Monday, January 04, 2010

New Calendar—New Effort

I like chickens. Not live chickens so much but kitchen chickens. I have a small collection of them roosting above the cabinets, and I have a wire rooster hanging on the wall beside the calendar. Last year's calendar featured folk illustrations of chickens to go with the theme, but this year I've decided to branch out a little bit and be whimsical and non-chickeny with the replacement calendar.

Here's the 2010 time-keeper:

After I hung the thing on the wall, I sat down and wrote today's column for Small Town Newspaper, which you can read here, and then thought about how to go about being effective with this year's round of efforts for my betterment.

In 2010, I would like to learn Spanish. I am not foolish enough to think I could be fluent in the language in one year, but being able to form reasonable sentences is doable, right? This week, I have to contact the continuing education director at the local branch of Kent State for a newspaper story. The woman's got Spanish, so I'm thinking about asking her about that program.

In 2010, I'd like to learn to paint beyond smearing acrylic on canvas, which describes what I do now on my own. For Christmas, No. 1 gave me a portable easel, and Eustacia has left some oils behind from her art class last semester. Doesn't it seem that with these tools and a few classes at the art center in Small Town Nextdoor that I should be able to paint at least a recognizable tree? Small goals are good.

And also in 2010, I'd like to lose weight. I heard a ridiculous statement on a news program the other day—a corespondent said we exercise to look younger, and I wanted to slap her perky, skinny, fake eyelash, high school cheerleading face. I've seen some of those elderly people at the Y, and they exercise for their health. They don't look any younger than the flabbier person spending all day plopped on the coffee shop stool, but they are solid muscle. So, I don't want to look younger, and I don't think I'll be more socially acceptable if I wear a smaller dress size. I do think, however, that if I weighed less, my heart and lungs might not feel so put upon when I do simple, daily tasks.

With this goal in mind, you'd think I'd enthusiastically make my way to the Y this morning, the first Monday in January, but have you seen the weather forecast? Have you looked out my living room window? The place is snow-covered and dark and frozen over. The wind chill is a total of 9˚, and I have a cold with icky coughing and nose-blowing. So, I think I'll keep my germs to myself today and focus on eating habits instead of weight-lifting.

Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them?


kyle@sift said...

I don't think people can learn how to paint. You can either do it or you can't. You can improve technique only with practice and lots of it. Seems to me you already know how to paint, you just don't like the end result. Perhaps changing your technique might help.
When I was in art school my painting teachers always told me, "paint what you see". Our eyes do not see things the same way as a camera lens so our paintings are not always going to look like photographs...and they shouldn't.
"Painting embraces all the 10 functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest." DaVinci said that.
Paint what you see.

MmeBenaut said...

I have cat calendars that people give me although this year, I didn't get any for christmas!
Spanish is a good goal. I'd consider that but I'm a bit too lazy ...
Losing weight - shows more wrinkles when you lose the fat from your face. Swapping muscle for fat means a heavier weight (muscle weighs more) but I agree with you that health benefits are the best goal - unless one is hideously obese which doesn't fit you my dear.
As for the weather Robyn, on the under side of the world we're expecting over 100 degrees today ... at 7.30 this morning I woke my friend Wendy up for coffee and croissants and then we watered her garden. It's called therapy. Wouldn't it be nice if we could rotate the weather every four months instead of once a year??
I'm planning on doing more sewing this year. I have a quilt cover to make for my sister ... I'm hoping to get to that this afternoon.