A lot of quilters on the QuiltArt list like to pick a word to use as a goal or motivation for the coming year. I think I have trouble thinking long-term, but I’ve tried similar ideas.
In 2011, I chose the idea of being “brave” when it comes to my artwork. It comes from a song by Nicole Nordeman, and some of the lyrics are “So long status quo, I think I’ll just let go. You make me want to be brave.” So, how did it work for me? In 2011, I made these quilts:
While I did not consciously think of being “brave” throughout the year, each of these was experimental in some way, pushing the boundaries of what was comfortable for me.
In 2012, instead of picking a word, I tried joining two year-long challenges. One was a free-motion quilting challenge. I thought it would be a good way to get to know George better. I participated for seven months before my life got completely crazy, and I dropped out. I was also going to participate in a challenge to organize my studio. I mostly wanted to see what other people were doing in case there were new ideas I could incorporate, but I’m more of a loner and I’m happy organizing my studio on my own, at my own pace.
Anyway, I thought I’d choose a word for 2013. It’s hard because my life usually takes unexpected twists and turns. Last year was a perfect example. Nevertheless, I was vacillating between two words, so I decided to keep both. One is “focus” and the other is “self-discipline.” For the many years I worked full-time I fantasized about how many quilts I could make if only I didn’t have work outside the home. In 2008, I broke my arm and had surgery, which eventually motivated me to quit that job and work from home instead. But, despite all the extra hours I have, I still don’t seem to make many quilts. I spend too much time piddling around and wasting time.
This year, I want to become more productive! I want to put on blinders to the meaningless things and focus on the things that are really important to me. To do that, I need to develop self-discipline. “Discipline” by itself sounds so severe to me, but self-discipline indicates something I am purposefully choosing.