Carving up the year

I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, but I do find the new year and other significant anniversary dates a good time for reflection and review. What’s working in my life, what do I want more of, and its opposite, what isn’t working and what might I want less of?  In other words, how do I want to carve up this year?

Carving is an interesting concept. Placing a cut, so that something is divided or apportioned. This can be done as in slicing a loaf of bread or a roast, so that servings can be given out. Other carving may involve separating different segments of things, such as removing the rotten part of an apple and keeping the good bits for eating. Or surgery, in which diseased tissue may be removed and discarded and healthy tissue reconnected to itself. And then there’s carving as in sculpture, creating art or an object of interest from something else, a block of wood, ice or stone.

Looking at my life and this year, it appears that I’m interested in applying many of these types of carving. How do I apportion my time so that I have the balance I seek in my life?What size slices go where, and within that, are there ways of arranging those slices that might work better for me (many might call this scheduling)? As I look at what is being carved, the ways in which I spend my time and energy, are there activities or events that may once have been good, but are now past their sell-by date as far as adding meaning to my life? What do I wish to keep, and what goes to the recycling bin?

So here goes.

Looking at my professional life, I’m reasonably happy with it; I work about as much as I want to, and I enjoy my day to day work with clients.  There are a few places with room for improvement. One is scheduling. I’m a little too flexible with client’s requests, not always protecting my own time off. Its not that I’m working too many hours, its that they are more scattered through the week than I would like. I’ve remedied this by marking days out on my calendar, keeping more open time for the rest of my life.

Related to this, there are a few professional groups and meetings I’ve been involved with for many years, and while they have some value to me, more often than not, I’m resentful (a big truth teller for me) of the time they take. I noticed this again last week, and wrote drafts of resignation letters. Checking back in on this today, resigning these commitments still feels right, so the letters have been sent.

Home life. The balance is pretty good here at the moment. BA and I have been talking about what we would like to do this year, both in terms of travel and home projects. Redoing our landscaping is a big one, and will require time and energy and money. We are also going to do a short late winter trip to warmer climes and ocean and are deciding on other travel plans. At this point, there’s not a “big” trip, but more an intention to explore parts of our own beautiful state that we haven’t visited for years. In addition, various of my relatives have had changes in their health or life circumstances, and I anticipate that more of my time may be spent with my family of origin.

Physical activity. I mixed this up last summer when I started my triathlon training project.  This has been very positive, with a big impact on both my physical and mental/emotional health. More on this and my plans/goals in an upcoming TriThis.

Other activities. I’m still enjoying writing, as evidenced by this blog. I plan to continue, and am pondering some possibilities within this. I’m enjoying haiku and other 17 syllable poetry options and will continue with my explorations. I’m also working with the idea of a series looking at phrases, ideas and concepts that I use in my life. Writing is an active area of growth for me, and I’m keeping time and space for it.

Art. I’ve done work with glass in the past–both lamp working, forming objects in the flame and fused glass work. I love color and playing with fire. Its fallen by the wayside in recent years and I am wanting to restart. Step one is cleaning up my work area in the basement in preparation for firing up my torch and kiln.

At the moment, this looks like a pretty good approach for this year, with a rebalancing of ideas and intentions, leaving some things in the past, keeping many things, with or without modification and developing new ideas and activities. That’s a plan, and now I’ll find out how that meshes with my life going forward. My hope is that I am creating more art than waste. We shall see.


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