Life, Personal Process

Preparing for 2020 (Keeping Notebooks II)

My 2020 Notebooks

My 2020 NotebooksFLOW is my chosen theme word for 2020 and I have been focusing on staying in a calm, creative mindset  as life swirls all about me. I am exploring all my art supplies, organizing all my music projects, and gathering and sorting all kinds of multi-media materials–my inspirational triggers, all in an effort to keep me in a creative frame of mind for the year ahead.

Today, when I decided to write about this theme here, as luck would have it, my first issue of Flow Magazine arrived in the mail from the Netherlands–a holiday gift subscription from my mother. I took it as a confirmation from the Universe that I am truly in the groove!

Part of my personal process, as one year ends and another begins, is to prepare a daily journal to reflect on my theme and to note the things in my life that make one day different from the previous ones. I find that if I do not keep this practice, one day can blend into the next and into the next, and I start to forget the little wonderful things that made me feel something (happy or sad or amused or grateful.)

I bought this year’s blank journal at Fiumicino Airport in Rome. I saw it at the Vatican Gift Shop there and I liked the weight of the paper and the protective cover. It is a little smaller than the journals I have created before, but I figured out a way to divide each page to allow for two days worth of bulleted entries.

As I set up my journal this year I sporadically stopped to take some photos and I thought I would just add a few of the images here to illustrate my process. You may be able to tell that in addition to choosing a theme for the year, each month I choose images and inspirational quotes to use as separation pages in the journal. This year I selected 4 colors of washi tape to define the seasons:




I was able to squeeze in all 365 days of the year by dividing most of the journal pages and using small rubber stamps to designate the date and day of the week. Yes, you may notice that I used a little liquid paper to cover up any ink that decided to go rogue.





I left blank pages after each monthly page in order to lay out a special focus for myself. I don’t know in advance what each monthly theme will be, but I find it easier to be creative when I set some wide parameters for myself. (This is true when I am creating a song, a collage, or an introspection practice.)

One of the cool things that happened while I was gathering images was finding a postcard with an image of seed pods. It is a photo from the 1920s taken by Karl Blossfeldt. Finding this image prompted me to explore his other work and I was blown away by his sense of balance and esthetics. His photography inspired many of the visual artists of the day. I created a bookmark out of it. It seems like a simple photo, but it is NOT, and I continue to see more each time I gaze at it.

January is over now and all its pages are filled with the highs and lows of my daily life. As I prepare to choose my February theme I will find some quiet time to reflect on what I have accomplished so far and what my hearts calls for next and then I will fill more pages with these thoughts and goals.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2020, full of things that make you feel happy and fulfilled!

2020 Confetti

Times Sq. confetti collected on New Year’s Day 2020

P.S. In addition to the Flow Magazine issue 34 that arrived today, for further  introspection I have begun a 5-Year journal called “One Question A Day” and I’m reading this brilliant Flow hardcover book from 2016 that I found practically new at a local used book store:

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