365 Somethings Project: Parameters and Goals

At the end of my last post, I practically heard a drum roll in my head when I wrote that it was time for the big reveal of my plans for my project. And then. . . radio silence. I clearly jinxed myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m getting a bit sideswiped by life at the moment, and, as far as I can tell, I probably will be for at least two more weeks. At least. January tends to be a quieter month here, and then by some magical process, things tend to ramp up till they reach a chaotic conclusion somewhere around the end of school in June. I’ve been thinking about this phenomena as I have been mentally composing this post and realizing that my 365 Somethings Project isn’t about having a perfectly smooth home life that provides me ample time to create. Rather it’s about finding time to create in the midst of my home life, and if I get less time one week or two or three, the fourth week will inevitably arrive with new opportunities.

Speaking of my 365 Somethings Project, it’s time to show my cards. I should probably start with a bit of background. For over a decade, I have been a homeschooling mom to three boys, while overseeing our ever burgeoning menagerie and hobby farm and running a company with my husband some of the time.

From the time I could form interests, I have loved drawing, painting, writing, reading, photography, and needlework. In school, however, I was strongly encouraged to concentrate on a path that would lead to a good job. (I’m not criticizing that line of thinking, by the way. I really wouldn’t mind knowing each of my sons has a job that will provide a modicum of security some day, and I still sleep better at night knowing that I could support our family if it became necessary.) So, I have no formal training in any of those areas that pique my interest.

Over the past decade as I was working, homeschooling, and generally keeping the world turning, I’ve tried different creative avenues, only to drop them because (a) something else needed my attention, and (b) I am now realizing that I have a terrible streak of perfectionism that stopped me. The end result is that I have an office full of books, supplies, and barely begun projects, which happen to be carefully chosen to be of great interest to me.

Change, however, is a constant, and my life is no exception. I no longer run our business, and my role in our homeschooling is evolving as my children grow. With that in mind, I took a poetry class at our local community college this past fall. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed using my mind as I hadn’t done since college. At the end of the course, my instructor, a well-regarded poet, strongly suggested I go back to graduate school, which floored me. I spent winter break pondering new possibilities, but kept returning to the same stumbling block. If I am considering graduate school, should it be writing or something else?

That’s when Hanna wrote her first post about the 365 Somethings Project, and I knew I needed to join. Having looked at others’ projects, I realized that mine is probably not exactly what she had in mind when she first posted. Most participants seem to have a chosen area in which to work. I do not. My project goal is to explore those books, supplies, and projects that I have stockpiled in my office and break through my perfectionist streak. Mine is about 365 days of learning and creating to discover what I like and don’t.

I have only two parameters for the challenge. First, I want to post once a week (as I have been) with my progress so I can look back over the year and see what I’ve accomplished. Second, I will limit myself to only one project in a given area (reading, needlework, art, etc.) at a time.

So, that’s it. Nothing more or less. I guess it’s time to get back to it then. ๐Ÿ™‚