For the last two months – as befits the end of one year and the beginning of another – I’ve been busy taking stock, planning anew, launching, assessing, guessing at things I don’t know, learning under-fire.
Just like you, I’m sure; ’tis the season.
Last week, against a deadline, I designed, doodled and ordered two new sets of cards for my Etsy store – an “Own Your Weird” set of postcards, and a set of greeting cards based on quotes from The (fearless) Love Essays. I’m really happy with how they came out. I’ll be getting them from the printer next week and if all goes well, I’ll launch them next Friday. (Woo-hoo!) I’ve also been working on a guest post, an essay, a project map, and an accounting system. Plus, I’ve been delivering big, mushy thank yous on the phone, in email, on Facebook, through the post office, and in person.
I tell you all this so that when I say I hit a bit of a wall this week, you’ll understand why. There was no one thing that caused it, but after meeting the printer deadline in the 11th hour last Sunday, I just felt spent and uninspired; my mood this week was stuck on meh. I felt dull. I was dull.
And then a funny thing happened.
On the way home one day, the boy and I got my car washed, and as we watched the soapy spray lather up our windows, we started to sing (softly at first, and then louder) “Bohemian Rhapsody”, a capella. We got more and more into it as we went. (How could we not? It was Bohemian Rhapsody.) We were head banging and playing our air guitars, and we were terrible – or, more accurately, I was – but it didn’t matter. By the time we hit the “Let him go!” lines (me singing the high parts and The Boy singing low), we were laughing so hard no one would have recognized the song anyway.
Exiting the car wash, I said, “I need to do that more often!” And then it hit me. I haven’t been playing enough. I’ve been so busy lately that even my walks with Lexi and my yoga practice have felt hurried and half-assed; just two more things I have to fit in.
Which, of course, is totally unacceptable.
Clearly, there needs to be more Queen in my life, more bouncing, more spontaneous nonsense. I need to buy some curly straws with which to drink my crazy-healthy morning smoothie. I need to wear more hats, compose inane text poems for my unsuspecting friends, put on my pirate boots and order coffee at Starbucks like this: Ahoy there, matey! What I really need starboard now be a low-fat latte grande with whip cream and a dash o’ grog, if you catch me drift.
While I work up the nerve to do that, here are some fun things we can do together…
Alex Franzen’s “So THAT happened” idea.
Here’s how it works. You write down all the cool stuff you did in January. Just that. A list of you-generated January awesomsauce. Because we forget. Because we get busy and sidetracked by all the shit life throws at us, and we forget about all the “good, kind, decent, humane (or just plain interesting) things we’ve done.”
I tried it. On the morning of the day I sang Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs in a car wash, I made a list of cool things I’d done in January. And then I belted Queen with The Boy. Coincidence? I think not.
You should try it. It’s very uplifting and affirming. And if you’d like to share any or all of what’s on your list, please do. I’ll happily cheer you on.
I’m going to doodle love in February, and I really want you to do it with me. I’ll post my doodles as we go, and if you send me your doodles, I’ll post them too. It can be anything. Doodle a heart, your true love’s name, your own beautiful body, your pet, a cupcake, our planet, the moon. Whatever love feels like when you sit down to doodle, draw that.
C’mon. It’ll be fun.
I’m designing a set of cards based on obscure words. Right now, I’m thinking each card will have a word, its definition, a (ridiculous) sample sentence, and a doodle.
I gotta say, I’m in love with this idea. I don’t even know if anyone will want them, but I’m crazy about the idea of designing a set of cards for logophiles. (That should probably be one of the words.)
I asked for suggestions on Facebook, and I got a few good ones, but I’m hoping you guys can do even better. Suggest your obscure word(s) in the comments section, and if I use your suggestion, I’ll send you the resulting card(s) for free. Yay! Everyone wins! I’ll be working on these all through February, so if you run across a perfectly strange and wonderful word, stop back by and let me know.