2018 was a busy year for me. I mentored the Corvallis High School Robotics team for the second build season early in the year, and started into my third year of mentoring this fall. I love working with these teenagers! They are smart and funny and hard-working and caring. They are future creators and innovators and leaders.
I took a break from art fairs and workshops this year, only doing a couple of local things. That gave me more time for family and outdoor activities. My husband and I rediscovered canoeing, taking several trips on the Willamette River. We are lucky to have such a beautiful waterway so close to home!
We camped and hiked. I served on a jury for a local trial. I had piece of art in a state-wide juried exhibit. I played with watercolors.
Late summer brought a big change, with a promotion at work. I am now a section manager – a manager of managers – and I’m enjoying it. It’s more responsibility, takes more time, but also more opportunity to influence in a positive way. I feel very privileged to work in an environment where I encouraged to continue growing. Even after a career of 26 years, I still see so much opportunity for the future.
Late summer also brought a vacation to Colorado, college visits, and my son starting his senior year in high school. And yes, I took his senior portraits. Isn’t he so grown up?
My husband and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary this summer and took a fall trip to Kuaui, Hawaii. The first time to Hawaii, and the first time for a trip with just the two of us since my son was born. It was relaxing and fun and a wonderful trip. And I tried new things… Ziplining and snorkeling. LOVED both. We ended up snorkeling multiple times and are plotting more snorkeling trips in the future. (I must get a waterproof housing for my iPhone!)
And fall turned into winter… I participated in Philomath Open Studios Tour, relaxed on a weekend yoga retreat with my sister, and met up with my family in Arizona for Thanksgiving. I survived the craziness that is December to have a lovely time off from Christmas to New Year’s. This is my time for house projects. My studio is finally back in order after my Open Studio event, the holiday decorations are down and I am ready for the new year.
So here I am, at the very end of 2018, looking ahead to 2019. It is a year of big change for us, with my son graduating from high school in June and starting college in the fall. My sister just got engaged and will be getting married next fall too – probably in Cancun (more snorkeling!). And I am still mentoring the robotics team, and getting used to my new job.
I want to be present for this momentous year, which means scaling back in some areas. I am taking a year off of the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap – no swap for 2019. I won’t be doing art fairs, but I do have one weekend workshop scheduled for September 2019 at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. Watch for registration to open in the Spring.
These were hard decisions but they feel right. I need the break, I need to breathe, I need less on my plate. I have been focusing my energy in other places than art this last couple of years but I’ve still tried to keep things going. It’s been too much.
If there is one thing I have learned with my art, it is that it will change. There will be productive times and there will be quiet times. I don’t know what is coming next, but I know that taking some time off and focusing in other areas will allow new things to bloom.
Have a great 2019. I am planning to.