The Year of the Hummingbird and Maybe the Paper Crane

I have to admit that I embarrass myself more often than not. I’m a person who jumps into projects wholeheartedly, and I have a lot to show for that. I just don’t have a lot of what I would consider socially acceptable accomplishments to show. Published books after 25 years as a writer? One. Incomplete manuscripts? Dozens.

I love to blog, and I’ve been doing it since 2005, so you would think I’d have a lot to show, and I do, but of what nature? My life in the blogs looks a lot like my office and my bedroom and my car–random stuff slung everywhere. I did a blog-a-day project a few years ago. I think I went for a year-and-a-half without missing a day of posting to this blog, and I loved it and also felt extraordinarily self-conscious about it. I felt like I was proving to my frenemies that I indeed did not have my life together.

I want to blog again, but I’m not sure I’m up for it. I’m not sure I want to show off more of my inadequacies. I’m also not sure I will be able to see it through. Last year, I started a fiction-writing blog project, and abandoned it after one post because life went topsy-turvy for a while. Life has not promised me not to go topsy-turvy. I do not know what lies ahead or what I can promise to myself and others. I will not make resolutions today.

I will, however, set a few intentions and give myself permission to try and fail and try again. That’s the best most of us can do.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with motivational writers. You know? Those people who think they have it figured out? I’ve always wanted to be one of those people, but at the same time I’ve always known that I did not have it figured out, would probably never have it figured out, and wasn’t sure it was even possible for anyone to truly have it figured out.

I ran across the video posted above recently, though, and I found it inspiring. I recognized myself immediately as a hummingbird, and I decided that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s okay to be a hummingbird. It’s okay to flit from one thing to another. The only thing it’s not okay to be is a hummingbird who lets the jackhammers of the world convince her not to fly.

You can see the entire talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about creativity and passion and hummingbirds and jackhammers here.

Meanwhile, allow me to share a few of my intentions for 2016:

  • Post a photo-a-day on Flickr
  • Blog more often
  • Revisit old projects
  • Keep up some of the Facebook pages I’ve started in the past
  • Fold 1000 paper cranes
  • Be nicer to myself and others
  • Be as fit and active as I can be without driving myself insane
  • Eat healthy most of the time
  • Create spaces of peace for myself (and those around me) during times of turmoil
  • Embrace my inner hummingbird
  • Play with my puppy
  • Hang out with my cats
  • Hang out with my friends and family
  • Learn to bake bread
  • Write
  • Laugh
  • Show up where I am needed most
  • Get out and about enough to see the beauty in the world around me
  • Read poetry
  • Never let the jackhammers get me down

Here’s a start:
1-3

These are my first three cranes of a planned 1000 for the 2016. To reach my goal of 1000 and to make it last most of the year, I plan to average 3 per day. I’m going to photograph them in sets most of the time to keep the project as simple as possible.

The cranes to me represent little prayers for peace and healing and goodwill during tumultuous times. In an election year, it seems to me that daily reminders of peace and goodwill may be necessary.

And that, ultimately, is my primary intention for the year–offer as much peace and harmony and hope and love and goodness as I am able to the world while managing somehow to be as okay with myself as possible.

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