Since this January I don't find the arduous tasks of wisdom tooth removal or a major classroom overhaul ahead of me as I did last year, I feel like a free woman! 2017 was for me the year of getting &*%# done. I told myself, you are turning 30. It was time to really face the world and come to grasps with mysteries of adulthood- such as understanding income taxes, conquering the health insurance industry, scheduling routine doctor check ups and keeping better tabs on accounting. #adulting
Fast forward a year later.... I still don't understand tax code any better, I HATE what options -small business owners especially!- have when it comes to health care and you know what? It's alright. I started my business when I was 18 so in a lot of ways, I've been "adulting" for a while, learning life experiences each and every day in conventional and non-conventional ways. We all grow up differently, assume responsibility differently, take journeys differently and be creative differently. In my opinion, we should never outgrow the wonderment and curiosity of childhood, while at the same time we should always strive to capture life's wisdoms as we embrace adulthood. If age is just a number, do you mind if I stay an old soul, perhaps born for a different time but living in this day and age?
So here we are at another January. The time when aspirations run high and I at last, have precious time on my side. It's when when I do what I love best- review the past, plan for the future and be creative! I've spent a lot of time working on projects lately- class samples, personal projects (SAY WHAT!?!) and creative endeavors and that leaves me with some tv watching time.
I haven't had tv "programming" since we moved to the farm when I was 12, so that's 18 years, I suppose! I kind of lost track of that, but its almost two decades not really knowing any of the Superbowl commercials people were talking about, or what reality show star was making headlines or knowing who America's funniest, prettiest, fattest or craziest people were. My family eventually ended up with a VHS player, then a DVD player, and we did watch a lot of movies. With the invention internet television- aka Youtube and Netflix- we now have the convenience of watching anytime, anywhere. I didn't miss it, to be honest- we read a lot books and did a lot of chores...lol.
Lately, I've been watching a lot of Netflix while I felt, and been on quite the kick with British shows... The Great British Baking Show, Call the Midwife, The Crown and The Paradise to name a few. I've come away with some touching observations that might inspire you, and I've discovered a common thread in them that has energized me.
The Great British Baking Show is all about baking perfection- in a friendly, encouraging competition- in which things must taste and look their best whist prepared under time and pressure. I've learned so much, even though I'm not really a baker, more of cook (I hate measuring anything!). But what did I learn most of all? Baking is a lot like my art- attention in the smallest details, much repetitive work, give an eye for a clever and unusual twist, and present it as though you believe in it. With that recipe, you know anything you do will be "simply scrummy" (a phrase I'm afraid I'm coining for life)!
Traveling back to a time not too long ago, but in a time when the world was changing swiftly, was Call the Midwife. This series I did not want to like, simply because my mom was into it. Besides, who wants to entertain themselves with hearing women in labor for a cliffhanger-55- minute-episode? Not me, I thought until I saw how it was so much more than that. What I saw was a caring, compassionate group of women. They came together from many backgrounds and united the community with their tender ways and loving hearts. They showed what it was to experience sorrow and joy on life's path and how to stay strong in spite of it all.
While on the other side of London midwives were dealing with the blood, sweat and tears of life, The Crown dealt with the life of the royal family and the great task it was for the young Elizabeth to become Queen. The blood, sweat and tears were all there, no doubt, as a young couple, hopeful of raising their family and living their lives the way they dreamt, was suddenly thrust into an upheaval. It wasn't supposed to be this way, I'm sure they thought and wished. Yet they pushed through it because they had to, out of loyalty not only to their family but their country. They learned a great deal about themselves and each other out of the struggle, and to watch the both of them, as well as Elizabeth herself, emerge as from a cocoon is inspiring. I also was intrigued by much of the history, which I love, and how it overlapped with Call the Midwives in the subtlest of ways.
The Paradise tells of a passionate business owner, one that takes great risks and schemes grand ideas for his department store. Alongside him comes a young lady, though rural in upbringing, has a keen skill for business. She catches his eye, as well as the disdain of many who work with her. Her sweet spirit and tenacity rise above it all and both of them find ways to be creative, meet the changing tides, reinvent the status quo and embellish the ordinary. They are bold and confident, the way any business owner should be, in spite of all the challenges they face.
I'm reading a book my husband bought for me for Christmas, Rosalia's Bittersweet Pastry Shop, about an Italian convent that bakes world-renowned pastries and has a mysterious story. The Mother Superior is opening her bakery, and herself, to an American food writer who is pairing up to jointly publish a book. There are even recipes in the book, so I'm looking forward to trying some! It takes me back to my time in Italy, and the culture, food, way of life and beauty.
When I reflect on the things I've taken away from these stories, I'm energized by the incredible women who made their mark on the world by doing something they were passionate about. It gives me the faith, that I too can walk in their footsteps. They faced adversity, challenges, and discouragement but they believed in their talents, in their skills and in themselves. They had people around them that supported them.
So this January, that is the message I'm taking into the coming year. 2018 is going to be a year of committing myself again to the passion to which I've been called to, giving it my all. Cheers!
P.S. Just for the record, I didn't binge watch all these shows since January 1st. This is my Netflix queue since last June or so. ;)