Monday, 12 January 2015

A Simple Goal for the New Year

You know what long winter commutes are good for? Catching up on my thoughts with Evernote. The first day of the new year was surprising sunny and optimistic, with a sky dappled with clouds. Happy 2015!

The next day looked like the same old year - grey and overcast until we plunged into a snowy deep freeze. I needed that sky to find my optimism for 2015. I was busy taking care of my self, my family and a friend for the last part of 2014. There's always a kind of joy to starting a new year fresh, but also so much pressure to make the most of it too. I started 2011 with being laid off. No one plans for that! It's a hard lesson for anyone who loves to plan. Life doesn't go from point A to point B or turn out like the PowerPoint. Hope is not a strategy either.

A few months ago we had a motivational speaker at work that emphasized that trying to change everything at once leads to failure. He suggested making one degree changes (no 180s people!). My wake up call last year was a troublesome tooth that revealed that I had to change my diet in a big way - not just cut back on sweets, but that I also had an iron deficiency. Thanks to iron supplements, I had to eat more fibre, and because of that, which meant drinking more water. If I make 357 more changes, like getting a cast iron skillet, I will be a whole new person. At least, that's my theory.

But, looping back, one thing I do plan on accomplishing (notice I didn't say hope) is finishing this cross stitch peacock. It was started in 1998. 1998! I don't want to die with it rolled up in a drawer, which was the fate of some needlework my great-aunt started in the 50s or earlier. Great Aunt Katie was childless and so are we. My niece is probably not going to want two generations of unfinished embroidery :-)

As motivating as it was to want to finish it, there were logistical problems. I would have to go out and find new embroidery floss, which probably wouldn't match after all these years. Then I would have to find the pattern, etc. etc. Truly, it's the little obstacles that prevent us from accomplishing great things. 

Then I was reminded of something from art college - Kintsugi - or the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold resin. It's a way of giving a broken object new life. Objects have all sorts of lives - and the peacock is a reminder of how much I used to love cross-stitch and find peace in little fabric pixels. I bought a few kinds of gold embroidery floss and I'll apply the same idea to my peacock - just gleefully fill in all the empty spots with gold so that it can live the life I always meant for it to have.