so much gratitude inside your days and weeks. you took good care of me and my family and i'm especially thankful to be entering 2010 with our health and full, joyous hearts. here, dear 2009, are your highlights:
*you started off a little rocky with an eight week battle against a nasty upper respiratory infection. remember that? i was down for the count, but it was during those weeks that i puttered around our new home and decorated and rested and rested some more. it was also a time when we were getting familiar with seattle, our new city. it's hard to believe we've lived here one whole year already.
*my first ever gift line debuted in january at the atlanta gift market. to be honest, i had no idea what to expect. in fact, i wasn't in atlanta at the time and i didn't even think it was that big of a deal. but i was wrong. it was a very big deal (you brought a lot of unexpected surprises, 2009) and one that has changed my life. next week, my new 2010 line debuts in atlanta and i'm happy to report that i'll be there this time!
(photo by jen lee)* there was a very meaningful and spontaneous trip to nyc with a couple of girlfriends. i will forever remember that trip as one of the best of my life. i'll see you again, nyc, in may!
* there was one very honest podcast about my heart and creativity (just listened to this again for the first time since feb 09 and i'm so happy to hear myself reflect on my creative journey - everything i said is still so true esp the part about the relationship between inspiration and balance. and allison had so many good thoughts - loved that conversation!)
* created my first collaborative painting with one of my bffs - so fun! also, there were more collaborative paintings and creating with others as well as discovering the beauty of reworking older paintings.
* taught at an endearing creative retreat in utah and another one in oregon where i met some pretty remarkable students.
* had a few lost soul moments while adjusting to a new city and some tender pieces around overwhelm , recurring overwhelm, and meltdowns - all a part of the process.
* embraced the idea of pretending until we're not pretending anymore.
* stood my ground on what is and is not okay.
having my parents out to seattle (twice). thank you, so much, for them. really loved painting with my mom.
* went to kansas where my eyes were opened W-I-D-E to possibility.
* bought a green couch which, you know, i've always wanted to do :)
two week summer road trip that it came out completely. made art inside the crush during that same road trip. good times, good times.
* hired a creative assistant who not only saves my ass just about every week but who got me organized on so many fronts, that i could hug her every day. also hired a business accountant and financial planner - feeling a bit grown up about those last two.
* did a ton of exploring of restaurants in seattle with john. a ton. discovered fruity rum drinks.
* did my first keynote - i prepared so much for it and felt totally in my skin, loving the whole experience. since then, i've learned that pubic speaking without being fully prepared is not so fun (at all).
* felt the warmth and brightness of being alive.
* rode a horse in canada and went sailing (first time ever) in hawaii - all in the same month.
* bought my first pair of spanx (love them!) and got a pixie haircut.
* read all of the twilight books - fave obsession of 2009, for sure.
* wrote three articles about friendship for somerset life magazine - so delighted as it's one of my fave mags. got some pretty amazing press (thank you!)
* gasped in disbelief when i saw the house that love built.
* delighted in being back in the northwest for autumn.
* decided i really, really want children. i decided this just before journeying through a deeply hard personal story. however hard that personal story was, the timing of it was magical, fateful and important to my commitment to wanting children. this was huge for me in 2009.
* launched a brand new website and eshop that i love - so much work, but so worth it.
* my first ever calendars and datebooks debuted (seriously a dream come true) as well as necklaces and other gift items.
* had a big aha moment.
* had many many friends and family visit us in our seattle home including bff gina. also went to san fran a couple of times to see friends and get some sunshine.
* totally geeked out over our apartment therapy write up.
it was, hands down, a very rich and full year. i'm so thankful. before sending you off into memory, i wanted to answer a couple of more questions that andrea scher introduced me to:
1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2009? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)
in 2009 i am proud of my creative business successes and for continuing to make brave choices to go for my creative dreams. i'm proud of the work i created - artwork, articles, product ideas, new website, keynotes, and more. i'm proud of owning my joys, of making good decisions, of following my heart. i'm proud of giving myself permission to be 100% whole and human - both tender and strong, brave in sadness, brave in love - during the ups and downs of my journey this year. i'm proud of myself for expanding the horizon for what is possible in my life and for making strides toward those new possibilities even when it's not obvious to anyone else. i'm proud of creating a new home in seattle that feels nurturing and creative. i'm proud of handling all the stress and overwhelm that comes with running my own business while adjusting to a new city. i'm proud of creating downtime in my life through travel and time off with my friends and family. most of all, i'm proud of me and john, of how we've supported one another all of these years and how we've traveled together, heart to heart, through some pretty crazy years of chasing our dreams. i'm proud of keeping the perspective of love and gratitude in the forefront of my life this year.
my biggest challenge in 2009 was my biggest challenge in 2008: self care and balance. i struggled on an off with maintaining any kind of sustained self care, nurture, and balance - something that is always on my mind. at times (like recently), i got swallowed up by my work when i wasn't paying attention. i struggled with structuring my days so that i went to bed feeling rested and calm. i mistreated my physical body - not enough exercise and too many sweets (gained over 10 pounds this year).
2. What is there to grieve about 2009? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)
i forgive myself for not being able to stick to any sort of routine, for not being able to create the experience i most needed (balance). i forgive myself for the shame that arrived in moments when i felt like i wasn't being the best daughter, friend, or wife because i chose work over connection. i forgive myself for all those times when i made a decision out of fear rather than faith. i forgive myself for not making more of an effort to meet new friends in seattle, for not getting out and about more into the world on a daily basis.
2009, you were a huge year for me. not only were some of my absolute wildest dreams born, but you taught me how delicate my heart can be, something i needed to feel and to see. you taught me what i'm capable of, what i can do when my intentions remain steady and soulful. you were crazy full of love, adventure, strength, creative growth, mistakes, doubt, fun, heartbreak, and tenderness of the best kind.
i declare you, 2009, over! done! complete!
2010 is my year of nurture and light!!!