life curation

Goodbye 2018 …

Happy Monday, friends! It’s New Year’s Eve, and we are closing the books on 2018. Did you get everything you wanted? Did you see some dreams come true? Did you get answers to some of your burning questions? Are you reflecting back on the year with appreciation?

Here’s a truth you may not hear too often: it doesn’t matter whether things worked out exactly as you hoped. All that matters is that you lived to see another day, and every day offers an opportunity to “reset”. Life is the gift, and everything else is icing.

Goodbye 2018

I took off from posting for the past couple of days: my first blogging “break” ever. Inspiration led me to stop pushing myself so hard and to take a break to regroup and think carefully about how I want to enter 2019. I needed that space to clear my mind.

This past weekend led me to the difficult decision to cease doing weekend blog posts. While I love writing and have no problem doing it daily, I feel that having the weekend will give me more time to enjoy my journey and perfect my writing craft. Not to mention, the time off really gave me an energy boost: I look forward to feeling that way more frequently.

I’m going to get back to working on my vision board and I’ll be back tomorrow. Have a great evening, and I’ll talk with you all soon!

life curation

Making Space Challenge: Final Update for 2018

Hey friends! I hope today finds you well and I also hope that you all are still basking in the joy of the season.

I’ve had a good run with the Making Space Challenge (I’ll be adding more photos using the hashtags #MakingSpace and #MakingSpaceChallenge) and it’s something I plan to keep doing in the upcoming year. I didn’t get rid of as many items as I’d hoped but so long as I keep working on it (and not adding to the piles of stuff!), I’ll reach my goal. I did notice that the more I cleared away clutter, the more “clear-headed” I felt. Funny how that works . . .

screen (7)

I’ll be prepping some donation bags this weekend

Since there is a big move in my not-so-distant future, downsizing is a must. The Making Space Challenge was a good “push” in the right direction. However, I need a focused structure to get through my “stuff” because getting overwhelmed can happen to the best of us. I found this great organization challenge on All Things Mikita’s website. Her organizational challenge for January seems pretty easy to follow, not to mention the fact that it can be customized to you and your clutter. I’ll be using it next month so that I can make some more strides with reducing my possessions.

That’s all for this Thursday. I hope you all have a great evening, and I’ll chat with you tomorrow!

 

life curation

2018 Goals: Final Update

It’s the last Hump Day before the New Year: can you all believe that we’re already so close to 2019? This year has flown by, but it’s my sincere hope that you all got to see some of your dreams come true during the year or, at very least, made some progress toward achieving your big goals. Remember, taking one step is better than staying still, and you still have time to take one more step before the year end.

Woman writing and planning business strategy

As you all know I had three big goals I was working on this year. While I did a tiny update a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to do one final check-in before the new year. Quickly, here were my goals:

  • Publish some of my writing
  • Travel more
  • Dabble in an art career

Here are the updates on each goal up to this point:

Goal 1: Publish some of my writing

writing

My previous set of goals were as follows:

  • Complete edits on my novel
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo in November
  • Publish my how to book

I didn’t complete the edits on my novel, though I did make some progress on it. I’m cutting myself a lot of slack with that because edits can take quite a bit of time and mental energy. So, just doing some edits is progress enough for me. Over the next year, I’ll work on it in increments, until the edits are done. This isn’t a priority for me, so I don’t anticipate this being completed until Summer or Fall 2019

I participated in NaNoWriMo, so that goal was achieved (yay!) I didn’t finish my novel but I did say that I would participate, and I did. I will resume working on my NaNoWriMo novel in the upcoming year, with the hopes of finishing it before March 2019.

My how-to book still isn’t published, but I explained why in this post. I haven’t worked out the layout stuff yet, but that’s something I’m focusing on in January 2019. The aim is to have the book published in February 2019.

Goal 2: More travel

screen (6)

My 2018 travel-related short-term goals were as follows:

  • Plan out 2019 trips
  • Film at least three travel-related videos for my YouTube channel
  • Get TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry

So, I’ve already started planning my 2019 trips, and I’ll announce my finalized plans next month. I wrote about my 2019 trip planning in this post. Planning travel for the upcoming year is always one of the highlights of my pre-New Year ritual.

I actually began tinkering with some video editing software for some travel related content for my YouTube channel. Now that I’ve gotten a little familiar, I’ll be able to publish some videos in the upcoming year. I have the content, but the formatting and “polishing” needs to happen next.

I researched the TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry requirements and determined that I don’t need it just yet. It’s a great option for frequent travelers but it is a multi-step process that takes more time than I’m willing to devote to it right now. However, it’s something I’ll be considering in 2020, when I anticipate I will be doing far more international and domestic air travel.

Goal 3: Dabble in an art career

art2

In 2018, my mini-goals for transitioning into an art career were:

  • Clarify what kind of art-related career I desire
  • Create a preliminary career “plan” for my target career
  • Attend at least three art related events so that I can meet more like-minded people

I’m still not completely clear on the kind of art-related career I want. I’ve considered a few paths and have eliminated some options, so that has clarified my desires somewhat. I’d prefer a singular, clear “yes” rather than multiple clear “nos”, but some clarity is better than nothing, right? I take it that this clarification process will be a gradual unfolding as opposed to a lightning bolt of inspiration. And that’s fine: the fact that this is coming to me gradually is actually kind of exciting. I anticipate that the end result will be better than I could have ever hoped for.

Well, without a target, I couldn’t come up with a preliminary plan. So that has to be put on hold until the actual desire is clarified. Again, that’s fine: I know that getting clear on what I want is going to be key to completing my plan.

I wasn’t feeling my best over the past few weeks, so I wasn’t energetic enough to handle the art events I wanted to attend. However, for January, I have two art events scheduled, and a third event is on my calendar for February. Since I’m still recovering, I have to pace myself as I plan to attend different art events. But I’m eager to get back into the mix, so it won’t be long before I’m out and mingling again.

**********

Those are my final updates for my 2018 goals. I’ll have a few target goals that I’m working on throughout 2019, and I’ll be sharing those soon. Until then, take care!

art · life curation

My Art Highlights for 2018

After a fantastic year of enjoying art, I thought it would be good for me to post some of my highlights from the last 12 months.

There really are too many highlights to cram into one post but I’m going to do my best!

I started this year off with viewing the terracotta army statues from China. As you all know, I visited China a few years ago and fell in love, so seeing the statues was like getting a taste of authentic China. I loved it and had a great time viewing the exhibition.

Next, nothing could top seeing Kenyan art while in Kenya! I wrote a post about Tom Mboya as well as some other Kenyan artists that I enjoyed. Getting to see art overseas is always a treat, since there is no guarantee that I will see these artists’ works stateside.

Paintings by Tom Mboya

I viewed Portuguese contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and was reminded of my goal to visit Portugal within the next 2 years. Just so you all know, I’ll be resuming my Portuguese language lessons in the upcoming year. I mean it: I’m going to speak Portuguese so that I can enjoy my trip and get around a little better than the average tourist.

At the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Archives of American Art, I viewed the exquisite and timeless work of Edmonia Lewis. I’m still impressed by her masterful handling of marble and her amazing ability when it comes to depicting her subjects with dignity and full of emotion. I was so impressed with her work that I recently did a comparison of her work with a similarly themed piece, because I simply can’t get tired of discussing Lewis’s work!

IMG_3570

The Death of Cleopatra by Edmonia Lewis

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Amy Sherald’s work at the National Portrait Gallery. Her portrait of Michelle Obama is a beautiful and unique interpretation of the former First Lady’s beauty, quiet resilience and charm. Seeing the painting in person impressed me far more than I expected, especially since Sherald’s signature technique forgoes capturing the rich tones of the subjects’ natural complexion and paints skin tone in greyscale, forcing art appreciators to focus on the expressions, posing, and attire depicted. I’m going to view some more of her work and maybe I’ll do an analysis of her style.

I also took a trip to Philadelphia and enjoyed the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There was so much art that I had to make a Part 1 and Part 2 to capture all of what I saw with my visit. I was delighted to see a Jean Leon Gerome painting that I’d never seen before.

img_5715

Night Flight by Howardena Pindell

I ended my year with the Howardena Pindell exhibition, that I loved so much that I had to visit it multiple times. Pindell is a living treasure, and I am thrilled that I got to see such a comprehensive retrospective of her work.

Those are my art highlights for 2018. I’m looking forward to bringing you all more art and more adventures in 2019!

 

 

 

art

Art Basel Miami 2018: Beginner’s Guides from All Over the Web

Happy Sunday, friends! I’m currently watching snow fall outside of my window (an unseasonably early snowfall for central Virginia) and wishing I had made the trek to Art Basel in Miami! 81 degree temperatures sound like heaven right now!

art

I couldn’t make the trip but I’m living vicariously through the videos I’ve seen and articles I’ve read about the event. If you too couldn’t attend, here are some of my favorite Art Basel Miami guides for this year. Enjoy!

Here’s a basic guide for those new to Art Basel:

And here is an etiquette-specific guide for newbies:

A recent article by Vox provides a great written summary of what to expect from Art Basel Miami 2018. I sometimes find it helpful to have a written guide that I can compare with audio/video information and that I can scribble on to capture additional notes.

Do you have any Art Basel guides to share? Please feel free to post them in the comments below!

 

life curation

NaNoWriMo Updates: Tomorrow is the Last Day

Happy Thursday, y’all! This has been quite a November to remember. . . I’ve been working on a lot of projects, and as a result, my writing suffered this month.

Of all months for my writing to suffer, it happens during NaNoWriMo.

screen

I didn’t meet the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo 2018. I got to 20k, which is still impressive, but nowhere near what I intended for the month. So I’m frustrated with myself right now. I wish I could have rearranged my affairs so that I could pour more time into my writing, but the truth is, this just wasn’t a good month for it.

One of the things I’ve been actively working on is being gentle with myself. No one is more disappointed in my failings than I am, so if I am going to own my shortcomings, I also have to give myself room for grace. I’m at a point where I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I do but it doesn’t always turn out how I want it to.

And that’s okay.

On the upside, I haven’t given up on this story. I’m still going to reach my 50k words and when I do, I’m going to rejoice! Until then, I’ll keep plugging along.

Enjoy your day, loves! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

travel

2019 Travel Plans: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Well, as 2018 winds down, I can comfortably say that I’m done traveling for the year. I don’t anticipate going anywhere new until next calendar year, but boy, what a fun year this has been!

map

From my trip to Kenya, to road trips to Philadelphia and North and South Carolinas, to my cruise last month, I’ve been a busy girl. And 2019 shows no signs of me slowing down!

I’m finalizing a few details on a late winter trip to San Juan, as well as a late spring/early summer trip to Paris. I was toying around with the notion of attending a very pricey and exclusive class next spring, but I’d rather spend my money on transformative or “bucket list” travel. The class can wait!

Next falls looks like it may include another family cruise and, if not, I’ll be in London for a few days to attend an event I’ve been eyeing. I’m also looking into some additional travel to the Pacific Rim: I haven’t decided on a country yet, but I feel like this region is calling me, so we’ll see where my hankering takes me.

I have to finish reviewing my cruise travel for you all, but once that’s done, I’ll be laser-focused on my 2019 plans. I’m so excited!!!

I hope you all are having a relaxing Monday and an easy transition into this post-Thanksgiving work week. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!