Today is a turning point in the year. Equinox is one of my favourite days. The days now officially have more light than darkness. It’s a great time to get organized and prepare for the summer. It’s a time for new beginnings as we think about spring soon coming, but it is also a time to reflect on our past. This week, winter has been putting in a last ditch effort to cling to the landscape. Even as I write this the snow blows and piles up on the streets and houses. Still it’s nearly zero and those that did shovel their sidewalks know that the earth is warm enough to melt the snow falling during the day. In many ways it is quite pretty. A nice blanket of clean white makes the city quiet on a Sunday afternoon.
Equinox is a great time to consider a little decluttering and organizing. I hear my grandmother’s voice, ‘a place for everything and everything in it’s place’. Terry and I have plans to sort and tidy up the closets, hide the winter clothes, and get the shorts and sandals out for the warm weather that is just around the corner. Clothes that I’ve outgrown will soon find new homes. I’m excited now, I want to put down my coffee and this blog and go sort closets. Okay, I’m a little weird too. Our de-cluttering angel, Heather, would be proud. And yes, there is such a person and she is a great help.
Our plan is that the warm weather will be here when we come back from our spring break in Europe. I used to tell everyone I know never to let me go to Europe for I feared I would not come back. Instead we are now visiting often. All of this cleaning and organizing is quite important to us as we plan a house renovation this summer. The plans are with the architect and each iteration brings as a little closer to the ideal space that we would love for our lifestyle of openness, entertaining, and gardening. Lots of light and a more minimalist approach to design. I’m most excited because I’m getting rid of the 6’5″ doorways that I constantly have to duck under. Soon the house will have only eight foot openings and sliding walls. Not that I’m that tall – for heaven’s sakes 6’6″ is quite enough – flood pants and a pointed head. Poor me.
So as I considered this week, I’ve started on my goals for the season. One of the big things for me is to finish off a number of projects. It seems a big thing every year but perhaps this year I’ll actually get many of them finished. I’ve used the three questions I referred to in my last entry as a basis for planning this week and it is interesting to see what has happened. I am feeling much more balanced with my life… large and in charge as one friend says. I have been able to do some things that I’ve put off for months if not years.
My biggest accomplishment this week was going to Calgary on Wednesday and meeting with the printers to have limited edition prints made of two of my paintings. I’ve shown here two of the paintings that I’ve chosen and there is a third that I’m considering. Now for a shameless plug. If you would like a print of either of these please let me know, by either emailing me at email@example.com , or by signing up for the blog newsletter. I’ll be sure to contact you as soon as they are off the press, which will be in about three weeks.
On Wednesday the most important thing for me to do for myself was to go to Calgary have a little space to think and read, as well as to organize getting these prints in the works. It was so great to have time. The weather, unlike today, was cooperative. Winter was losing. The sun was bright and shining and I was able to walk around Mount Royal with only a t-shirt. I eventually settled at Steeps on 17th Avenue for a wonderful pot of Lapsang Suchong. That reminded me of my favourite high school teacher, Sheena. She was my art teacher and it seemed so appropriate that I would have just come from the printers. Terry hates this kind of tea, it reminds him of tar. I spent a while reading the book ‘Wikinomics’ that takes a close look at social networking, mass collaboration and the economy. I become increasingly convinced that I need to be more involved in this industry.
I stopped at my favourite bar on the way out of town for a couple of pints of beer. It was really nice to treat myself and gave me added energy for the work that I needed to do the rest of the week. I’ve been working on a number of small technological issues, from recovering from hacking, to finishing website work for clients. I’ve been teaching myself new content management systems and it is becoming important to my business to really understand how these work and how I can integrate them with the web design work I do.
The one thing that I have most wanted to work on this week is writing. I’ve learned that I truly need space for creativity to flourish. What is interesting to me as I reflect on the amount of work that I have do with clients, and some of the important deadlines, is that it leaves very little time for writing. Somehow I’m going to need to find space, even if it’s only a few hours a week, to really focus on writing. Many of the interruptions that happened this week are of the one time variety, to do with domain transfers, email setup, etc. I’m staring to feel some confidence around handling these now.
On Friday morning I had the wonderful opportunity to be filmed for a video being made on Community Development. Even though I wasn’t in quite the right space for this video I found it interesting to hear myself speaking. The experience was good because it reminded me that some of the material that I need for the book can be accessed through this type of interview process. I’ve asked to for a copy of the complete interview when it’s available. When Alan and I really get cooking on this book, it will be helpful to remember this interview process as a way to flush out the ideas and thinking.
So what I have learned this week? It’s been so full of small things that it almost seems like the big accomplishments are hiding. It’s a reminder to count the small accomplishments. It’s my observation that many of us discount the small tasks we do, then at the end of the week we question if we have actually done anything. This week has been full of little things what will all help create a better space for future work. Since it is equinox this week, and it’s too cold to dance naked around a camp fire, let’s all try to remember what we’ve done with the past six months since the last equinox. The major accomplishments will all be there, but try not to forget the simple things that are just about living one’s life. In this 21st century world many travellers tend to think that the important things are those things that we can point to and say… ‘see, that’s what I’ve done with my time’. I encourage you to think about the other ways you’ve spent your time, from reading to cooking, from hanging with friends to walking in the park, from dreaming about the future to remembering our own heritage… and then there is cycling, singing, painting, listening to music, laughing with friends… drinking great wine.