Lauren McLean Iuppa Ayer

Poet | Artist | Optimist

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

I had a plan for today. That plan was to go back through all my 2014 journals and create a detailed accounting of what I accomplished this past year. Halfway through March I got bogged down in all the details and rehashings, so I turned instead to a list I made a couple days ago of the year’s most memorable moments. And that list was enough, so here it is, in no particular order:

  • Completed 9 quilts and sold 5 (including two commissions)
  • Made and sold 6 potholders
  • Started ApocalypseGarden.com
  • Completed a 31 Day Writing Challenge, with the above-mentioned blog and have continued to blog almost daily
  • Started a new novel, Consequence, for NaNoWriMo
  • Took a poetry class from Tony Hoagland
  • Published lyric essay “Wider Than an Ocean”  and got tons of publicity
  • Launched this site: laurenayer.com
  • Joined wonder tracker Jeffrey Davis for #Quest2015
  • Attended two funerals, my grandmother’s in April, and my neighbor Ann’s in May
  • Learned free-motion quilting
  • Travelled a lot: Rochester, NY, Durango, CO, California (San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Yosemite), and various places in New Mexico (Las Vegas, Taos, Truth or Consequences, Aztec, others)
  • Blew glass for the first time (a bucket list item for me)
  • Sewed a button-down, collared dress shirt (my first)
  • Had quilts in three different shows
  • Did several freelance projects
  • Distanced myself from a challenging work situation
  • Expanded my day job hours
  • Reconnected with a selection of my Silicon Valley NaNoWriMo tribe
  • Visited Alcatraz and saw Ai Wei Wei’s @Large exhibit there
  • Connected with two long-lost cousins of mine, amazing poets MJ Iuppa and Suzanne Iuppa
  • Set up two holiday craft faires
  • Started the Koru Project, then later put it on hold
  • Created my Year of Clear focused on streamlining my life in key areas (money, time, space, health, work, preparedness, and relationships)
  • Bought a small sewing machine to take to classes (my big one is too heavy)
  • Gave away a bunch of stuff I no longer want or need during Lent
  • Started the year with a no-spend January
  • Generally got my space, work, and life in better order
  • Had a major epiphany that may completely remake the scope, kind, and style of work I do in the future (we’ll see how that goes)
  • Read 36 books and watched 78 feature-length films

Looking at this list, it’s clear I’ve accomplished a lot, but throughout the year I felt overwhelmed and behind. And when I look at my original goals:

  • Streamline the basics
  • Define and build my businesses
  • Become financially solvent

I don’t feel like I made much progress, even though I did.

I don’t want to feel that way in the coming year, so to that end, I will set no goals,  just priorities to guide my actions.

  1. Health
  2. Creative work
  3. Learning
  4. Relationships

CultivateAnd though it was my intention to simply be, do, and bear witness without creating yet another Year of word (which in past years have included Recovery, Emergence, Work, and Clear), a word arose just the same: CULTIVATE.

Cultivate better health. Cultivate the creative work that best feeds and most excites me. Cultivate an attitude of learning, to grow knowledge, awareness, and understanding. Cultivate valued relationships while weeding out those that drain me.

If 2014 is any indication, what that work will entail will likely change considerably over the course of the year, but as I sit here typing these words, it will begin with the Apocalypse Garden. And I am ridiculously excited.

2 Comments

  1. “Cultivate” is a wonderful word, Lauren. And I love that it came up even after you said you weren’t go to do the ‘word of the year’ kind of thing. It wants to meet you half-way, no, more than half-way… enjoy your 2015! xox

  2. Loved reading your reflections and your intentions.. Thank you Lauren! May you cultivate all that your heart desires! xo

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