A recent painting - gouache on paper 8x10

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Holiday Season and that this year holds many good things for you. I, for one, am not a big fan of making New Year's Resolutions. My experience is that a lot of people (including myself) can spend more time making lists and less time actually taking action to meet their goals. In the end, the list can serve as more of an indictment than an inspiration. Case in point: the sudden increase of fitness memberships in January that result in fervent devotion to exercise that diminishes by the day and ends 11 months later in Holiday feasting and added pounds (how's that for a run-on sentence?) Then, there's the things we THINK we want or need, that, when we pursue, often result in our ultimate disappointment or injury. On the reverse side, many times our most difficult and heart-wrenching experiences can be the crucible by which the greatest growth and blessings in our lives come forth. Treasures can come forth from difficulties and challenges that we would never have chosen to go through and even avoided at all costs, had we known what was ahead. As human beings, we have definite limitations on clear foresight and there are a million things that can cloud our perspective. Let's face it, some things in life are just out of our control, no matter how much we'd like to deny that fact. We are human and fallible. As much as hindsight is 20/20, oftentimes foresight is equivalent to legal blindness or worse. That said, I am hardly espousing accepting the status quo or settling for mediocrity. I've learned that, for me, it's better to just pursue what is important rather than talk about it or make promises to myself. There are certainly things I can discipline myself to strive for, but then, inevitably things will crop up to challenge or delay even my most ardent efforts. However, I do believe that life should involve constant re-examination and that it is very worthwhile to establish your priorities and continually seek ways to grow and develop. It is important to take stock of life and find ways to pursue what is truly worthwhile and will help to enrich the lives of others. So whether you want to label them resolutions or, like me, just keep a mental list before yourself of what you are going to invest your efforts in, I sincerely wish you all the best in the coming year. I will be heading in some new directions, including featuring more interviews with artists and expanding both my Etsy shop and commissions into new areas that will be fun to share with you. Thank you for enriching my life in 2007 and I hope that my blog will continue to be a small source of inspiration or cheer or something good in your life in 2008.