Saturday, January 1, 2011

{9 books, 5 exhibitions, 1 amazing trip to the USA and umpteen loaves of bread}

Golden Gate Me
My very favourite photo of 2010

Way back at the start of 2010 there was A List of Big and Small Things.  There were specific goals and there were wishes.  A mixture of plans and dreams, hopes and intention.  It's the way I like to do my new year's list.  Part pragmatist, part dreamer.  It's the way I like to do everything really. I wrote a post here about my philosophy with lists that pretty much sums it up.

Over the last few weeks I've been reflecting a lot on 2010 and all that it brought.  I've been looking back at my list and thought I'd do a wrap up of where I got to with that list of big and small things:
  • I read 9 books - I was aiming for 13 but I didn't quite make it. However, I rediscovered my love of reading.
  • I spent lots of time with Mumsy and with good people.
  • I got out of the house lots and it felt good.
  • I wrote almost daily, often here on the blog but also in my journal.  Most mornings I spend a quiet 20-30 minutes in my studio writing, clearing and readying myself for the day.
  • In January I started writing a novel.  I wrote 2 chapters, planned out 3 or 4 more and scoped out the whole story.  In February I completely lost interest and haven't touched it since.  But I'll get back to it.  Someday.
  • A combination of opportunity, magic and poor financial decision-making gave us a wonderful week in Port Douglas.  I wouldn't change it for the world.
  • I had an incredible trip to the US in Feb/March.  It was by far the highlight of 2010.
  • Ms L and I quietly celebrated our 10 year anniversary in April with dinner at a nice local restaurant.  Again in Port Douglas we had a sumptuous meal at Nautilus.  What stands out the most though is the way that we have celebrated the ordinary and everyday over this past year.  The way that our relationship has stood strong through the immense tests this year has thrown at us.  The way that we have found laughter in the struggles and hope in the darkness.  There is much to celebrate in the realisation that I am part of a solid and loving team.
  • I baked loads of bread after treating myself to a copy of 'Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day'.
  • I did relax more and I did have more fun.  I got better at letting go of all the 'shoulds'.
  • I had an absolutely incredible year with my art. My practice grew, my style developed and I stretched myself creatively beyond my wildest expectations.
  • I had my first solo exhibition, participated in 4 group exhibitions, had my work selected for publication in Patti Digh's next book and most amazingly was shortlisted for an art award.  Interestingly when I wrote this goal I had no specific plans at all for what I was going to do in relation to my art.  I just put my intention out there and then said 'yes' when opportunity came my way.
  • Just prior to Christmas I got the phone call I'd been waiting on since September.  In just over a week I'll be starting a new full time job.  After having spent most of this year out of the workforce I've had a lot of time to reflect on what I'm looking for in a job.  I think this job will be fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable.  I feel ready to put my skills and energy to good use & I can't wait to get a regular pay in the bank.
and then there were a few things that didn't happen:
  • We didn't spend NYE 10/11 in Thailand with our friends.
  • I didn't lose 30kg.  
  • We didn't pay off our personal loans and we didn't save a cent.
  • I didn't entertain much and I didn't cook great meals as much as I hoped.
  • I didn't make collaborative projects a reality.
  • We didn't move to a bright, spacious new house, close to parkland and close to the city.  When the owners of our house decided to sell up I thought for sure it was a sign that it was a time to move.  We explored moving to the country and then realised that we love it right where we are.  I've spent most of the last 4 months grappling with the reality that we just don't have the money to move at the moment whilst feeling completely unsettled by the constant open for inspections and the not knowing when we might have to move.  I've spent most of the last 4 months knowing that the best thing to do is to stay put for now, feeling so stuck and hating every minute of it.  I've spent most of the last 4 months trying to accept that it isn't time to move yet, for whatever reason.
and was I kind, patient, trusting, understanding and calm with myself and others?  Well, you know, sometimes I was.  It's an ongoing pursuit.

So that's me and my list.  Lots of success, more than I ever hoped for, and a few disappointments.  It doesn't deter me one bit from list making or from dreaming big.

In fact I'm in the process of writing my 2011 list.  I've been scribbling notes of things I'd like to make happen this year for the last few weeks.  I'm going to pull it all together into a lovely list and share it here in the next couple of days.

I'm wondering if you might like to join me in making your own list of big and small things?  If you would then start jotting down your ideas {big & small, practical & dreamy, anything goes} and I'll put a linky list up with my post so we can drop around and see what each other has planned.  I'll plan some follow up posts too so we can check in on each other throughout the year.  A informal dreamers group if you like.


  1. Oh Cathy, that does excite me and make me a tad nervous! I liked reading your reflections on the year, thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading you 2011 list...and you may just inspire me to get some of those thoughts/ dreams big and small out of my head and into a (arrh) real live, accountability inducing but also inspiring and motivating list.

  2. The best thing about putting down a list is that at least some of it will happen, as has been your experience.
    But it's more than a bit scary at the same time. Not sure if I'll join in.
    I'll think about it.
    Andi :-)

    PS I'll let you know when I'm ready for that bike ride.

  3. Happy new year, Cathy! I look forward to reading your list and CONGRATULATIONS that your dream day job has finally found you!
    I'll give you a buzz once you're settled (give yourself time to allow your routine to adjust... a full-time day will change the landscape of everything and the rhythm of everyone in your week) and we'll tee up a coffee date. x

  4. You did really well in 2010! YAY for you. Bravo! Bravo! I really admire your insightfulness. Good going. Looking forward to reading your list - I'm keeping mine small and simple this year with lots of room to move. I posted it yesterday.

  5. OOOO sounds like a plan Cathy ... CONGRATS on the job Darling! WOW patience paid off, Yee Haaa! Bonanza 2011 coming up for you BOTH!
    I adore lists and even buy packs of foolscap envelopes to write them on ... I know, I know, have bought books to write them in but the envelope get's me every time ;)
    Thrilled to bits for YOU. xo.

  6. Looking back must be so satisfying - sure looks like you had a big year.

    Enjoy the new job, can't imagine adjusting to a full time routine again though - that could be painful?

    Have a fantastic 2011.

  7. happy new year Cathy such great news about your job xx

  8. I hope you get a chance to get back to that novel one day!

  9. Sounds like you've achieved lots of great things from your list.......looking forward to reading your 2011 one and admiring you for being brave enough to share it with us all. Thanks!