This year, I took on a new challenge… this post is a monthly update on how my challenge is going. So far, so good!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may already know this but I signed up for a challenge this year called One Little Word. The word I chose for this year is NATURE. This book (above) is the book I chose to alter to store all the sweet little bits that I am creating for my OLW.
As it happened, I was going through my stuff, clearing out junk when I came across this great little calendar book for 2012. It was so BEAUTIFUL. I did not want to toss it. That flap on the right is magnetized to keep all the pages in. I came across it just as I was about to start my creations for the OLW prompt, so I decided that this would be my OLW book. Those letters are Scrabble letter stickers that I had. There was just enough to make the word “nature” but the N was missing. So I made an N from Sculpey and then painted it a glittery blue to match the glitter paper where I wrote 2014. Voila! My cover was done.
One of our first assignments was to do some journalling to explain why we picked the word we did. So this is what I wrote. (Click on the image for a larger view – then click on the image to zoom in to see it clearly.)
When I think of nature, I think of the outdoors. I live in Minnesota, so the month of January for us here in Minnesota was not really an “outside month”. It was cold. VERY cold. The school system in my town was closed FIVE TIMES this month due to extreme cold. On January 6th this year, I started a new job as the tech person at our local middle school, which means that I had five “freebie” paid days off this month, which was a rare joy.
So, in a way, NATURE gave me some bonus time. Thank you, Mother Nature!
One of the things that really excited me about my new job is that I am going to be able to walk to work. So far, I have only had one day that was warm enough to walk to work but I am very excited to do more of that once it warms up. To me, walking instead of driving is one way to connect with my natural world. It slows me down. For nine years, I commuted to work – driving about 45 minutes to an hour EACH WAY. I had no idea how much that impacted my daily existence until I got this new job. Wow. What freedom to work so close to home! Now I can drive home in less than five minutes.
So to practice incorporating nature into my life, I went for a few nature walks. I am trying to walk completely across a huge lake we have called Lake Minnetonka. I live on a peninsula of that lake. Here are some photos I took from that walk. The first one is the ROAD that big trucks drive on. Yes, on ice! This photo shows how thick the ice is. This was about 1/4 of the way across the lake. (NOTE: I still have not been able to walk all the way across, but I am building up to it!)
This is a selfie I took. We were asked to create a selfie that represents our word so I wanted to take a picture of me outside.
This is a selfie of my boots on the snow on the lake. I like this one. I made it into my new FB profile shot.
On this first month, I looked for ways to incorporate nature into my life. Walking is one way, but there are lots of other ways to bring more nature into my life. I am doing a deep study of the I Ching this year also, and so I have been studying the stars as well. Ancient people used to know the sky. They used to know where they were based on looking up at the stars. I don’t know much about that as is clearly indicated in my latest post on the Big Dipper. But I am learning. This is all a part of my study of nature.
Another exercise to connect us with our word is to write a list of intentions. I started out with a simple list… (Click on image for larger image). In the pocket on the left side, I cut out the exercise of what we were asked to do and stuck it in there so I could review it as necessary.
But then I decided to try a mind map to take another poke at it… I just made this mind map yesterday, so it hasn’t made it into the book yet.
Another exercise was to write down what you want MORE of in your life this year and LESS of in your life. This is what I put… (Click on image to zoom in.)
We were also asked to write about what we most hoped and feared for the new year.
So that is what I have so far. I am excited to take some time this week to review what everyone else is doing for this challenge. If you are here visiting me for the first time, WELCOME! I look forward to getting to know you through your comments and by clicking back through your blog if you have one.