2019: The Year of…..

I decided to keep it simple this year.  I am going with a one-word theme.

I debated setting another goal to do a set number of specific things and was (of course) obsessing over how many things and what exactly those things would be. And then last week, the idea of having a one-word theme was presented to me.

This is not a new idea, but it was a new idea to me and I loved it because it was simple. And I don’t want to keep doing the same old “new” things. I need to innovate!

And…..I already knew what my word would be.

I had been thinking a lot about what I wanted to focus on in 2019.  I want writing to be a big part of it, but I have other ideas.  I recently realized that I have a lot of ideas that I don’t pursue. I let them float through my head while I am busy checking off meaningless stuff on my to do list and I often just forget about them.  Or sometimes they keep coming back to me and I make excuses not to pursue them.  Then I sit around saying “I don’t know what I want to do with my life and I have no ideas.” Sigh.

At the end of 2017, I read Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I loved that book and its been milling around in the back of my mind with all of those ideas. The story from the book that stayed with me most vividly was one she told about this glimmer of an idea she had that she wanted a garden. And she didn’t just dismiss it (like I have many times with the plant wall I keep thinking about) but she ran with it. Then she got interested in learning about the flowers and she ran with that!  And THAT turned in to a book.

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.  The hunt to uncover those jewels – that’s creative living.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

This idea of following your curiosity, reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, I have loved Alice in Wonderland since I was a little girl. Now I realize she has been calling me to follow my curiosity and uncover the hidden jewels.

“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”  – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Yes!!!!  I want to find those treasures and create amazing things because it will be fun!!!  (Extra bonus points if I can inspire other people to do the same!!)

I recently stumbled on the Big Magic podcast and listened to the Brene Brown episode.  She basically told me that I have no choice but to start creating more things. Here is what Brene said to me last week while I was walking around the East Village:

“The only unique contribution we make in this world will be born of creativity.”

“Creativity is soul work. It’s not about what we do, it’s about who we are.”

So yeah, I gotta get on this.

First, I must start writing down the ideas that come to my head so I don’t forget them. Then I need to take inspired action on the ones that speak to me the loudest. Then I will start creating things. Some of those things I will share, and some will just be for me. Some of those things will be writing and some of them will be other cool stuff.  Some of it might not end up being that cool or important, and that’s OK.

“You are not required to save the world with your creativity.”  –– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

In case you have not figured it out yet, my word for 2019 is CREATIVITY. 

I am going to follow my curiosity and create things out of the ideas that I am no longer going to ignore.  I am not going to do a specific number of things. I am just going to do stuff. Maybe it will be one HUGE creative project and maybe it will be 100.  Who knows? Did Alice have any idea what she was getting in to?

I am going to kick the year off with the The Artist’s Way.  For those who are not in the know, The Artist’s Way, is a “12-week program of exercises and explorations to loosen up one’s artistic self.” (My creativity hero, Elizabeth Gilbert, is a huge fan)

I am on my way to being loose and even MORE artistic!

Welcome to my #YearofCreativity.  Let’s see how this goes!

PS: The artwork above is a print I bought on Amazon from Lone Star Art. You can find it here.

Initial Thoughts: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is only one week out the gate and TV by the Numbers already has it on the cancellation bubble! If you like Once Upon a Time, you will like this show (I actually think this one is better.) The question is, how many hours of fantasy, fairy tale drama TV can a person watch? Sunday night feels like the right night to watch something Disney-ish (because, as I have mentioned before, The Wonderful World of Disney used to be on Sunday nights.)  Thursday night is more like a Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal kind of night (in my TV world.)  People are getting ready for the weekend and want to watch drama and scandal and pretend their weekend will be full of the same. (None of this applies to me of course, because I record everything and watch it when I feel like it, but apparently, lots of people still watch things real time!)

That being said, I liked it. The story is told by bouncing around from present day to past (different times in the past, even) so you have to stay on your toes to follow the story. I like some intellectual challenge in my TV. What is the story? Let me tell you..(spoiler alert)

The whole things starts AFTER Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. When she returned from Wonderland, she had apparently been gone for a long time (not just like a nap) so everyone thought she was dead. No one believed her story so they institutionalized her. At some point (we don’t know the details exactly), as a young woman Alice escaped and went back to Wonderland to get proof that it exists. On this return journey, she fell in love with a genie. The genie was supposedly killed by the evil Red Queen (we don’t really know why) and Alice was devastated. When she returned to the “real world” from Wonderland, she was despondent. She told her doctors she did make it all up and then she agreed to electroshock therapy to forget everything (we are now in the present day that is not really the present day, because they still do electroshock therapy. Its a vague time period.)

BUT..before she goes in for the procedure, the Knave of Hearts and the White Rabbit (remember that people and animals can travel between worlds) tell her that her genie love (Cyrus) is alive and that she should go back to Wonderland to find him. BUT..when she gets there, we learn that the evil Red Queen made up the whole story of Cyrus being alive to get her back to Wonderland. BUT…then we learn that Cyrus really IS still alive and being held prisoner by the evil genie Jafar (we don’t know why) who is working with the Red Queen (at the moment. He also wants to kill her.)

So there you have it. Many mysteries to unravel and a romantic quest to find lost love in a fantasy land where there are lots of mushrooms and things can grow big and be made small. The dialog is actually smart and witty and the visuals are appealing. And Alice kicks ass, literally, with swords and karate moves.

Watching this show made me give some thought to what is is about Alice in Wonderland that appealed to me as a small child. I think it was because Alice was brave and curious and spoke her mind. She made her way, on her own, through this strange land and she wasn’t scared, she just rolled with it. She was nice to those who were nice to her but didn’t put up with any shit. She did get upset once and cry a river of tears, but she pulled herself together and got out of her predicament. No one came to save her, she just figured it out. She was smart.

Maybe Alice was my first feminist heroine!