One of the (many) things I appreciate about my friends is knowing that they are there even though we might not talk every day, every month, or even longer. Time doesn’t affect good friendships, and if either of us decides to send a text, a message, or if we tag the other person in a post on social media, there isn’t any serious expectation of commitment. Just a little reminder that “hey, I’m thinking of you. You’re awesome, btw.”
Lisa is one of these friends. She tagged me in a post she retweeted from @jacbalen that encouraged her friends to participate in the #OneWordOnt challenge. I wasn’t sure if I would have the ability to decide on just one word, but after an impromptu chat with Sara & Stephen on VoicEd Radio last night, it became clear to me that prioritize would fit quite well. A note: I don’t often take the time to sit and listen to a program while it’s being broadcast but last night’s decision to tune in turned into a lovely experience, and I found new appreciation for one of my favourite words, serendipity.
It would be easy to look back on 2020 through a negative lens; there were so many challenges that affected our lives, and “normal” became a memory in many circumstances. These challenges could, and often did, overwhelm us but there is a place inside us that chooses to look past these obstacles and search for opportunities. Our lives became simpler and the busyness that often accompanies normal life subsided. We were given a chance to think about what mattered and make a difference in our own lives since our distractions and excuses couldn’t hold us back.
Last night, we spoke about our actions within this past year, and what got us through. Without hesitation, I know that diving into art made all the difference for me. I produced more paintings last year than I have in the past 10 years combined, and it was so fulfilling. It also boosted my sense of self, and gave me purpose again.
Until this past year, I felt like an imposter because I wasn’t making art the way I knew I could, or should. 2020 was a gift for me. I spent time focusing on my family, my finances, my health, and art. If there is anything I can give to myself this year, I will continue to prioritize the things that matter most.