This week’s Documented Life Project prompt was to use hidden journaling, that is to write or otherwise record something that would then be concealed in some way on the page. As I have explained before, I don’t tend to use my art journal as a means of processing my thoughts and feelings. I have other ways of doing that, including writing this blog, plus I prefer for my art time to be about escapism and decompressing from my everyday life rather than being a record of my life. The phrase prompt, however, was “The greatest gift I can give myself” and I thought that was something I could use. This is the time of year when thoughts turn to what has been accomplished and experienced in the year about to end and what might be achieved in the year to come. The phrase prompt made me think about the ways I have invested in myself this year and the ways in which I might invest in myself next year. I, therefore, decided that my journal page would be about setting my goals for 2016. I chose not to hide them but kept them to a very brief statement. Strangely enough, this week is incredibly busy so I kept my page simple: watercolour shapes that I encouraged to bleed into one another, a bit of spatter, and text written with ink pen.
So what are my goals for 2016? Well I have the usual goal of getting healthier – exercise, sleep, diet, self-care – and added to that I built in a goal to simply relax more. I am one of those people who likes to be doing something but I end the day exhausted so I need to find time to just chill out a bit, maybe by doing just one thing at a time ever so often. I want to travel in the coming year, whether that is exploring more of the local area, travelling to another state (I have been stuck on 25 US states visited since 2002!) or further afield. I have fallen into a bit of a rut of cooking food that will not lead to an uprising from all of my kids. It is unrealistic to think I can appease all four of them at every meal time but the moaning gets a bit much some days and I seem to have capitulated lately and end up cooking the same things over and over. I, therefore, want to challenge myself to cook one new recipe each week in order to expand my collection of foods the boys will enjoy eating. I am lucky in that they have pretty sophisticated and mature palates for kids so I am never stuck just cooking kid fare but building my repertoire of meals they at least tolerate and which I enjoy would be a boon. I want to decorate more rooms in our house, drag a few more of them out of 1970. I want to come up with another project to do with the kids this summer, following this year’s History of Art course, and also some smaller projects too. I have two family history projects that I had actually set as goals for this year and never got around to so hopefully I will get them done this year: writing up my research on at least one more of my families into narrative form and reorganising the family history photographs into a larger album. Then I have lots of creative challenges: I want to create every day – or at least try to; I want to complete all of the art courses I have signed up for; I want to explore the possibility of selling my art online. The “keep fighting” goal refers to an issue I am in the midst of tackling. That is my nod to hidden journaling.
I didn’t quite fulfill all of last year’s goals but that is OK. Life gets in the way of plans some times. I wonder how many of these goals I will complete in 2016.