Happy New Year, Internet!
Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014.
Last year was a whirlwind. We planned a wedding, had a wedding, and then spent three weeks in Europe. I grew my small business, had my first solo art show, and the busiest holiday season since I started Egg-A-Go-Go in 2004. We drove to Delaware to see my cousin get married and we went to countless family gatherings. We weathered a blizzard and community gardened. I taught some workshops and made plans to teach more. It was a very good year.
As a small business person (or any creative human juggling work and making), it's hard to let yourself checkout once in a while. 2013 was a non-stop type of year. Even when we were off having adventures, I was always thinking about Egg-A-Go-Go tasks and plans as well as other TO DO lists I had rolling around in my head. Maybe this constant busy brain lead to it being a very successful year for my business but I know it took away from family and friend time.
A couple of weeks ago, someone posted a link to this article about the Danish word/concept/lifestyle - Hygge. And I can't stop thinking about it. In short, it's an appreciation of quiet, patient, cozy times with friends and family.
I need to make hygge my word for the year. I need to slow down and make time for less doing. The idea goes against a lot of what I've been trying to do for the past 15 months - work as hard as I can, as much as I can so I can avoid going back to a cubicle and can continue making things to make people happy full-time.
Slowing down. Sitting quietly. Tea with friends. Visiting family at times other than holidays. Cooking meals. Sharing meals. Hikes, bikes, strolls into town. Leaving my phone and email out of sight and mind for a day. Watching water boil for tea. Drawing and painting more just because, not just for sale.
In 2014 I would like to also do more for others. I want to volunteer, I want to write more letters, I want to take good care of my family, friends and Curtis. I am so thankful for my life, my health, and how good I really do have it. I need to take some time to appreciate those things.
There are already a few small things I do to try to slow my thinking and enjoy my time each day. When the weather is nice, I make a point to go and walk around Jamaica Pond. I try to make myself a good breakfast every morning and I TRY to not do any work/emailing/list-making while I'm eating. These are very small things and I definitely can't do them everyday, but it's a start.
Another recent discovery that I made is the "do not disturb" setting on my iPhone. It sounds so silly but it's great. I first employed it at night when my etsy shop was super busy and I was getting a lot of notifications via email. By switching on the DND function, the phone doesn't make a sound, light up or vibrate when a transmission comes in. It just sits quietly and when you turn on the screen, all of your pop-up notifications are there to be discovered when you DO want to work on stuff. I thought about just turning the phone off all together but I use it as an alarm clock and the setting does allow the phone to ring if chosen people call repeatedly. HIGHLY recommended.
So anyway. Happy New Year, friends. Thanks for reading and looking at my photos here. I don't know if my new adoption of hygge-as-lifestyle will lead to more or fewer blog posts but you know where else to find me.
Wishing you a 2014 filled with art and coziness and time for quiet thinks.