Wednesday, December 26, 2018

my year end review: looking to the present

I’ve never been very good at resolutions or even setting goals but I do like having a word for the year ahead. Somehow even in the back of my mind the word becomes a motto, an M.O., a compass, a comfort. The word enters my thoughts, prescribed by circumstance; it seems to present itself and I don’t ruminate over it, I agree and accept. There was that year where I felt scattered and so my word was mindful, the year of making random career choices and so I went with strategic. Last year I was in a dark place professionally and the word flourish found me, and I’m glad it did.

2018 kicked off with a visit from the incredibly talented Matthew Mead, someone whose work as a stylist, photographer and magazine editor I have been following for years. Funny, gracious, and creative as they come, I am honored to know Matthew and call him my friend. He showed up on a bright Saturday morning in January – his pick-up truck filled with props and buckets of fresh flowers – for a fun filled day of styling and photographing my home. The images that focused on my craft room, aka the Girlie Office, are featured nearly a year later, in the current issue of In Her Studio magazine.

During the first half of the year, writing for shelter magazines kept me afloat both emotionally and financially. For each home story that I penned, I was transported, inspired, and validated. While a trio of articles is just about to hit newsstands in Boho Style, I actually wrote them back in April and so they seem like ages ago. Another piece due out early in 2019 was written in July. That’s the world of the editorial calendar -- always months ahead. 

During the second half of the year, on June 11 to be exact, I started a new position, my dream job as editor in chief at Providence Media, publisher of a host of Rhode Island lifestyle magazines. Here, I am surrounded by kind collaborative colleagues and am committed to work that I love. I feel valued, useful, and appreciated, and proud of what we do. I have my own office with a tall window that overlooks a leafy brick courtyard. Each day I pitch and develop story ideas, I write, assign, edit, and I even do some product styling. Six months in, I still don’t get that Sunday feeling of dread.

Being immersed in planning editorial content for a series of magazines, my mind is always spinning and months ahead. In September I was writing about wintertime and today I’m working on March. This can cause time to blur and even holidays to feel like they already happened. I have also been self-aware of skimming instead of reading, scanning not looking, and hearing over listening. It’s no wonder that the word PRESENT surfaced as my word for 2019. The plan is to strive to be better aware of my surroundings, to slow down a bit, to pay attention. After all, each day is a gift – that’s why they call it the present, right?

Thanks as always for reading. All best wishes, always!