Life, Parenting, podcast, Theatre

Stretching 2018 into 2019

“The days are long and the years are short.” I’ve mostly heard that saying applied to parenting young children, and in my life that’s certainly true. A full day with a toddler who doesn’t nap is a LONG day. These weeks off from school have been LONG, not necessarily bad, but definitely long.

“The days are long and the years are short” doesn’t just apply to parenting though. I don’t know if it’s a function of getting older, but the years are speeding by now in all respects. 2018 went by in the blink of an eye.

As I reflected on 2018 this last week, I came to an unfortunate realization. My default assumption at the end of every year, including 2018, was that I didn’t accomplish much and I wasn’t near where I wanted to be or where I should be. Do you go there with yourself? Sheesh, nothing like giving yourself a gut punch at the end of the year! My historical default assumption was that I didn’t measure up in ANY of the areas of my life…as an artist, parent, spouse, etc, etc…

My historical messaging to myself has been: If I could be doing better, then I should be doing better. Do better. Do it all better. All the time.

I say ‘historical’ because I’m letting that shizz go in 2019. Life is short, friends. I’m doing the very best that I can. My life is good good good x 100. Please, can I just celebrate for once the multitude of things that are going right and the progress that I’ve made? (That last question was for me. Please, Tamara, can you just celebrate the multitude of things that are going right and the progress that you’ve made?)

With that in mind, I set a timer this morning and made a quick list of accomplishments that I feel proud of from 2018 (you’ll see those below). A 2018 brain dump. There are things I left off the list that will occur to me later, but that’s ok. The objective was celebration and not perfection. :) I focused on the professional rather than the personal primarily because the accomplishments in the parenting arena have been….well, it’s been a tough year and I’m not feeling too accomplished there. Parenting is hard. It’s the hardest thing for me. It’s hard today.

Note: It’s so challenging to list the items I’m proud of and NOT include the items where I fell short and failed. I really want to confess all my mediocrity, disappointments, sub-par efforts, and general suckage. Isn’t that interesting? I’m much more comfortable admitting failure than success. What a discovery to make about oneself. There’s also the fear of seeming like a braggart. I remind myself I’m not bragging. I’m just….I don’t know…I’m just saying that I worked hard in 2018 and I did A LOT outside of my comfort zone, a lot of stretching professionally, and in order to continue pushing myself to stretch as I intend to do this year, I need to see how far I’ve come. It’s ok. It’s ok to celebrate.

Friends, I hope you celebrated your 2018. Please know that I celebrate you and I’m sending you love. Please know that you are enough — in every way, in every arena. I mean, I think you are fabulous. Definitively fabulous. I’m rooting for you and for me in 2019. Let’s let the shizz go.

Some things I’m proud of (not in any order) from 2018:

  • In 2018, I regularly worked outside of my comfort zone. I spoke with and collaborated with an extraordinary number of generous and gifted artists. I recognized the awesomeness of our community on a regular basis, and gratitude was front and center as I made work.
  • My play, Master Builder, was produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern.
  • I acted in The Moors at Manbites Dog Theater during MDT’s final season.
  • IndyWeek gave me some good press.
  • Mara Thomas and I co-facilitated two Creative Accountability Groups and have plans for more.
  • Honest Pint invited me to speak at their Home Brew. I spoke about defining and redefining success as an artist.
  • I led an event called Respect the Work and created a podcast episode, infographic and blog post from it.
  • I became a member of We Collective, a group of women entrepreneurs in the Durham area.
  •  I led a workshop on playwriting at NC State and mentored a student playwright throughout the fall. Her play will be fully produced at NC State in the spring.
  • Artist Soapbox, my podcast, produced almost 50 episodes in 2018. Holy crap.
  • I attended two workshops with Intimacy Directors International. Life changing.
  • Statera Arts assigned me a mentor to check in with on the regular.
  •  I co-wrote a play about Sally Ride with Curious Theatre Collective, performed in local schools, and then began drafting another play about environmental scientists (stay tuned for a final draft in spring 2019). CTC also received an Orange County Arts Council grant.
  • I received an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council. This has been an aspiration of mine for many years. I’m excited and terrified. The grant will be used to write an audio drama in 2019.

Happy New Year!

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