While on a plane recently, I pulled out my laptop and decided to play around with my "If Not Now, When?" theme. Back in the summer I had worked on a simple poster using just words. I started to think about how I could express this sentiment with shapes as well. To simplify one aspect of what I was doing, I stuck with the palette I used for holiday wrapping paper I designed and had printed by Spoonflower. I am still such a beginner with Adobe Illustrator that what I create is more than 50-percent a function of what I can figure out how to do with the program rather than a particular concept I have conceived, but I kind of like what I created. It is definitely less sophisticated than I intended, but I'm learning to accept that creativity is a continuous path with lots of spots to pause along its never-ending way.
With the new year approaching, I know a lot of people are setting goals. I tend not to make significant resolutions as I don't tend to keep them. But I am thinking about the list I wrote in August in a blog post called "What Do I Want to Do With the Rest of My Life?" Basically, ever since I left my full-time job and switched to self-employment, I have been keeping track of the whispers I hear inside my head about what I'd like to be doing, letting them rise above the chatter and static of everyday else and guide me. As I reflect on and begin to act upon these ideas, I remind myself: If not now, when?
Here is my current list, slightly amended from the one I posted in the summer.
--Learn how to build a shelter (start with a tent and then a fence for the garden).
--Learn how to change a tire.
--Continue to learn Illustrator, PhotoShop, and InDesign.
--Travel to India, Japan, and Scandinavia.
--Go to a yoga retreat in a tropical place.
--Spend (at least) a month living in the south of France.
--Spend part of each year in a place where I can swim in the ocean every day.
--Design fabric, washi tape, wrapping paper.
--Go to writer's workshop/retreat for at least a week.
--Stitch an Alabama Chanin project with a stencil I have designed.
--Write again (maybe another book, maybe a novel).
--Learn how to make pickles (with confidence that I won't make anyone sick).
--Learn how to cut well with an X-acto knife (or at least get better at it).
--Choose kindness and generosity whenever possible.