One Word – 2021

Remember the beginning of 2020, full of hope and plans?

For 2020, my word was Explore. The year was ahead of me, with many possibilities. It was my first year of full retirement and I was ready to make the most of it. I jumped right in with exploring.

I had a blast trying new things. I started painting with watercolors, renewed my interest in photography, auditioned for a play, took classes in pottery and writing, and signed up for an acting class. I was a regular at the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society and the Rocktown Camera Club. I was on a roll.

Then came Covid-19, which brought the in-person meetings and events to a halt. My acting class was cancelled. I continued to do some painting and some photography, though even those dwindled. It’s harder to be motivated without my communities of writing, painting, and photography.

Much of the year was spent packing and moving, as well as working on multiple houses. We moved, within our city, in June and again in September. We spent the summer and some of the fall in Maine, where most of my time was used working on our house there. I painted, but on walls, not watercolor paper!

I could say that those things kept me from art and writing, but the truth is that I struggle with making time for things I enjoy, though I truthfully have the time to do so. I’m retired and am subbing very little. I have an office to myself in my new home. I have fast internet for online classes and tutorials.

My word for 2021 is a result of 2020. Last year I explored. This year I want to make time for what I ultimately enjoy or want to improve. I need to FOCUS. I am easily distracted. I tend to bounce from one thing to another. I am stressed by clutter and that makes it hard to focus. Self-doubt also creeps in to creative endeavors, creating a wall that takes will power to scale. Without focus, many things fall by the wayside.

I plan to make a loose schedule for myself, to give myself both permission and commitment to those things I deem important. Here are those things:

  • painting
  • writing
  • typewriter reconditioning (I have many that need cleaning and/or repair)
  • continued decluttering (to aid in focus, not to avoid)
  • exercise (looking different in a pandemic)
  • reading (Bible, novels, books on writing, growth, etc.)
  • processing/mindfulness

How about you? Are there things in your life that you want to intentionally include this year?

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