January 06, 2008

quick and dirty wins the race

ben_giggle_bjorn.jpg
Ben doesn't worry about being perfect and strangely he just is....,Canon Rebel XTI

andrea_ben_sleeping.jpg
When Ben was a few weeks old,Canon Rebel XTI

If you are anything like me, you have a perfectionist gremlin that keeps you from getting things done. "That's not good enough!" it shouts. "You should maybe do that in your journal first.." it whispers. "Maybe you should work on it later/tomorrow/when the time is right..." "This is important. You shouldn't just write whatever... you should light a candle and burn some incense and make a sacred space..."

Very clever little gremlin, I might add.

For those of you who haven't answered the completion questions yet (and are inspired to) like myself, I encourage you to go in the face of your gremlins and write ANYTHING. I am a fan of the quick and dirty version... When I give myself permission to write something imperfect, I end up writing SOMETHING and that is always better than nothing. Even better, there is often a kernel of writing/ideas that I like in there. Sometimes the quick and dirty version is the most true expression, free(ish) of ego and gremlin activity. Imagine: What if you did a quick and dirty version of that novel? that proposal? that application? that painting?

Here are my quick and dirty answers to the completion questions:
1. In 2007 I learned how to take care of Ben, how to change a diaper, feed a wee one, listen to him cry (so difficult) and love him up. I learned how to give myself over to a task, to let go of all the things I thought I needed to do (sleep, see friends, blog, etc.) and simply BE with this little dude. I'm proud of the commitments I have made (and honored) to my little family. I am proud of how patient, present and connected I have been. I have been a good mama.

I am also proud that I ran Superhero Designs and got so much joy out of doing so. Making necklaces was like a meditation for me and I am so happy that I was able to do it and contribute financially to our home. I am proud of a successful year both personally and professionally.

I am proud that I honored my desire to be creative and to write and take photos when I could and also let it go when it wasn't possible.

2. I forgive myself for being a totally imperfect mother and partner. I forgive myself for trying to control the show and not letting others help me (and then resenting them, ha! :). I forgive myself for neglecting relationships and disappearing. I forgive myself for not taking care of my body well. I forgive myself for not making ben's baby food (earth's best baby!) and for possibly contributing to whatever chewing and weight problems he has. I forgive myself for being afraid to travel with Ben (even to SF) this year. I forgive myself for watching too much tv and dvds.

I grieve the relationship that Matt and I had as a duo.

3. 2007, you were long and full and rich with lessons, joys and challenges. I am grateful to you and I am also ready to let you go and create anew. I declare you complete!

2008 is my year of partnership and romance!
You?

Posted on January 6, 2008 09:31 AM
Comments

This is what I wrote in my blog about my theme for 2008:

Okay, I've given this a lot of thought...and the word that sums up what I want in 2008 is openess. I want to be free from limitations, boundaries, and restrictions. I want to be available and accessible—ready and willing to receive. I want to open to new opportunities. I want to be open to new friendships and relationships. I don't want to be hindered to try something or do something by my own doubts and fears.

As always Andrea, thanks for letting us share!

Posted by: La'Saundra at January 14, 2008 01:32 PM

"2008 is my year of partnership and romance!"

It totally should be, as it's the year of the earth rat! :)

I posted this to my own site for New Year:
"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.
~Ellen Goodman"

I so hope for it...

Posted by: a. at January 13, 2008 02:27 AM

This was such a wonderful way to declare 2007 complete. 2008 is going to be my year of living the dream- the whole list got a little long to post in a comment though, so here's the link:

http://luziesnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/mondo-beyondo/

:) have a wonderful weekend!

Posted by: luzie at January 12, 2008 02:15 AM

Okay, here goes - will try not to be a windbag!

1. I want to acknowledge picking my artwork back up, and having the courage to believe that people might want to buy something I create. Any money I have ever made on artwork in the past was entirely by chance - I have never set out to create work FOR SALE before. But I wanted to supplement our income to buy some much needed furniture replacements for our home, and I needed a creative outlet for myself, so I started selling watercolor paintings on eBay. Later in the year I learned out to make felted things out of wool, so I created and sold little wallets and purses with vintage buttons on them. And I created some funky and interesting jewelry, initially inspired by you, Andrea. I'm proud of going to my first art show and making a decent bit, and for going to a boutique in Houston to sell the rest.

2. I grieve my little sister's devastated heart, learning her husband cheated on her and had been doing so for almost the entire length of their marriage. She is now going through an ugly divorce with two little children, something she had very little part in creating. But moving on from him is a good and healthy thing for her, so it has its good side. But I grieve for her, the little family she thought she had is going to be much different going forward.
I also grieve for my decline in participation in yoga. Though I love it so, I find that there are so many different and wonderful priorities in my life that I am not able to devote as much time to yoga as I had the previous year (when I wasn't doing ANY artwork... yoga had to make room for the artwork). I felt disappointed in myself though, that I wasn't doing as much of it as I had been, and as would make for a more in-tune spiritual practice. So I forgive myself for that, I forgive myself for letting my daughter watch too much TV. I forgive myself for the occasional meltdown I've had that startled my daughter. I forgive myself for not doing as much gardening and home maintenance as I would ideally like to do. I forgive myself for having a maid come to my little tiny house once every two weeks to help me keep the place clean. I forgive myself for my all-too-frequent shopping splurges.
3. I declare 2007 complete.
Going forward, this will be the year of personal discipline. I have really let some things slide this past year that I need to get back on track. It is also a year of cleaning out the cobwebs and clutter in my life, and move toward a place of flat spaces free of junk, organized drawers, and removing things from my life which cause irritation. A cleansing year, if you will.

Posted by: Trasi at January 10, 2008 06:28 AM

Better late than never. I am Missis scary-pants. I do not know why I worte the thing and got scared somehow. But I really want to be more brave. So big breath - here I go:
1. I learned to care for my son, I learned to be myself and be a mum at the same time, I learned to share my life with my bf, I decided to dedicate my time to my son and my writing - even if it does not bring much moeny, I decided to be brave and do not take any opportunity to publish but try to stay true to myself and my writing
2. I grieve my independence, I grieve spending time with my bf, being not able to be a real partner some times, I forgive myself for that.I grieve loosing my body-image, not exercising, not caring enough for myself (diat, sport, rest...) I forgive myself for that too
3. It was a fast first year as a new mum, time moved differently I grew a lot and I forgive myself for not meeting all my own expectations
I declare 2007 complete.
2008 is my year of living and writing authentically, caring less about what others think. And the year of partnership and romance.

Posted by: Katrin at January 10, 2008 02:39 AM

the pic of you n ben sweetly snoozing made me want to go and have a wee bebe of my own.

it made me want to sing: i declare you both complete.

Posted by: inga at January 9, 2008 07:12 PM

Thank you, Andrea, for letting me do this!

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?
In spite of great tragedies that happened around me all year, I had two solo shows and worked on a group installation piece and guest lectured at a friend's class. My family remained intact after dealing with my mother's estate. We stayed together through everything horrible that happened this year. I am lucky to have the kind of people that I have in my life - amazing friends and family. I am proud that I have been able to celebrate the great joys that have happened in my dear friends' lives and not feel too envious for it. I am glad that, throughout this past year, I never lost my sense of humour.

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?
2007 started with the grief of having just lost my mother and the challenge of dealing with her house and everything in it. Then I watched two young people lose their battles with cancer. And then a dear friend tried to kill himself. Then my brother died very suddenly, leaving a wife and young son behind. Such an overwhelming year of sadness. I am so sorry for not visiting my brother over the summer, and for not calling more often. I am sorry for not being able to be more support to people suffering around me. I am sorry for shutting down so often this year and hiding in my bed.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?
I had hoped to start looking for a new job. I had hoped to start feeling better about my body. And hoped to get healthier. I had hoped to not be alone. I had wanted 2007 to be about moving forward. For falling in love. But I didn't have the energy for any of it.

I DECLARE 2007 COMPLETE!

I want 2008 to be about love and joy. I don't want to hide in my bed. There are other things I want for this year too: romance, art and good food. And always, lots of laughter.

Posted by: al at January 8, 2008 09:46 PM

andrea-

thanks for reminding us all that quick and dirty is still accepting the challenge and that's the first step. I accept this new year and challenge myself and everyone out there to really live this one in all its quick and dirty and messy brilliant splendor!

xo,
cindy

Posted by: cindy at January 8, 2008 04:48 PM

andrea-

thanks for reminding us all that quick and dirty is still accepting the challenge and that's the first step. I accept this new year and challenge myself and everyone out there to really live this one in all its quick and dirty and messy brilliant splendor!

xo,
cindy

Posted by: cindy at January 8, 2008 04:47 PM

Oh Andrea - you are such an authentic soul. I love you soooo much and I'm just beginning to know you.

Let's get to know each other better in 2008?!?

Posted by: kimberly at January 8, 2008 02:37 PM

2008 is my year of Authenticity. I'm off to do my Mondo Beyondo list. thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Hundred and one at January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

2008 is my year of Authenticity. I'm off to do my Mondo Beyondo list. thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Hundred and one at January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

2008 is my year of Authenticity. I'm off to do my Mondo Beyondo list. thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Hundred and one at January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

2008 is my year of Authenticity. I'm off to do my Mondo Beyondo list. thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Hundred and one at January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

2008 is my year of Authenticity. I'm off to do my Mondo Beyondo list. thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Hundred and one at January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

2008 is my year of Authenticity. I'm off to do my Mondo Beyondo list. thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Hundred and one at January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

Thank you for this beautiful idea! It has been a surprising exercise in encouragement... like a long drink at the end of a marathon. Mine got a bit long, so I'll leave it here: http://cappuccinosophy.blogspot.com/2008/01/mondo-beyondo.html
Happy, happy 2008 to you!

Posted by: Bethany at January 8, 2008 09:59 AM

I thought that I'd surely having nothing to acknowledge myself for, but through this exercise, I was able to see that in the face of a hard year, I could acknowledge my bravery for continuing to show up and figure things out. Thank you for planting the seed.

Posted by: Megan at January 8, 2008 07:57 AM

In 2007, I finally gained acceptance of the full scope of my health problems. That it's taking so long to get better; that I may never be the person that I once was; or that I may eventually be in better health than I ever was, but that it's taking a helluva lot longer than I ever thought it could.

It's taken a lot of courage to face that, because it's not how I pictured myself at 40, and certainly not the way I wanted things to work out.

I also realized that while there are a *lot* of life changes that I'd like to make, right now, I'm somewhat limited in what I can do. So I put on my happy face and do the best that I can.

Perhaps those things don't seem particularly brave to most people, but I'm usually not one to accept the status quo - I always want to work to change things - and right now I can't. So for me, it's pretty damn brave to accept the cards that I've been dealt.

I grieve about lost time. I didn't really lose time - it's not like I've been in a coma throughout 2007 - but lost time when I haven't been a full-bodied, energetic person.

And I grieve about all that I haven't been able to do with my kids. I just want to have energy and outrun them & *do* things with them. But I can't always. And that's sad.

In 2008, I want to nurture my heart and my soul and my body. And continue working toward getting the old me back...or better yet, the new me!

In 2008, I want to be there for my family, in every possible way.

In 2008, I want to open my world up to the possibilities that await me! I want to live through my creativity and share it with as many people as I can.

And mostly, I want to live a life of peace. Mental. Physical. Emotional. Spiritual. Peace.

Posted by: Andrea at January 7, 2008 09:58 PM

Every time I come here I am inspired and renewed.
It appears you have a success of a year. Embracing imperfection makes all that we do and are much more free, not to mention fun.
Happy New Year to you.

Posted by: bella at January 7, 2008 09:38 PM

This year I learned how to handle life with a baby and two toddlers. I'm proud of myself despite my many mistakes. I'm proud I did my best despite moveing to a new town away from family and friends, feeling alone with a baby and a 3 and 4 yr old. I'm proud I went to mom's groups even when I was overwhelmed with leaving the house sometimes. I'm glad I did. I'm proud I opened my etsy shop this year.
This year I forgive myself for not being patient with the kids, for yelling sometimes. I forgive myself for watching more tv than Id like. I forgive myself for letting myself drift spiritually. I forgive myself for not beign more loving and encouraging to John. I forgive myself for not being more happy this year.
This year was really reallyk hard and yet amazing at the same time. Watching my kids grow and change so much has been everything to me this year. 2007 I declare you over, complete, finito.
2008 this is my year of JOY. I will try to find joy in my everyday life. In my marriage. In my motherhood. In my relationship with God. Everyday do my best to find joy, make joy, be joy, seek joy.

Thank you!! This was much more freeing and emotinal then I ever thought it might me.

Posted by: Heather at January 7, 2008 05:20 PM

This year I learned how to handle life with a baby and two toddlers. I'm proud of myself despite my many mistakes. I'm proud I did my best despite moveing to a new town away from family and friends, feeling alone with a baby and a 3 and 4 yr old. I'm proud I went to mom's groups even when I was overwhelmed with leaving the house sometimes. I'm glad I did. I'm proud I opened my etsy shop this year.
This year I forgive myself for not being patient with the kids, for yelling sometimes. I forgive myself for watching more tv than Id like. I forgive myself for letting myself drift spiritually. I forgive myself for not beign more loving and encouraging to John. I forgive myself for not being more happy this year.
This year was really reallyk hard and yet amazing at the same time. Watching my kids grow and change so much has been everything to me this year. 2007 I declare you over, complete, finito.
2008 this is my year of JOY. I will try to find joy in my everyday life. In my marriage. In my motherhood. In my relationship with God. Everyday do my best to find joy, make joy, be joy, seek joy.

Thank you!! This was much more freeing and emotinal then I ever thought it might me.

Posted by: Heather at January 7, 2008 05:20 PM

God bless you for making this easier for me :-) I'd been putting it off until I read this post...

Here goes:

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?

I survived a bad round of medication.

I chose to live (literally).

I completed another year of grad school.

I made art.

I found my hopeful heart again.

I learned how to like and love myself again (I'd forgotten).

I loved. I was loving. I loved even when I wasn't sure I was loved. I loved because I am miserable when I don't.

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?

I got lost.

I hated myself.

A significant portion of my life was altered because of medication.

I stopped making art.

I had to make a choice between living and dying. I never, ever, want to be in that position again. It was the most horrible thing I have ever experienced.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

I stuck up for myself, said no to doctors who didn't know what they were doing, found one who does, and got well. I saved my own life.

4. Said out loud : I DECLARE 2007 COMPLETE!

5. What is your primary intention or theme for 2008?

The year 2008 is the year of remembering what I love to do, what feeds my little heart and big spirit, and moving through life from that place.

One thing I love very much is making art. When I make art, I feel stress leave. I feel peaceful. I am happy, joyful even. I lose track of time. I feel like all I need to do to show you a piece of my spirit is show you what I create.

Posted by: Jennifer (she said) at January 7, 2008 03:47 PM

gasp.

i am normally a lurker but had
to delurk to say that you described
MY gremlin perfectly!!!
i couldn't even finish reading the post
before coming to comment because you
soooo hit the nail on the head
describing what i find holds me back
so much of the time!

and also to say
that baby is the cutest baby..
seriously cute.
:0)

Posted by: gkgirl at January 7, 2008 03:19 PM

Oh darling Andrea, this post was exactly the boost I needed, you are most sincerely an amazing spirit:

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?

In 2007 I ultimately uncovered the roots of who I am. I began a process of learning and unlearning. I began the journey of self-actualization. I confronted my fears of digging too deep, getting too dirty and dove into the muddy muck that holds the ancient roots of my soul.

In 2007 I created a home and slid into the nurturing of our family. I learned how to clean, organize, and arrange. I learned how to compose grocery lists, create meals, and do dishes. I learned how to create a sense of sanctuary, often in the midst of chaos. I learned how to create magic from nothingness.

In 2007 I found that deeper self love promotes deeper romance between my husband and I. I learned that a feminist perspective revolutionizes friendships and family relationships. I learned to love through brokenness and decay. I learned that love is all you need and communication is a vehicle for love.

In 2007 the path of my education has slowly and surely be lighted and the silt that once covered it is being swept away. My heart began to recognize my dreams and is acknowledging that I can do this.

In 2007 I learned how to learn, how to be taught, how to open myself up to knowledge and enlightenment.

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?

I grieve the moments in 2007 that I lost by being discontent and wishing for something different, something more. I forgive myself for allowing those "here, nows" to slip away, for not enjoying every minute to its fullest.

I grieve the moments in 2007 I lost to severe anxiety and self-doubt. I forgive myself for trying to treat those moments with self-medication and getting lost.

I grieve the moments in 2007 I lost in laziness. I forgive myself for getting overwhelmed and treating that engulfing emotion of helplessness with inactivity.

I grieve the moments, in 2007, of dear friend's lives I lost by silence and fear of judgment. I forgive myself for avoidance.

I grieve the judgments I made on other human-beings in 2007. I grieve the yucky fog those judgements created in my heart and mind. I forgive myself for allowing a critical spirit to dictate my acceptance of others.

3. Declaration of 2007-- Complete.

2007, You were a wild and crazy ride. A beautiful and trying journey. You were long and short. You were full of blessing. Your joy was made all the brighter by your woes. My heart is full of gratitude for the life we had together and now I am letting you go-- to the place wherever time goes. I declare you complete!

2008 is my year of cultivation and education. And above all else-- Love.

Posted by: maggie ann at January 7, 2008 03:15 PM

1. This year I gave myself to students. I graded hundreds of papers and encouraged dozens of budding writers. Almost single-handedly, I started a school newspaper for said writers. I resisted the impulse to cut and run when things got tough. I wrote dangerous words and read them aloud. I drew and got a beautiful tattoo. I began a yoga practice. I fell in love. When he broke my heart, I told him I forgave him (even though it wasn’t true yet), and walked away with my head high. I forgave him.

2.I forgive myself for letting a friendship implode, for not seeing it sooner or being able to change myself enough to fix things. I forgive myself for letting the Gilmore Girls ooze into all the empty spaces that three-dimensional friends should fill. I forgive myself for letting my garden die.

I grieve that I am alone and that so many people’s lives seem to move on without me, and I forgive myself for feeling guilty about that.

3.2007, you have made such little sense to me. You’ve broken hard and fast across my back and I don’t appreciate the bruises. I’m still here, though, and I declare you complete.

Posted by: Erinn at January 7, 2008 02:55 PM

1. This year I gave myself to students. I graded hundreds of papers and encouraged dozens of budding writers. Almost single-handedly, I started a school newspaper for said writers. I resisted the impulse to cut and run when things got tough. I wrote dangerous words and read them aloud. I drew and got a beautiful tattoo. I began a yoga practice. I fell in love. When he broke my heart, I told him I forgave him (even though it wasn’t true yet), and walked away with my head high. I forgave him.

2.I forgive myself for letting a friendship implode, for not seeing it sooner or being able to change myself enough to fix things. I forgive myself for letting the Gilmore Girls ooze into all the empty spaces that three-dimensional friends should fill. I forgive myself for letting my garden die.

I grieve that I am alone and that so many people’s lives seem to move on without me, and I forgive myself for feeling guilty about that.

3.2007, you have made such little sense to me. You’ve broken hard and fast across my back and I don’t appreciate the bruises. I’m still here, though, and I declare you complete.

Posted by: Erinn at January 7, 2008 02:54 PM

Thanks for giving us structure (and space) for this exercise. I did mine over at my own place, on Epiphany, which felt appropriate.

Posted by: Dr. S at January 7, 2008 01:12 PM

I have been putting this off, so here it is in a flurry...
1. In 2007, I pursued my spiritual interests more aggressively than ever. I completed a shamanic apprenticeship and started studying Tibetan Buddhism. I became a grandmother! I stopped putting henna rinses in my hair and stopped worrying that people will mistake me for my 6-year-old's grandma. I got my family out safely during a scary housefire right before the holidays. I started a new writing project that makes my spirit dance whenever I work on it.
2. I forgive myself for not being a perfect partner, for realizing I married for the wrong reasons, for watching a lot of DVDs and not spending wisely. I mourn the loss of all the items from my daughter's childhood, while in the next breath feel grateful that she survived the fire instead of all of her things. I mourn what feels like the end of a 20-year relationship. I forgive myself for not writing or creating art every day.
3. Adios, 2007. Thanks for all you've given me -- I accept it all and declare you complete.
2008 is my year for spreading JOY and for finding and making a new home for my family!

Posted by: nina at January 7, 2008 11:49 AM

Here is mine:

1. I won my first photography contest. I took risks and started on the path to starting a business. I stopped procrastinating so much and making excuses. I survived a brutal unemployment period and discovered I want to work for myself. I learned to listen better. I learned to forgive myself for not being perfect. I started exercising and remembered how much I love it. I stopped trying to do EVERYTHING!

2. I mourn the freedom I had while I was unemployed.

3.Nothing left to say. It was a good year and I am glad I lived through it and grew personally, professionally and spiritually.

2008 is my year to Return to Center. Basically, I will be true to myself and honor my spirit.

Posted by: Lu at January 7, 2008 08:09 AM

In 2007, I saw exactly how good I am at certain things and, frankly, I'm a little scared. In 2007, I saw and visited almost every family member I have, many I had never met before or don't remember meeting. I traveled by plane 10 times and drove down the coast of California. In 2007, I started actually looking at pictures of myself and realizing, yes, I have gotten that fat and yes, I am that out of shape. In 2007, I had one of the biggest medical scares of my life, and I've already had two emergency surgeries, so you can guess this one was a doozie! In 2007. I actually started looking at wedding dresses and considering...

I am most proud that I completed another year of my school program (I never thought my creative writer self could have such command of all of these graphic software programs!) I am so proud that I lived through a visit from my mother and I'm still standing. I am beyond proud that I told my brother where to go.

2007 was disappointing in just a few ways; I didn't take care of myself very well. I gained more weight. I washed less. I didn't clean the house or take care of my cats as much as I would like to. I forgive myself for not knowing everything all the time. I forgive myself for choosing the slower, more peaceful road instead of the fast track. I forgive myself for envying those who chose another path.

Finally, I forgive myself for not living out loud. My roar was just a sigh this year, but I needed to do it. I know that now.

I declare 2007 complete!

(tear)

and for 2008? The Year of Self-Care, all the way.


Posted by: karrie at January 7, 2008 08:08 AM

2008 is my leap year (no pun intended). It is the year of kicking fear's ass and trusting that I will land on my own 2 feet.

Posted by: bohemiangirl at January 7, 2008 07:42 AM

I meant to say thank you! I did it. (previous comment was gobbled up? I dunno). but it's on my blog and it was a cleansing experience.

Posted by: homeinkabul at January 7, 2008 07:38 AM

In 2007 I sang lead for a project band and it was a dream come true. We were in boracay, we did the countdown and I sang all my favorite EBTG songs.

In 2007 we had an awesome summer with friends and traveled to many places. I did my first ever parasailing - and that was a major accomplishment of fear of heights and fear of the great big ocean. I swear, it felt like we were higher than the tallest building! Summer overflowed with merriment and in one place, i sprained my foot (too much merriment, as my husband would joke, that the lord made me trip) - ooohhh the pain.
That was a first, too.

In 2007, I fell ill with typhoid fever, was hospitalized, and remained sick for a month. Somewhere in between, after I was discharged from the hospital, my son fell ill. More ill than I could imagine - he was hospitalized for a week. It was dengue. I fought my weakness and the disease and stayed with my son in the hospital. Never left his side. It was a test of EVERYTHING for our family. My husband showed great support, friends gave tremendous support, and I was able to care for my son the way I always dreamed I would.

I forgive myself for neglecting my body, for pushing too hard when I need to take it easy. I forgive myself for being too much of a perfectionist and promise to "let it go" when needed. I forgive myself. period.

2007 was a year of discovery, of triumph, a test of faith, a test of character. It opened doors and opened my eyes (even more). It was a time for a great 20th highschool reunion that was a huge success and a time for a special reunion with my aunt, a very important person in my life. It was a year of many, many affirmations to my creative self. I am so grateful. I am blossoming.

Before I declare 2007 over, I want to thank it for giving me the permission to have a better, more abundant, more positive life - thank you 2007 for allowing me to find the answers; to change my mind about certain things. Thank you for the lessons and the opportunities. Thank you for superhero Andrea.

Thank you for being the foundation of more good things to come. I declare 2007 over!

2008 is my year of abundance and all around expression of my creative self! WAHOOOOOO!!! :)

Posted by: Jennifer at January 7, 2008 07:30 AM

I have never posted here before but read your blog daily. Now I feel that it is important to stop being part of the 'audience' and put this out into the world - and have completion...

1. I am proud of myself for going to therapy (something I never thought I would do) and dealing with some of my family issues.
I am proud that I can look at my flaws with more compassionate eyes and make steps to deal with them in a gentle way... even if it takes time.
I am brought that I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin... maybe that is an age thing... Who really cares about the jelly belly?
I am proud that I took a new job.. and even prouder that I am sticking it out despite my reservations and frustrations. This job was sent to teach me something... and I am learning.

2. I dont feel that I have much to grieve for in 2007, thank God. I dont grieve my previous depressive state, I dont grieve my wallowing and 'poor-me' thoughts, I dont grieve the life I thought I would have at 35, but seems elusive, I dont grieve the fact that my heart has finally mended. I DO grieve the breakdown of my friend's two-year marriage as it has given me a cynical view of relationships and how quickly they can sour. I hope I dont carry this baggage into my *very new* relationship.

3. Thank You 2007. It has been a soul-searching, gut-renching, inward-looking, reflective year. Its been emotional, man. I declare you complete!

My primary intention for 2008 is to be outward-looking, love-oozing, love-attracting, soulful year of adventures. Cant wait!

Posted by: gremlin-buster at January 7, 2008 06:58 AM

Okay, quick and dirty it is! I don't usually answer things like this in comments - usually I want to do over it again and again and write it out - blaugh! No! Quick and dirty:

1. I am proud that I was able to sit still for the first time in my life - meditating - and that I accepted the whispers of a new creative piece of work even though I think on some level I'm crazy for doing it! I am also proud that I am engaged to my best friend and that we are being brave enough to get married.

2. I grieve for my life in my other country. I forgive myself for not living up to my own expectations - for still being fat and unpublished. I forgive myself for not trying harder, for watching too much tv, for not being where I want to be.

3. 2007, I thank you for everything. I am choosing to see you as the foundation for all of the things I hope to see happen in the next year. I choose to accept your lessons as learned so that I can start fresh. I really declare you complete.

2008 is my year of focus.

(Thank you for this Andrea - I'm not even going to read it back, I'm just going to put it out there!! Thank you so much!!)

P.S. ADORABLE photo!!

Posted by: meg at January 6, 2008 08:48 PM

Ahhh...that first year of mamahood. Your descriptions made me remember the fierceness of it. It gets easier--you will have more time with Matt this year as Ben becomes more independent...

As for me, I love your questions & your mondo beyondo idea....

I am proud of getting published for the first time, finding a writing mentor and committing myself to writing.

I grieve constantly feeling overwhelmed about time-managment..

2008 is my year of all things literary. Reading. Graduate school. Publishing.
I

Posted by: christina at January 6, 2008 08:19 PM

Ahhh...that first year of mamahood. Your descriptions made me remember the fierceness of it. It gets easier--you will have more time with Matt this year as Ben becomes more independent...

As for me, I love your questions & your mondo beyondo idea....

I am proud of getting published for the first time, finding a writing mentor and committing myself to writing.

I grieve constantly feeling overwhelmed about time-managment..

2008 is my year of all things literary. Reading. Graduate school. Publishing.
I

Posted by: christina at January 6, 2008 08:19 PM

thank you andrea for sharing the mondo beyondo idea with us! and especially for this post (as i was putting way to much pressure on myself for the 'perfect' answer).
I'm looking forward to part 2!

1.
I learned what self-care really means, how to live with healthy boundaries, how to be more alive and how to not be lonely alone and how to heal through creativity. I am so proud of this learning. But I am glad that I have can now step past it into an even more well-lived life.

I am so proud of myself for discovering my passion for photography, for grabbing onto it full force and letting it take me on a beautiful blessing of a journey that is nowhere near over. I am proud of getting over my fears and then dreaming big. I can barely wait to see where it takes me this year!

2.
I grieve for the girl that I was in the beginning of the year and welcome the healthier me I have become.

3.
2007 was an amazing and beautiful year of re-discovering myself. I am thankful for all the solitude and for learning to say No. But now it is time for learning how to say YES again without what I learned in this year. Blessed Be 2007.

Posted by: Vivienne at January 6, 2008 07:46 PM

Thank you for your wonderful blog, Andrea. It has been a big part of my life since I first discovered it. (I found it while doing a Google image search for radishes!) Here's a link to my blog and answers: http://somethingsiknow.wordpress.com/.

Posted by: andrea at January 6, 2008 07:03 PM

I am brimming with excitement/optimism/half-formed ideas going into this new year. I have also become paralyzed every time I've even thought about making any kind of list/plan/whatever. Thank you for this post!!

Posted by: meg at January 6, 2008 06:22 PM

ok, that is an absolutely incredible shot of you and Ben asleep! And you are so right, quick n dirty does win the day. Thought I was sufficiently complete with 2007 when I read your Mon Beyon post but you've inspired me to go deep with your honesty.

let's see, here's a few, 1. I'm even more passionate about Halfland (independent handcrafted puppet animation project) so much so, that I'm taking less ballet and paying graphic projects this year in order to make even more progress.

2. I took a LOT of ballet in 07, mostly 4-5 classes per week and got so proficient I started teaching for the first time. My private student is outstanding and she listens to everything I tell her and improves week to week. Exciting to watch her transform into a dancer.

3. I discovered insights about life that translate into greater acceptance of self and others foibles and finally got that my being right means nothing in life as each person comes to their new level in their own perfect time. Aaah.

4. 2007 saw me move into teaching art to others even more. I bring new materials and techniques into people's creative spaces and gently guide them to their own artistic expression, like artist training wheels. Another delight to see the ripe fruit fall, as it were, and to play a part.

5. This was the year I grew a heart and started calling my husband's elder lonesome parents in the UK. They've outlived all their friends and sit infirm and blind with no joy to anticipate in life any longer. I call to chat several times per week. It isn't much but it's better than I had done prior, which was nothing at all.

6. I forgive my selfishness, I relish it actually. I forgive myself for relishing my selfishness!

Thank you, Andrea. I am so proud of the job you've done this year. Way to lead the way.

Posted by: shelley noble at January 6, 2008 04:48 PM

Andrea:: Thank you for the nudge.... I am so grateful for your blog. Absolutely changed my life!
Here is a link to my mondo beyondo part 1:
http://heatherlmurphy.blogspot.com/2008/01/mondo-beyondo-part-1.html

Posted by: Heather at January 6, 2008 03:16 PM

i read the previous post and thought about answering, now i know i must.

1. i had a pregnancy with twins that produced two extremely beautiful healthy boys despite it being a hard and scary third trimester, i survived 12 weeks of bedrest and actually made the best of the time, i learned how to accept help in all aspects of life in order to be a better mom to my two little ones, i made some time for myself somehow, i realized that this parenting journey will not be the way i want it to, it will be the way it is. i made a point to stay connected and sensitive to my husband's needs throughout and remembered to tell him all the time how impressed i am with his natural ability to be such an amazing person/father. and i learned i have depths of strength i never knew possible because i am still here, aren't i?

2. i forgive myself for sometimes resenting the constancy of being a mom, i forgive myself for wishing i could run when the times have been really tough, i forgive myself for always questioning my abilities as a mama. i forgive myself for those days when i cried and buried my head and told tim i could not do it anymore....those days really stick in my head sometimes. and i forgive myself for sometimes wishing i did not have all the help i do, and for thinking that every other twin mama out there is doing better than me. oh yeah, and i forgive myself for sometimes wishing that i could just sit and knit and ignore everything else.

3. 2007, you were a whole new learning experience for me. you taught me the meaning of sacrifice and the meaning of overwhelming joy. you brought two of the most important people into my life and opened up the path to family and parenting.

2008, i know you will be a year of discovery and re-discovery, of connection and re-connection. and maybe, just maybe, a little sleep. onward ho.

Posted by: mamie at January 6, 2008 02:20 PM

Thanks Andrea, yep. that's exactly what was going on! My Quick & Dirty version-
1.I helped my firstborn move out of home to go overseas to study for 4 years (a process a little remniscent of labour!) I had three solo shows of my works. With two more coming, that will make five in 14 months. I tell you this because it might comfort younger mothers.This explosion of art has been ticking along for twenty years and has just now really taken off. I am 46, and the last two decades have pretty much been about raising children- but here I am, 'emerging',the art world's responding, and I am absolutely better, stronger, more clearly my own self because of all those years in the real good big world of raising kids. So, I'm proud that I got those shows over the line, one hand on the paintbrush and the other steering the great wheel of family. I'm proud that I was able to put my fear to one side, to get the work done. I'm proud of my beautiful drawings.(I'm proud that i just said that!)I'm proud that my kids had me for all those years, reliable, stable,the heart of home, and now they're teenagers and young adults that they're seeing me as a practicing artist on her way. 2.Hard in 2007- I grieve over the pain of the first exhibition and it's opening night(too long a story for here)- I comfort and forgive myself over the big bruising and its slow heal. Hard in 2007- saying goodbye to my oldest son. And so I declare it is complete, imperfectly, messily complete! And I say - Come on 2008! Let's have another go. More art, more gardening, more glorious life.

Posted by: Nicola at January 6, 2008 12:48 PM

ok, I'm doing this 'cause I'm a fan of quick and dirty, e\/en though I can't type the letter \/ 'cause I broke my keyboard:

1. I am proud of myself for mo\/ing out and mo\/ing on with so many things in 2007. I am really proud that I took the leap for a new and better job e\/en though it lacked the security of a regular full time job. I am proud that I finally feel ok calling myself a graphic designer (e\/en if I just do production work because I like it better). I am proud that I dated 3 different guys, e\/en if all those relationships turned out to be disasters (hey, I'm not still with them!) I'm proud that I am starting to get my debt under control. I'm also proud that I ha\/e gotten my anxiety under much much better control. I am so proud that I found myself excited for things this year (e\/en little things) instead of anxiety and fear.

2. I forgi\/e myself for not keeping in touch with many of my friends. I forgi\/e myself for letting go of relationships that ha\/e not been good to me. I forgi\/e myself for not cleaning, and not fully mo\/ing into my own apartment. I forgi\/e myself for stressing out so much about money and for flipping out on those who screwed my financially. I forgi\/e myself for gi\/ing people "hints" to a\/oid confrontation instead of sitting down and ha\/ing a straightforward talk. I forgi\/e myself for a\/oiding certain responsibilities, neglecting my health and my home.

I grie\/e not ha\/ing a direction and the relationships I wanted to ha\/e that ne\/er happened.

3. Sometimes wandering aimlessly is better than sitting still, and I ha\/e finally learned to wander. Now it's time to pick a good direction and go.

"I declare 2007 complete!"

"2008 is my year of....creation, success, health and romance"

Thanks for gi\/ing me a chance to think about this!

Posted by: becca at January 6, 2008 12:02 PM

I am so happy to declare 2007 complete!

2008 is my year of fulfillment!

Posted by: Debbie at January 6, 2008 11:05 AM

Happy New Year Andrea!

Posted by: Robyn at January 6, 2008 10:39 AM

The Quick and Dirty 2007 list:

In 2007 I survived the first 365 days after losing my mom.

In 2007 I watched my daughter become a teenager.

In 2007 I gave myself over to my curly hair. No more blowdryers, no more straight irons. 365 days of curls.

I am SO OVER 2007!

Posted by: jen at January 6, 2008 10:35 AM

Thanks, Andrea - your message of "perfect" vs. "good" (or simply "done") has been one of the most important, helpful, inspiring things I've taken from reading your blog. It's good to be reminded of it.

Posted by: Imogen at January 6, 2008 10:17 AM

Don't look to make any serious decisions, you have committed to the insanity of motherhood for the next 20 years (so far) legally. Any decisions you make going forward are best made of flexi-stretcho-matter, something all mums like are full of.

Posted by: deb at January 6, 2008 10:13 AM

2008 is my year of family adventure! No more sitting around the house while the day wastes away. Explore with husband + babe in arms and create memories.

Posted by: hannah m at January 6, 2008 10:08 AM

Two thousand and eight is the year I figure out what on earth will be my future, the year I'll make serious decisions. And find a way to be content with them.

Happy new Year to you! :)

Posted by: Molly at January 6, 2008 10:01 AM