Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Traditions

Watching the Rose Parade on New Year's Day has been part of my ritual since HGTV started airing it live and uninterrupted. I get up in time to make coffee and fry some eggs to go with pastries before settling in on the couch, in my jammies, under a quilt, with said breakfast and a glass of orange juice spiked with champagne left over from the night before. The drumbeats of a marching band makes my heart race (yes, I was in band AND a majorette in high school) and I love those imaginative floats. It's my little treat to myself that gets the New Year off to a pleasant start. But as most of you probably know, the parade isn't until tomorrow, a fact that alluded me until last night. So I was in a bit of a state over how to spend this morning to make it special (Do I spike the OJ or not? Do I save the pastry for tomorrow?). And then, do I watch the parade tomorrow like I'd normally do, even though I'd planned a regular work day? Oh the trauma! Well, yeah I'll be watching the parade. Sheesh.

My other tradition for the day is getting my new calendars up. I love this ritual almost as much as watching the parade. There's something about a fresh calendar that exudes hope and optimism and opportunity, unlike the one it replaces which may be full of disappointments and lost opportunities and too many things to do. It also represents a chance to start over and a freedom that soon dissipates once appointments and meetings and other obligations begin to fill it. But on this day, I am only transferring birthdays and anniversaries from the old calendar to the new. It gives me a chance to reflect on those people I remember on their special days. Paging through the old year also reminds me of trips I took, friends I lunched with, special people I lost and others I gained. Some years are more pleasant to remember than others. This one was not so bad compared to several from a few years back.

That's my kitchen calendar, the overall ruler of my days. I also have a Diane Phalen calendar I hang in my bedroom. She paints pleasant country scenes with quilts draped about. I make no notations on this calendar - it is purely for pleasure.

Then there are the two calendars in my studio. One is the AQS engagement calendar that I use to notate and track my daily progress on projects. It also has some space at the end for notes. I use it to list what I'd like to finish in the new year and also look back at how well I did meeting my goals of last year. Some years I really don't want to look at those goals, knowing how few of them I've reached. Other years I find I've done pretty well. Once I've scoped out the "resolutions" I don't look at this page until the next year. It would undoubtedly be better if I peeked at it now and then to see if I'm on track, but I've never used it in this way. Something to think about.

The other calendar in my studio is a wall calendar where I notate contest deadlines. I usually try to find something quilt related, often traditional, but two years ago I found one with inspirational quotations and beautiful outdoor photography that seemed to fit the artistic path I'd begun to follow. Anyway, this calendar usually doesn't get dealt with today, but sometime this week I'll collect the contest info I've gathered so far, assess it for overlaps and fit with quilts ready (or soon to be ready) to go, then get those dates blocked out on it. This is my calendar for keeping my quilting on track.

I also have a pocket calendar for my purse which duplicates the kitchen calendar. Hopefully it keeps me out of double-booking when I'm out and about. For awhile, I tried to maintain a separate engagement calendar just for scheduling classes and workshops. I was forever setting these up on the phone NOT by the kitchen calendar and it felt more professional to have this special calendar by my office phone. But I found it meant updating 3 calendars with this info, and more than once the kitchen calendar, the ruler of my days, would get the info incorrectly transferred to it. I've stopped teaching now (with the exception of one last guild workshop at the end of the month) so only need a simple one-page calendar by that phone.

I've been posting my weekly studio goals here and I will continue to do so. I'm glad I did not take my usual tact of waiting to the new year to turn over a new leaf and change my daily habits. It has made me feel more in control as I stand at the threshold of 2006, more able to seize opportunities that may present themselves, more confident that I can make real progress. What I'll not do here is set out any long term goals, resolutions or the like. Not yet at least. But I will share that I plan to make serious progress towards my goal of relocating to the West. I'm not sure I'm prepared to say it WILL happen in 2006 - many factors yet to be explored and worked out - but I think it is a real probability. And I do think it is time I make it happen.


Nikki said...

Hi there. I just discovered your blog this week and I really relate to a lot of what you've written about your creative journey. I'm an Eastern Washington girl and was wondering where you grew up in North Idaho?

The Idaho Beauty said...

Welcome, Nikki. I grew up in Wallace and went to college in Spokane. Cheney was a welcome sign when traveling - indicating I was almost home.

Yes, the more blogs I read, the more I realize I am not alone!