Thursday, January 05, 2012

embrace the journey, forget about the destination.

Results are very important to me. In fact, perfection is preferred, and planned for. Even the things I do to "relax" are about creating a final product that will be pleasing. Cooking a meal that will taste good to everyone. Working out so I can look like the folks in the P90X dvds (a girl can wish). Taking a photo that will accurately capture how beautiful my children are. No matter what, I'm always scoring myself and internally telling myself how I can improve next time.

What if I didn't care about the results at all? If I had nothing invested, except the time it took to sit and breathe? Risky, for me anyway.  I don't have a lot of extra time on my hands. When I find a spare moment to drink a cup of coffee, I find myself gazing up at the kitchen ceiling and reminding myself that come summer, I need to put a fresh coat of paint on it. It's been a long time since I did something just for the experience, where I didn't care if I was good at it or bad or what anyone thought.

I started thinking about what I would enjoy doing that would be something where I could truly embrace the journey without a care in the world of where I was headed. Wandering through Michael's, I overheard an announcement about a painting class. Perfect. I know nothing about painting. I don't need to be a good painter. It doesn't matter if my seascape looks like a murky bog or my fruit bowl is mistaken for a toaster oven. Why the hell not?

The first class was an interesting experience. Sitting at a table, in the middle of Michael's with my lovely instructor, I learned about how to hold a brush, blend paints on the canvas, and when to use what stroke. It was fun. For two hours, I was able to let go and just "be" (and was serenaded by a local adult contemporary radio station to boot).

I painted a tree, which for me, was fitting. It looks like a tree (or maybe a hat). Who cares? Certainly not me.

Monday, January 02, 2012

tearing down christmas.

I find solace in taking down all of my Christmas decorations after the new year. I breathe a sigh of relief with every breakable ornament I wrap up, sorting through stockings, folding the poinsettia table cloth and snow man napkins, and figuring out how to get the nutcracker back into his box. If there were any champagne left in the house, I would have finished it off, as if to celebrate making it through another Christmas.

For the most part, I love the holiday season. And it's way better with kids. This year we saw (most of) a Christmas movie in the theatre, made gingerbread cookies (and ate them before we ever got around to icing them), and listened to Christmas music every time we got in the car. There were several days where we didn't get out of our pyjamas, and we finally managed to dial back our spending.

Of course, the things that stress me out every Christmas still stressed me out. Well, maybe they stressed me out a little less, but that may have been general apathy, who knows? I'm hoping it's growth and perspective that have taught me that if I don't get it all done the world won't end and if someone does or doesn't call me, I shouldn't take it personally because it has more to do with them and their "stuff" than me.

One thing I did this year that I haven't done (ever) is finally repair the box of broken ornaments I hold on to because I just can't bear the idea of throwing them away. It was just me, my krazy glue, and a dozen decorations that had seen better days. I successfully fixed all but two (which went back into the box for next year). The rest of them, they weren't perfect, but they will live to see another Christmas.