1. Loosen up. With upcoming school visits and work demands, I need to be able to let Rain Dragon be cared for by others. Truthfully, this might be harder on me than on her. But the goal is to spend time away from the baby without guilt and be confident that she'll be fine. This will be my biggest challenge this year.
2. Eat healthier. More salad! I've been indulging my sweet tooth a bit too much recently...
3. Move to the new house with as little stress as possible. Because who needs more stress? To try to achieve this goal, we are moving slowly...which may or may not help.
4. Let go. Selling the condo is fraught with emotion for me, as well as declutter-ing that is a part of moving. I have to remind myself constantly that these items are not my memories and that getting rid of things does not mean I love any less.
5. Donate. Time, unfortunately, is limited these days and I can't do the charity I've done in the past. So, instead I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and purge my flat files as well as do a good deed. I want to donate a big chunk of my art to someplace like the Kerlan or the Dodd Center as well as smaller organizations that could use it well.
6. Decorate. I want to decorate the living room, studio and baby's room in a way that I love. I've decided to leave the other rooms for next year, I figured I should keep these goals achievable!
7. Sew. I want to finally get over my fear of the sewing machine and sew curtains and babyclothes--get over my fear of the sewing machine and finally get to use the fabrics I've been stockpiling for years.
8. Write. I want (and need) to nail down a plot (and hopefully a draft) of my new (and perhaps final) novel. I have all these nebulous ideas floating around but nothing concrete--time to start making things solid.
9. Illustrate. Strangely, I now think of myself more as an author than an illustrator these days. In some ways, I think my illustration growth has stagnated because I've been stretching and focusing so much on writing. I'd like to get back to my illustration roots a bit and growing in that direction, focusing on...
10. New books. Baby books or a new picturebook--more ideas (Star Baby wants to be born!) that need to be nailed down and brought to fruition.
11. Branch out. With Rain Dragon around, I've had to start cutting down on school visits which is painful on the pocketbook. Babies= increased expenses + decreased income = not a good combo! So I've been trying to think of ways to make extra income without having to leave home. Right now the two ideas I have are offering portraits (though I need to see how well the winners' portraits come out first) or making & selling Chinese flashcards, but I'm not sure if either are going to be financially feasible...
12. Connect. All these goals are well and good, but people--baby, husband, family and, yes, readers!--must have a place, too. I want to make sure for all my personal goals in which I focus inward, I also spend time outward.
13. Remember. Every year has its low points and I know this year will have its share. When that happens, and even when it doesn't, I want remember how lucky I am. Life is a wonderful thing--sweet and sour--and I want to make sure I live it --a sentiment that I now realize, in hindsight, is partially inspired by the words of Maurice Sendak: