Do you like to start your year by embracing a new word, phrase or concept and letting that be your beacon? According to an image that came to me in a recent guided visualization, I’m entering this new year riding atop a dragon. How timely, because the Chinese zodiac’s “Year of the Wood Dragon” arrives in February, 2024. Except my imagined beast is a Sparkle Dragon, draped in celestial finery, with tiny bells dangling from the antler-like growths on her head that ring as she glides through a sky peppered with stars.
The vision of my celestial mount seems appropriate, as my word for the first quarter of 2024 is “Sparkle”. Note that I specified “first quarter”. I don’t dare toss a word into the mighty Cauldron of the Year with the expectation that it will hold true for 12 months. Been there, done that, and may I show you my scars? Because for the past however many years, I’ve walked into January armed with a journal filled with reflections, and Post-it notes and fresh calendar pages ready to hold my hopes, dreams, plans, and deadlines.
I’m not doing that to myself in 2024. Truth is, I can’t do it. Last year, I over-hoped and over-planned and by March, I was in full-blown burnout (though it took me until November to admit it to myself and others).
Here’s what I can do:
- Make rest a priority. Embrace languidness, bubble baths, and pajama days.
- Engage with my communities.
- Seek time in nature. Set aside dates to go camping.
- Cultivate a visual art practice. Sketch, paint, draw mandalas. Allow whatever fills my sketchbook to just “be”.
All of that will fill my well, which means I’ll have the energy and motivation to write. I have 2 manuscripts on my laptop, and 2 heroines that intrigue me. As soon as I finish this blog post, I’ll open my Scrivener files and see what Pandora and Elżbet are up to.
Four guards herd Kronos forward and stop, forming a tight half-circle behind him. The aged Titan looks around, confused. I don’t expect him to recognize me, nor do I expect to see one renowned for his brutality to appear so shockingly bedraggled. His waist-length beard is matted into a solid mass, his chlamys is ripped and filthy, and layers of peeling duct tape are all that keep his sandals attached to his feet.
“Kronos, I’m Persephone.”
“I know who you are,” he mutters, looking me up and down with wavering, slightly unfocused eyes. “First Zeus. Now you. What have I done to deserve all this attention?” – Persephone Lost & Found