2016 – Portrait of the Artist

I have an annual tradition where toward the end of the year I deep clean my apartment and purge everything I don’t use.  Year after year I slowly work myself toward being a minimalist.

If you come across an item you’re not sure about while you’re in the process of decluttering there is a three-question system you use:

  1. Do you actively use it?
  2. Do you need it?
  3. Do you love it?

I’ve been doing this for a while, so most things need two or more yeses to stay.

This year what struck me as I started cleaning out my ever-dwindling cabinets is that they are not full of “things” anymore. They are full of the people I used to be, or people I wish I was.

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Playing Catch Up

Too many days since my last posting – mere days after my New Years Resolution rambling I was actually able to pick up some new part time work to help buy all the plane tickets I’m going to need this year.  That of course put a major squish on my schedule as did the launch of Sit Kitty Sit’s new album “Beautiful/Terrible” – released February 3, 2012.  SO EXCITED – it’s a great record.  Click HERE to learn more.  And I know the date has past, but the commercial was cool so I’m including it here:

But no fear – my resolution was not lost.  And while I may not be posting, or even updating my Facebook status very often, I am dutifully keeping track of all the new things I’ve learned so far this year.  In no particular order:

  • I learned that the reason there are no cemeteries in San Francisco is because of the Bubonic Plague.  (a few historical ones were allowed to stay, but for all the others the bodies were exhumed and moved to Colma.  eww)
  • I learned how to use an elk call that I got for free off a stranger at the DMV
  • I learned how to make kombucha at home
  • I learned that if you bake certain types of mushrooms, they basically shrivel into nothing (oops)
  • I learned that sesame sticks and banana chips go shockingly well together and created a new trail mix recipe that consists of sesame sticks and banana chips
  • I learned that when cats get tons of eye boogers all the time it’s actually a form of herpes (eww)
  • I learned what a brioche actually IS instead of sort of knowing what it is.

And – if all that were not enough, I decided to re-start The Artist Way by Julia Cameron for a second time.  It has been years, and as I recall I don’t think I finished the entire 12 week program the last time.

I got the idea because I found myself in a bit of an emotional slump. Quite strange considering that everything is quite literally swimming along brilliantly – so I decided that maybe I just needed a little boost.  A return to my creative roots, and some looking inside.  So I walked to my bookshelf to pull down this mighty manual – but, what is this?  Where is it?  I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I know I never would have added it to the giveaway pile, so maybe I lent it to someone??  But nothing rings a bell.  I have no idea what I did with it.  I was blessed enough to find a free copy floating around in SF – but on my way home from picking it up I discovered that two of the pages had chunks torn out of them.  I’m assuming for the prior user to have that info handy in the pocket – but that put a slight damper on my “can I start tonight” attitude – one of the ripped pages was part of  Week 1’s reading.

Not to be deterred, (my Dad is basically MacGyver. I can figure this out) I contacted my dear friend the HookHook, who actually used her iPhone to take pictures of the missing pages in her own copy of the book and emailed them to me.  I promptly printed them out and arts-n-crafted them back into place.

It just looks like a photo page, huh?  Yeah – I did that myself. There actually aren’t any photos in the book.  I sort of feel good about the extra effort I had to put in to get what I needed – I felt like it was a step in the right direction.

I’m just finishing up week one and so far so good.  Anyone out there who’s finished all 12 weeks?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.