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*Warning – there is some harsh language in the graphic.

2016 theme

When I saw this, I immediately knew there was a great message here.  It’s not one that I can easily put into words and it frustrates me but the truth is here and it is the truth I want to build this new year on.  That is Joie de Vivre – a French phrase (does that surprise you?) that really doesn’t translate.  Technically it means Joy of Life but it is so much more.  It’s everything that we have lost and desperately need to survive these dark days.

Joie de Vivre is more than being happy.  It’s about embracing everything life has to offer.  It’s about radiating joy and love.  It’s about finding pleasure in every moment.  It’s what we really need to strive for but forgot because there are no words to describe it.

It is this that lead me to stop trying to change things in my life.  I paused for a moment to realize that my life is rather good.  I love my job.  I wish I had a little more money but making myself crazy in the pursuit was ridiculous.  Because I don’t have a great “project” to improve my life, I’ve been nitpicking which has made me unhappy.  I ended 2015 not really accomplishing any of my goals because they were not very reasonable or attainable.  But I knew that was what I was supposed to do.

NO MORE!  2016 is not the year of goals.  This is the year of the bucketlist.  Okay so I have a goal on my bucketlist (technically) but it’s about food storage and it’s very loose.  But the rest is all for fun.  In fact, I took a framed poster, covered it with gesso (and then my husband asks why didn’t I just turn it around – because it’s more fun this way, geez), and turned it into our family bucketlist board.  While my family is still struggling with the concept, I’ve taken colorful markers to it and poured out all the things I’d like to do this year, save a few that are not that family oriented (such as clean out my craft room).

It’s a mix – some things cost money, some are free.  Some we will have to travel and some are here at home.  There is no pressure.  If it doesn’t all happen this year, we’ll repaint and start over next year.  That’s the great thing about a bucketlist – there is no deadline.

To add to that, I have a bucketlist for this blog as well.  I want to change it up just a little to encourage sharing all the fun things we do.  I want to fill these “pages” with art and food and adventure because the only thing that really works to better the world.  Joy is contagious but only if you share it so I hope to share it here.  It won’t be perfect and it won’t always be pretty but it will be real.

Because I don’t want to do a separate post about my vision for this blog for 2016, I want to share some of my plans here.  The first is, I am going to join Carolyn Dube’s year long challenge to play.  If you haven’t discovered Carolyn yet, now is the time.  I love her videos.  While her art is not the same as mine, I love her enthusiasm and her absolute forgiveness of being human.  Every month she will have a challenge theme and, in response, I will have a post here to share what I did to meet that challenge.

There is another blog challenge that I am seriously thinking of joining.  How I will do it or if I will do it at the “proper” time, I can’t say but I am looking forward to the A-Z challenge that is coming this April.  The goal is to write a blog post with each letter of the alphabet.  Many bloggers choose themes so I’m debating my theme.  I’m seriously considering recipes but not sure if I will stick with one type such as cookie recipes or just leave it open.

Now every year, my family picks at October Unprocessed.  I’m thinking this year, I will buckle down and use the month to share things we do to eat less processed foods.  There might be some recipe updates or repeats but I don’t know.  October is so far away.

The last challenge I want to add to my year is my Pinterest Challenge.  I started that, I think, the first year I was blogging here.  The idea was to clean out my Pinterest and share some of the things I learned, discovered, etc.  I don’t know what happened but the blogging part of the challenge died a horrible silent death.  So I’ll be resurrecting that (hopefully).  Cleaning out my Pinterest was something I started really tackling this past fall but I don’t think I really blogged any of it.

So that’s my vision for 2016.  It’s chaotic and unstructured and that’s okay.  I am so excited for the adventure.  I’m packing up some great music, play, art, food, and family for the front lines.  I hope you join me there.