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Looking Ahead to 2011, Part 2

Whoosh! Where does the time go?

We’re already past the summer solstice, and July is almost upon us.

Rolling into the second half of the year seems like a good point to take stock, and look ahead to some of the things you want to do, write, imagine, start, stop, create, or make in the second half of the year.

I was doing a bit of that stock taking when I was away, and came up with a list of twelve things I’d like to feature in the next six months.

Being somewhat goal averse, they include things I’d like to do daily as well as projects. And some of them are ways of thinking rather than things-to-be-done - since I have found it is kind of hard to have the one without the other.

The list looked like this:

1. accept that I am finding my way

2. take teaching opportunities as they come

3. write poems, and share them

4. take photos, and share them

5. explore ways to make tangible products

6. complete the book on dementia

7. reflect on what I learn from teaching and writing

8. promote the power of poetry to change things

9. learn Gaelic

10. take the earth, wind and fire course*

11. spend as much time as possible outside

12. trust in the process

As you’ll see, there’s only a few things that I need to ‘make’ happen; the main focus is on allowing things to unfold at their leisure.

Being somewhat to-do-list-averse as well as goal-averse I had a lovely moment of ‘aha’ while sitting writing and reflecting in the sun.

There was an old wheel propped up at the side of the house, and the image of the wheel was enough to make me think of this ‘list’ as a circle, as a wheel of things I want to do, make and create, circling within ways I want to try and do, make and create them.

Here’s how my wheel looks with the 12 items in the spokes.

I particularly like the sense of effortless forward momentum the wheel provides!

Do you do a similar (or different) kind of stock-taking at the half-way point of the year? What kind of shape does it take?

Please feel free to share comments on the process, or specific things you’d like to bring into being in 2011, part 2.

* The Water, Wind, Earth and Fire course run by Christine at The Abbey of the Arts. I was lucky enough to have my name drawn as the winner of this e-course when I submitted this poem on inner wisdom to her last poetry party.

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  1. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    I’ve done a bit of stocktaking as well, and one of the important things I’ve found out is that I’ve learnt quite a lot during the first half of the year - about myself, about my capabilities as an artist. Often the time goes by that fast that we don’t feel that we grow - more often we think about our flaws.

  2. Iain Broome
    Twitter: iainbroome

    I don’t normally split years into halves but this one is quite different and there are lots of exciting plans ahead. Sounds like you’re the same - good luck!

  3. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, this post truly resonated with me. I have read it more than once today and shared it in several places. The imagery of the wheel completely changed my perspective about my own “list.” What a profound insight to view our list in the way we live our lives - moving, dynamic, with priorities changing as needed. When I consider it in the light of a circle that keeps turning it no longer feels restrictive or overwhelming but exciting. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this today. xx

  4. Joanna Paterson
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Ulla Hennig,

    That’s such a good point Ulla - I didn’t say much about the backward looking part, but we really need to take stock of the distance travelled and learning made as well as always looking into what lies ahead.

    Iain Broome, well it seems to be quite a big year for you, I’m not surprised you need to split it in two!

    Karen Swim, I am so so glad this resonated. I got such a huge sense of both realisation and comfort through the image of the circle… I am glad it is offering some of the same to you and others x

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