Australia takes holidays seriously. It’s simply assumed that everyone will take the time between Christmas Eve and the Monday after New Year’s off work (and for some businesses, that stretches right through to the end of January!)
I haven’t taken quite that much time off, but I’ve been out of the office for a week, working from home, working from cafes, occasionally working from bed. It’s a lovely change of pace, and it’s let me to do a lot of thinking and planning.
2015 has been a rough year. There have been health crises, deaths, work stress, immigration stress, family stress, and, through it all, an enduring feeling that things just aren’t right. In classic Ophelie-style, that sent me into problem-solving mode. Surely I could DIY myself out of this! Surely reading the right books, writing enough in my journal, talking to the right people would make life feel right again.
Yes and no. I can’t put my finger on it, but something’s changed in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s the health issues finally starting to resolve themselves; maybe it’s the daily meditation habit, or the acknowledgement that I need a lot of alone time to feel okay. I have read a lot of books in the last few months, some of them specifically aimed at feeling better, others just for pleasure. I think both have helped.
With 2015 almost behind me, I’ve gone into full-on planning mode for 2016. And tonight, the day before the day before the year starts, I wonder: is that really helpful?
The last book I finished recommended that I picture myself in 10 years, and work my way back from there to get a five-year, two-year and one-year plan. From there, it’s just a matter of planning each day until that one year mark. Easy! Right.
That can get a bit obsessive, and it fits with my obsessive tendencies. If I pick a direction for the next 10 years, I’m going all-in. The last 10 years haven’t been the most carefully planned, but they turned out great. Would they have been incredible if I’d planned that trajectory with more thought?
I promised myself I’d loop this thought back to craft, but I’m coming up empty. 2015 was a hard year; it was also my best year for crafting. Maybe that’s the link. Maybe in the harder times I’ve found solace in making, in stitching together fabric and creating loops of yarn, in sharing the knowledge I’ve gained with others. Truly, making has been my saving grace in the last year, more than the books, the meditation, the journaling and the long walks in the woods.