Saturday, December 31, 2016

Come on 2017! (Part Two: Goals)

Yesterday, I established that for me 2016 was a bad year. I also said that I am working on goals for myself. Not resolutions, but goals that can be hammered at with various levels of success without giving up. Part of establishing goals is taking a look at the state of each thing currently. For me, I can only set goals on tangible things, things that I actually wield some control and influence over.

Of course, I'd love to just say "I'll be happier!" in 2017, but that doesn't mean anything. How will I be happier? What makes me happy? What if what makes me happy is completely beyond my control?

The truth is that all goals are in the pursuit of happiness. They fulfill different needs within us that lead to contentment and happiness if we achieve them. They also offer lifelines to us when things start going wrong. Essentially, goals are about making ourselves stronger and able to withstand what life would throw our way, which makes us able to enjoy those moments when happiness is a real thing.

So, with all that in mind, here are my goals for 2017 with ideas on how to achieve them (and they're all important, so order doesn't matter here):


My health deteriorated in 2016. I gained weight, exercised less than I have in 15 years, and I have physical pain and more (some linked to this asinine behavior of mine, and others just a nifty nasty new present the universe decided to lob at my head.) I cannot live like this. I do not want to live like this.

My goals include getting back to the original program that worked for me so many years ago (that I stayed on for a few years, and maintained with.) This should result in significant weight loss, but my real goal is now health (and less pain.) This goal includes my husband, because we're in our mid-40's now and I worry about heart attacks and the like, especially in his case.

I feel like I am starting from square one again, something I haven't felt in about 15 years, and it's depressing. But it's important to remember that just because you are starting again, it doesn't mean you'll stay at the beginning. Eventually, you can accomplish so much and not feel so bad about where you are at anymore. This starting point will be that distant memory soon enough.


Every year, I do an art quilt. This has all the work I did for the year in it, and this is 2016:

What I see here is 99% of the work I completed in 2016, and how little I actually created. Depression hit me hard, and while I mostly made it out of bed, I didn't make it into the studio. My heart wasn't in it, or much of anything. I do see some growth, a gradual switch back to oils (finally!) and a few other things... but mostly, I see that I am lost.

I work in separate genres (surreal and fantasy, and dabble with abstracts still), and while I have been this way for a long time, I have lost my "voice" in all of those over the past few years. I'm not sure why that happened. Maybe it's a natural consequence of growth, and it's normal and you just have to find it again. I certainly hope so.

I had so many goals at the end of 2015, because I thought that is what I needed to focus on in my career. The problem with losing your artistic voice and vision is that more production when you are uninspired and lost isn't possible or reasonable. You think it's the answer because it means money, and you think you'll figure it out while you sell what you create in the meantime. It's the wrong focus.

2017 is going to be different. In some ways, I realize I have lost certain skills, or simply don't have what I need yet. 2017 is going to be about pulling back. I'm going to sort of cocoon myself in my studio and LEARN. I want and need to learn several new techniques. I need to paint, without the intent to sell, without that pressure, so that I can give myself the room to grow again.

Will I continue to sell? Oh, sure, I have a thriving business and that will continue... but sort of on the back burner. It's not my focus for 2017, and I'm lucky enough to be able to take the space to try and improve myself as an artist. I have a long way to go, but to me, this is worth more than selling a painting ever again.

And there you have it, my goals! I thought there would be more, but I think it is best if I stick close to home, simple, and quiet with them.

I have personal goals, but they're kind of vague. I also suspect a lot of my personal goals and feeling better in general will be directly linked to achieving my health and art goals. Mind, body, and spirit. I sincerely want my spirit to stop feeling so wounded. I feel... like I'm bleeding, all the time, everywhere. I don't believe this is linked to just one thing, and I certainly cannot share publicly the deeper thoughts and issues I struggle with, because let's face it, the Internet hordes would crucify me. You cannot be totally human any more, not in person, and certainly not online.

So, I'll simply say that I hope for better. For health, and peace, and balance that 2016 lacked so significantly for me. I cannot control the world, what 2017 will pelt us all with from the outside. I CAN control what happens within my bubble and focus on being a better me.

I expect that I will be doing a lot more blogging about my progress on these goals, because it will be moving in the right direction and I think I would like to share that.

Do you have goals for 2017? Are you ready?


Jeri Landers said...

Kyra, You say that you accomplished little in 2016, but I see an enormous amount of magnificent work above. You really are more spectacular than you realize. As for health and feeling better both mentally and physically, I discovered last year what a huge difference my diet made in my life in every aspect;from headaches, stress, muscle pain and all the other rot. I just quit eating anything made with sugar or any kind of flour. I did it for 6 months, lost 26 pounds and felt better in every other way. Of course, the Holidays make us forget about our health, and now, after devouring countless chocolates and other unmentionables, I must retreat back to my healthful eating habits. It is amazing how medicinal food really is. You can do this too.

Magic Love Crow said...

Kyra, I have faith in you! You can do it! You will do it! Everything you want to accomplish, I totally understand! Take everything one day at a time!
You know how hard it was for me to join the gym last year? Totally scared! To show the real me! "Fine hair and all!" But, I did it and I am going to continue! I love myself too much! I am not going to give up! First time in my life, I have accepted me for me! When I get down more weight, I will tell everyone what my highest weight was.
I ate to cover up pain. But, the weird part is, I am scared to let the weight go. It's like a security blanket for me. That's why I had a bad December, because I ate! I snapped myself out of it! I'm ready to see what happens, when my weight is gone!
I just couldn't believe, I was and still am, scared, to lose all my weight!
They say when you do the things that scare you the most, you will get the biggest accomplishment!
When you said you feel like you're bleeding inside, I so understand. Try to everyday, look up into the sky and say, it's so good to be alive!
We are all going to have our down days! December sucked for me! But, as long as you get up again, that is the main thing! There are signs everyday for us! Look for them!
Big Hugs! (Love your art quilt!)

Stephanie Faris said...

You and I are in the exact same boat with the weight loss thing. I lost a significant amount of weight in my early 30s and kept it off for about 10 years. Now 30 pounds of it is back and I'm committed to losing weight. I hopped back on the exact same program I used 15 years ago (in my case, Weight Watchers from the OLD days--counting points the way the program used to work before they changed it all). I will say when I lost weight the last time, I felt about 50% better...more energy and all of the pains I'd been having were gone. I was young then... But I know weight loss can help with a lot of things. We can DO THIS!!! I'm bribing myself...every Sunday if I have a completed booklet where I've written down 7 days of food/activity and stuck with the program, I get to go shopping on eBay and buy a new piece of clothing. As I lose weight, I'll need new clothes, so that has always worked and you can find things for less than $10 on eBay!

Kyra Wilson said...

Jerry- Thank you :) I'm figuring out my direction, and I hope I'll start feeling better about my progress as I move forward. And I agree, I know how much better I feel when I eat right and my weight is down. It is so easy to forget that, especially with the holidays, or just simply in the moment!

MLC - I understand about being afraid to let the weight go. Good or bad, it weirdly becomes part of our identity too. *hugs* to you too!

Stephanie - I remember the old WW! Actually, really old, it was before points and it was filling in boxes for "fruits" and stuff. I'm looking forward to feeling better! Your 10-day ebay thing is a cool idea!