As the year is coming to an end, I find myself looking back and seeing what’s been accomplished over the last twelve months.  And I think I’ve done great!  I’m actually quite pleased with myself, because I’ve managed to transform a whole lot of things in my life that weren’t working.  From leaving Vancouver behind and returning to Calgary, to landing the right job after a couple of hiccups, to being gifted with a new-found balance between that job and my first love, painting time.  Add to all of this that I was also able to buy a beautiful, comfortable home, and I have reason to feel a sense of pride.

I have some favourite spots for pondering too… :)

I have some favourite spots for pondering too… :)

Coming into the new year with this pride in myself makes for a very positive outlook on what 2019 may hold.  Knowing that it isn’t left up to fate or chance is a really hopeful realization too.  I am still the hope-aholic but now know that when hope is combined with serious effort, it isn’t empty wishful thinking. There is a lot more to look forward to.

So, the expectation that new doors will open is not pie-in-the-sky thinking anymore.  It’s a natural outcome since I’m taking action for myself and moving forward.  But the door doesn’t open all on its own.  I do have to reach out and grab hold of the knob, give it a turn, and pull!  And everything I do leading up to this point is stuff that makes it that much easier to open the door in the first place.

Naturally, if that’s what I want… new doors, new choices, new opportunities… then there will for sure be doors that need to be shut.  For me, the doors needing shutting have mostly been on unhealthy relationships that had sunk into repetitive patterns which weren’t serving me, or the other people involved.  It’s hard to shut those crazy doors.  After all, they provide a sense of belonging and usefulness.  Eventually though they’re just time fillers.  Or time killers. But let’s not underestimate how attractive an unhealthy time filler can be.  I mean, if I stay with it then I don’t have to look at the patterns that are keeping me stuck, and no one involved has to consider change.

CHANGE. That terrible, scary, take-your-breath-away prospect. It terrifies so many of us.  But haven’t we been sold a bill of goods when it comes to change?  Let’s be honest, who is going to walk away from a shitty job, or shitty relationship when it provides so much stability?  But is it really giving us that or is it just giving us predictability?  And predictability is not the same as contentment.  Contentment seems only to arrive when I’ve got a very real sense of accomplishment and an awareness that what I’m doing is pointing me in a direction I want to go. 

However slow that journey may be, as long as I’m on the right road there is a wonderful sense of peace that the destination is reachable. And that awareness makes the stops along the way really kick ass too! 

It’s interesting that in the last few days all this new-found enlightenment (yes, I’m rolling my eyes…) made its way into my latest painting.  I started it with a much looser method than usual and to my surprise (okay, shock) it came very naturally to me and I knew exactly what to do.  A painter friend reminded me that I had already put in the 10,000 hours of practice before that, to arrive at this new method fairly easily. 

Another great spot to think…  “A Favourite Place” (watercolour, 11x15”)

My painting, it turns out, is a pretty accurate read on what’s going on with me.  A diary of sorts. Yes, definitely that.  And this latest piece ended up being an open door to all sorts of new directions.  Funny that it came right at the end of 2018.  On the precipice of 2019….

Turns out, my happiness, satisfaction, growth, evolution…whatever you want to call it… is an open and shut case. 😊

Happy, glorious, exciting, adventurous New Year everyone!!!  I’ll be the one skipping into 2019…. See you there….