I’ve always loved the transition of the old year into the new. Maybe it’s because my birthday is right there between Christmas and New Year’s, therefore adding a very personal sense of a “new chapter” to my life. But I’ve always appreciated the changing of the year as a time for resolution, affirmation and renewal, and this year I welcome the change even more than usual.

Last year was tough. Despite the joy of moving to an exciting new town and a beautiful new home — a move I very definitely wanted to make and don’t regret for a moment — the transition was more challenging than I had anticipated. Just getting used to the newness of everything, getting into the groove of a rhythm, and developing a new lyric for my life…It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do any of that, and it was harder than I thought it’d be. On top of that, the economy took a staggering hit on the art world and some of the professional artistic ventures I undertook did not pan out as I’d hoped they would. Lots and lots of sleepless nights in 2010, resulting in some big changes for me — like getting a part time job to supplement my living.
All in all, finding that sweet Balance in life of art career, ‘real job’, fitness, relationships and nurturing spirit has surely been the biggest challenge of all for me, and continues to taunt and tease me into this new year.

And yet, I’m learning….The secret to finding that Balance, I’m beginning to grasp, is in letting go of all of the detritus.
Getting down to the essentials.
And then taking what’s left and making the most of it.
Showing up and doing the work that needs to be done.
And quit whining.
In the realm of Art, there’s a terrific little book out there that speaks to some of this. It’s called Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I’ve read it many times and am appreciating reading it again now, as I transition into this new year and continue to seek that elusive Balance. I recommend Art & Fear to anyone seriously involved in creative pursuits.

Now get to work.