2016 is here, and it feels great. The holidays came and went in a whirlwind, like they always do, but we had a lot of fun. We slept in, we shopped, we baked, we decorated, and we celebrated Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Years with family, friends, food, and fun. We saw Star Wars and we skied a few times. What more could you ask for? Nothing! But if sure feels good to have it all over with!
Why is that?
Maybe it’s because the holidays are like the last paragraph of the last chapter of a long book, and no matter how good, bad, or mediocre the story, we’re glad when we’ve finished it, and we’re excited to get started on the next one. That’s how I feel at least. I thought 2015 was really good – great characters, full of meaning, lots of fun, with all kinds of unexpected twists and turns. And now I’m ready to start 2016.
Last year I picked a word to focus on for 2015, and that word was “Integration.” I chose it because I wanted to take my seemingly separate endeavors – web development, pillow-making, and blogging – and turn them into a more cohesive thing. I also wanted to integrate more people into my work.
After ringing in 2016 I started reflecting on last year’s word and I was feeling like I had failed; like I hadn’t integrated much at all in 2015. In fact, I felt like I’d done the opposite and dis-integrated. (Ha! That makes me look at the word completely differently now.) But, isn’t disintegrating actually a means of integrating? You know, like how you disintegrate sugar in water, the sugar seems to be gone, but it’s really still there, it’s just in a different form and now you’ve made simple syrup! Hmm…
For 2015 I really wanted to start working with other people more, like with my office-mate and graphic designer friend. I also wanted to find mentors to learn from. And I wanted to create one type of business that integrated everything somehow. Well, none of that really happened like I thought it would.
In fact, I quit going to my office when I started my Nordstrom job, and eventually gave it up altogether. Maybe my word for 2015 should have been ”quit!” Because I also quit doing Todd’s bookkeeping. And Krypton quit meeting. I also quit hanging out on the playground after school. I quit coloring my hair. I quit sewing all of my own pillows.
But that was what I was thinking last week. This week I’m thinking very differently. I’m thinking that I totally integrated things last year. It’s just that I had to disintegrate a little too.
I may have given up my office space, but I got a new one at Nordstrom, as well as new people to work with, and lots of new web development challenges that got me really excited about the work and my abilities. I often thought to myself: This is great! I’m good at this. This is what I should be doing with my life!
I also did a lot of silkscreening, made a bunch of new pillows, sold them at craft fairs, and often though to myself: This is great! I’m good at this. This is what I should be doing with my life! Good grief.
So how then did I integrate? Well, mostly I integrated internally. I realized that all of the things I’m doing are important to me. They fulfill me and make me who I am.
The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. –Aristotle
In 2015 I worked on my branding and came up with a tag line for my pillow business:
Style. Comfort. Inspiration. Fun.
Turns out that those four words, beyond the pillows, are what I believe in completely. I believe we all have our own personal style that we need to be true to. We want to be comfortable. We need inspiration and to be inspirational. Life should be fun. So no matter what type of work I’m doing – web developing, pillow making, blogging, or “momming”, that is the sensibility I strive for. And that is the integration I accomplished in 2015.
And I’m not done integrating yet. But I suppose it’s a constant process…
So what is 2016 going to be about?
It’s hard to say just yet, because I’ve only just started the first chapter. But the word for 2016 is:
I need to organize my time, my money (Ha ha! Like I have so much it needs to be organized!), my pillow inventory, my workspace, and my house. I need to create web-sites for me and standard processes. I know, it sounds really boring, but I’m excited about this word, and I’m really excited to get organized and into my groove in 2016.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!