Forgive me reader for I have sinned. It has been months since I wrote my “weekly” blog, a 2018 new year’s resolution I first embarked upon with heartfelt enthusiasm and dedication and then let dwindle into the background of a life overrun with emails, paint stains on hardwood floors, pinterest recipes, and Christmas shopping. After my August 31 in 31 daily painting challenge, I vowed that such challenges would henceforth occur once a year, every January. You see where I’m going with this?

With January fast approaching, I’m taking some time to reflect on what these challenges mean to me and why I continue to do them. I’m thinking of what other new year’s resolutions I can set (and potentially break). I need to clean out my studio– organize the mess as though it were a painting. What goes where? How do I create harmony? How do I simplify, de-clutter, get to the heart of the thing instead of wading through piles of random supplies and half-finished work? How do I create at the same time that I clear out? Make new things at the same time I make space for them? That’s the focus of my January– one painting every day paired with a month- long project of creating a more harmonious workspace.

I am not excited about the pressure of 31 paintings in 31 days, not jazzed about the prospect of going through a whole lot of junk that’s been collecting for God knows how long. But what I am excited about is the insight, connection, and beauty that always finds its way through the agony, the fingernail biting, the stress of self-imposed pressure.

I chose the painting of the two cranes to illustrate today’s post because it speaks to me of connection– that little dance between two spirits when they find themselves occupying a similar landscape. As always, I invite you to take on a 31 day challenge with me this January. Whether it is art-making, house-cleaning, poetry-writing, walk-taking, or just finding five minutes of quiet each morning, when we embark together, the load feels not only lighter but more fortified with meaning. And if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that our shortcomings are less disastrous than we might imagine. Falling off the wagon (ahem, this blog) is the perfect opportunity to hop back on with gusto.

I’ve started a closed facebook group for anyone who would like to participate. Let me know in the comments if you want me to add you.

Looking forward to what the new year may bring. I hope you’ll join me.

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