My year of sea change

I don’t do resolutions. After years of haplessly making them and watching them slip through my fingers like everyone else, I finally figured out that THEY DON’T WORK FOR ME.

For me, the word RESOLUTION conjures up associations of a set jaw and steely eyes, grim determination, pioneers, hardship, winter, wartime. There are times when what you need to survive is RESOLVE, so I’m not knocking it. But that kind of resolve is a short term solution to a (hopefully) short term crisis.

And to be honest, this time last year I was coming out of a crisis of sorts. Giving birth to a brand new human being and then caring for him around the clock was a shock to my system. It rocked my whole world off its axis and one year ago my beautiful son was exactly four months old and the fog was just starting to clear. What I didn’t know then was that the real work was just beginning — the next 9 months were a time of intense transformation. I tried new things (zumba! hypnosis! life coaching!) and I don’t know if it’s because I was desperate for adult human connection or because the timing was right, but these things sparked huge insights. I read books that pinged off the insights I was having (especially these two books: Finding Your Way in a Wild New World and Our Band Could Be Your Life). I connected with artists who made me question my assumptions around making art and making a living (especially TJ Dawe and Itai Erdal and Cynthia Hopkins and Artists U, which anyone who is struggling to balance art and making a living should go check out right now). It’s like everything I’d been struggling with for years suddenly shifted two inches to the right, and snapped into sharp focus.

All of this led me to put together a plan that didn’t involve SACRIFICING anything or choosing between one vital part of myself or another, but was exactly what I want to do — my style, my dream, my pace. I realized that somewhere in the last five years I’d stopped listening to my body and to my gut. And they were telling me very clearly what I needed to do. I quit my job. I started making a new solo show. And I started this creative practice.

That doesn’t mean everything is easy and happy now. The journey was HARD, and I’m still figuring out how to balance all of the things I want to do with motherhood, which continues to be the hardest teacher of all. But right now as I’m writing this at a coffeeshop in Ashland, my husband is on a hike with our son, who is exactly 16-months-old. And even though we ain’t got money, we’re so in love that everything will bring a chain of love and tears of joy to our eyes, etc.

So back to resolutions: last year at this time I was too bleary-eyed from exhaustion to even think about them. And yet, it was a year of sea change — tiny changes that joined together into huge changes, that shifted my whole world.

So I guess that’s what I hope for the year ahead. That I keep paying attention to the little things, that I see connections when they arise, that I keep listening to what my body is telling me, that I keep learning how to appreciate time with my son at his pace.

I don’t know what sea changes will come of that. But I trust I’ll be able to rise with them.


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