Posted in Life As I Know It, Soapbox

2019 – A Time to Create


I didn’t intend on being one of those “word of the year” people. They can be annoying, can’t they? But dammit if another another new year has come and another new word to help guide the year’s goals has found me. It started a few years ago with ripples, and every year since a word comes to me that makes complete sense…as it does on the dawn of this new year.

For many reasons, I want 2019 to be a year to create like never before.

As a writer, I always strive to create, but I’m not just talking about words here (though they are a huge part of my goals for creating). No…I mean create in a much broader sense…

I’ve been “responsible” since as far back as I can remember. And while being a responsible person is a good thing overall in my book, when it is the primary thing it can be stifling to other parts of life. And as my responsibilities in life shift (with my mom’s passing and my son angling toward maturity), I want to rediscover—or maybe discover for the first time—aspects of life and embrace opportunities to create.

I want 2019 to be the beginning of a way of being. In too many ways I’ve been living a “dress rehearsal” existence, but 2018 has really reinforced for me that there is no such thing.

Now is the time.

A bottle of wine makes a good analogy for this. I love wine, but I don’t have a wine fridge or cellar—just a little ol’ wine rack. On that rack, I’ve kept some bottles of wine for years, thinking they would be used for special occasions.

Over a decade ago, I brought home a bottle of wine from a trip to Hawaii that my mom took us on for her 80th birthday. I held onto it for one of those special occasions. With my mom’s passing this year, Thanksgiving was our first holiday without her, so I thought it made sense to open that bottle of wine and make a remembrance toast to her. There was just one problem. After so many years of fluctuating temperatures on that wine rack, the wine had gone bad.

I waited so long for that “special occasion” that we lost our opportunity to enjoy it.

Waiting too long for life’s special occasions means letting the wine of life turn into vinegar.

Now is the time.

So yes, the CREATE of 2019 means DO the book that I’ve wanted to for so long.

But it also means…

ENGAGE in more experiences—including having more fun.

EXPERIENCE and SAVOR more of life’s sweet specifics (ala the Weissmans in Paris, if you watch “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”).

MAKE our home a soul space for my family and me. That means getting much needed projects going as well as simplifying/purging/minimizing to lighten both our physical and mental loads.

TRAVEL – Waiting for the “someday” doesn’t work. Doing does. There are too many places to see and already too little time to see them. Better to work on the list than just pine for that “someday.”

LEARN by making more time to read and discover. Creativity stagnates without a broadening horizon.

And, as all of this is mostly a reaffirmation of the obvious, there is the continuous goal to CREATE more opportunities for positive change…for hope to spark…for hearts to grow…for love to win.

I want 2019 to be a year for all of us that begins (or perhaps for you continues) the creation of a Glorious Unfolding…

It’s true, as Andy says in The Shawshank Redemption, that it’s up to us to “get busy living or get busy dying.”

In many ways, at least for me, creativity = life. And so, in 2019, I aim to create by rolling up my sleeves and getting busy living and doing.

It’s about time.

All photos are used with permission.

Posted in Soapbox

I Envy the Box Lady

green eyeI had a conversation this weekend that I must admit brought out great envy in me. Like if envy were people, I’d be China.

The green-eyed monster flared up when I was having a conversation with a woman I work with part-time. She was explaining to me how she had been working creatively…for hours and hours. Hours and hours, people. In the brief time that I’ve sat down to write this post, my son (home from school today because of the damn polar vortex) has interrupted me somewhere near 97 times.

Granted, she is retired (though very active), so her life tugs are understandably much different than mine. But she was explaining to me how she “needed something to do” with her time, and she ended up discovering this passion for designing beautiful boxes that are then used for care packages at the organization she and I are both part-timing at. [The place is called Phil’s Friends, and its mission is to bring hope to those affected by cancer. If you’ve got a hankering to do something with a few bucks and/or your time, go to their website and learn about the wonderful things they do.]

The work she does is lovely—fun and colorful, and just the right spirit to add to the loving care packages.

A sample of the Box Lady's work.
A sample of the Box Lady’s work.

She described to me how her kitchen table is splayed with boxes and she just gets lost in her work for hours at a stretch. I am amazed at the effort she puts into them. It is clearly her passion, and it brings her great joy.

I want to be like the Box Lady.

In my juggle-struggle world, I have forgotten what it is like to have time to fill. And if I do decide to wrap things up on any given night, about the most I can muster is watching TV and wiping the drool from my chin. Something tells me you might be able to relate.

I realize that the seasons of life offer different opportunities, but I could really use some focus time in this current season of my life. I want to have Box Lady experiences now.

I want to have a “snow” (aka “extreme cold”) day where instead of thinking of the HaveTos that need doing, I can immerse myself in an endeavor that brings me joy. Even if only for a little while.

And though I do make time to do things that are not just “on the list,” one of my biggest challenges is how I feel while doing them. For instance, as a writer, I do make time to write this blog. I could have more time for other HaveTos if I didn’t, but I need to write, so I do. But while I’m taking the time to do so, I keep battling all the other HaveTos that keep poking their way into my thoughts and making me feel like I need to stop. “Hurry up, Lisa. You are wasting your time. You need to get back to _____ and ____ and ____.”

I’d like to take that nasty little voice of harping and guilt and choke the life blood out of it. Yeah, I’d like five minutes alone in a room with that little voice. I’d really give her a what-for. Oh, wait. That voice is inside my head. All. The. Time.

I need to find a way to create Box Lady experiences without that little voice squelching the good that comes from it. Now.

My soul needs it. It craves it.

The clock is ticking.

“Someday” isn’t good enough—because there is no “someday” guarantee. There is only today. (As cold and claustrophobic as this one might be.)

There is only today.

Seuss Today quote