Happy 2018!

HappyNewYear-Watercolor

A belated happy new year, friends!

I've been waiting to post until I got my brand new shiny website up and running (new theme, new host, new amazing web guru I highly recommend). It's been six weeks of hard work, a remodel in November, and then a complete rebuilding of the site almost from scratch in December, but it's done now, and I love it! Time to move on to my annual look back/look forward post, and then get busy with the rest of this year.

I know for many of us, 2017 was crazy hard. No matter what your political leanings, the relentless 24-hour news cycle of the past year has taken its toll. Every few days, someone in my Facebook feed announces they're taking a break from social media. They say they can't take it (the politics, the rancor, the devastation of fires and storms, and people with guns, the constant body blows to their psyche), and I understand. I'm not prone to grand announcements, but I do slink away now and then, to draw things or wander trails until I get my equilibrium back 

For me personally, 2017 was the year following my father's death and it was full of all the firsts that you experience in that space: the first time his birthday occurred without him, the first fatherless father's day, and all the holidays and family traditions altered to accommodate the reality that someone who used to be essential to the process is now absent. In 2017, I moved more firmly into my mother's life after she was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and chemo, and then found herself dealing with the enormously life-changing effects of macular degeneration. My son went off to college, my husband got hit by a deer (which sounds funnier than it was in real  life), and my 18-year-old Honda drove its last mile.

All of that stuff happened, AND...

Find Your Awesome got published, I illustrated a book for Jack Canfield and two for AARP, participated in my first art show, taught my first art workshop, created my first online tutorial, and took a road trip down the California coast that was amazing and beautiful (all except for that little deer incident).

Which brings me to my point. Every year is full of both tragedy and triumph, heartbreak and celebration. The worst of life unfolds right along side the best, and all we can do is choose the self we bring to the moment. No doubt about it, 2017 asked a lot from us. I'm betting 2018 will too. I don't make new year's resolutions anymore, but my plan for the year ahead is just to try and be my best self.

Do work I'm proud of.
Make art fueled by love.
Laugh more.
Amass less.
Remember that life is beautiful because it's complicated and messy,
not in spite of it.

It's a brand new year, my friends.

Let's live it.