For the past month, I’ve had the itch for an adventure…is it just the frigid sunless days giving me cabin fever, or am I due?
I keep finding myself plotting our next trip, drifting off into pleasant daydreams of New Zealand, Greenland, Costa Rica… The Guy has been very patient with my overeager email blasts. We can’t go everywhere, now. We have to pick one.
So I think I’ve talked him into a trip to the Southwest this spring, which will be my first time since 2002…I’m not just due for a trip back, I’m overdue!
Every December and January, the world turns introspective and looks for ways to improve. I follow Chris Guillebeau’s suggestion of an annual review, assessing all aspects of my life for ways I can improve. Self-improvement can feel banal, this time of year, because so many of us want the same things – to exercise, to eat healthily, to complete creative projects, to travel. I have to believe that working to improve myself is valuable, because it’s such an important part of who I am. Yet the act of self-improvement needs some consideration. It takes care to craft a truly meaningful annual review or new years resolutions that will positively impact our lives.
Think of the Pacific Northwest and you can’t help but think of our lush forests, nurtured by heavy rainfall and year-round cool temperatures. I’ve collected a sampling of 11 native plant, forest, and bark free textures I’ve photographed in forests across western Washington State for you to use in your creative projects. I’m releasing them under a Creative Commons Attribution License – have fun creating with the textures of the northwest!
I’ve been quiet here lately, but you can find quick thoughts and comments on the Cascadia Inspired Facebook Page, and visual inspiration on the Cascadia Inspired Pinterest account! Some of my recent questions (visit Facebook for the full context):
- Do our cognitive abilities decrease with speed?
- Is what makes us human that we want to be what we are not? (Inspired by this video of an eagle-eye view of flying in the Swiss Alps.)
- Can all artistic movements be expressed in any medium, visual or not, or are some movements limited to visual means of expression?
- Is some art inextricably visual?
- Do you have any “creative traditions”?
- Does your natural setting influence your perception of possibility?
- How much does your natural environment shape your thinking?
- Do you think animals have names for each other?
I’ve overextended myself, wrung myself dry of creative energy. Not ideas, mind you, I have plenty of those – but my ability to execute them is at capacity.
I’ve disdained comfort and safety. “I’m not the type of person who watches TV every night,” I tell myself. “I make things.” I’m constantly pushing my own boundaries, instantly jumping to the next project when I master the last one. Learn one recipe, time for a new one. I feel the need to be constantly growing by experiencing new things. Every year I make an ambitious set of goals in all aspects of my life. I care about everything; I have opinions about everything. No decisions are easy or simple.
I’m happy to be passionate about life, but sometimes it’s just exhausting.
I don’t want to be average. I want to leave a mark on the world, even if just among my family and friends. I aspire to more.
I want to do more, accomplish more, read more, learn more, create more.
But I need to just be more.
I think it’s time to let myself be comfortable for a while.