I’ve been working hard this past year to not be so critical of my creative attempts. It has been difficult to let go of that voice that says rubbish, not good enough, or start over. Playing with craft, whatever medium it is, for just the sake of playing is not my strong suit. I like goals, boundaries, rules and coloring inside the lines. As a child, I loved to go make things in the mud. That same child also ran inside multiple times in the day to “clean up”. There are too many crafts that capture my admiration and inspire me until the hours of the day have melted. The year is nearly gone. I have semi retired from working in the conventional sense. Work that gave my life meaning and repetition, but also took a toll on my body and my personal relationships. I do miss it. Leaving that safe space and releasing worry and the desire to please, I have made ten or so quilts- handquilting them all, completed two older oils and put them on the wall, begun to watercolor again, and am attempting to collage and sketch with less of a demand to perfection. My short stories and poetry may again be published. It is very much a “return” to an earlier personhood- a personality that was put “on hold”. The house is messier than I prefer but very comfortable. The garden has weeds in it more often than it used to. The animals are getting more attention, as are relationships. I do still worry. Did I leave my profession too soon? Will the economy have a meltdown? Will a visitor look at my home and think, wow, dusty? Will my art ever be good enough? But that critical voice has a counterpoint finally that reminds me, there are only so many days to this life and each one should be spent carefully and with full intent. So, hello 2020- come on in. Let this new year be a better year of relationship to all the ways the heart feels joy. And if possibly, let it be open to community where playing and messiness is welcome.