Thursday, May 14, 2009


I keep a photo diary. For every year of my life, I have a page with a photo of myself from that year, and a page beside it listing what I did that year. For my childhood years, obviously, it's just a list of what grade I was in or where my family was living that year. As an adult, it's what degree I earned or what job I held.

Last year I was SO BUSY that I didn't have time to make a 2008 entry at all. In fact, I forgot I was even keeping the diary until I found it among my photo albums when I was looking for a Mother's Day picture the other day.

So I decided to bring it up to date yesterday. In looking back over my 2008 calendar and making my list of activities for the year, I realized (with shame) that I have gained 15 pounds since this time last year, and I had the flu from early January to late February 2009.

I told my husband about all the things in my life I feel I've been neglecting (which obviously includes my health), and he said that instead I need to focus on what I have accomplished.

So I decided to take his advice and make a list of all the things I've done since January 2008, up to now. This included the following:

I showed my paintings in 9 exhibits. (For one of them, my painting was used for the invitation, and the Boston Globe review of that show mentioned my work specifically.)

I sold 11 paintings.

I had 6 artist profiles published (plus a number of reviews).

I developed from scratch and successfully taught (at least once) 3 graduate-level courses and 2 workshops, plus I gave private lessons.

I also developed from scratch and successfully taught (at least once) the following courses: fashion illustration, acrylic additives, landscape drawing/painting, and botanical illustration.

This experience serves as a reminder that when we focus on one area of our lives, there's only so much time in a day and so many days in a year, so other aspects of life might be neglected or overlooked. It's important to take the time on a regular basis to re-evaluate and possibly rework our plans and goals.

I have focused on career to a great extent since 2008. Time now to turn my attention to exercise and healthy foods, and concentrate on that until my body brings itself back into balance.

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