It was cloudy when we got off the ship in Miami, an unseasonably cool day for the area. The weather didn’t bother me in the least. I was simply glad to see land. We spent last week cruising in the Caribbean, a first for our family.

MiamiI learned many things on this vacation, several of which I’m sure will show up at the end of the month for my What I Learned post. The first and most important? If someone is trying to convince you to go on your first cruise and one of the arguments they use to persuade you includes the words “the ship is so big you can’t even feel it move,” don’t believe them.

They sit on a throne of lies.

But if they also tell you that the food is delicious and abundant and available at every turn, you can believe them on that. More than once I piled my plate up high because I could, only to have to stop mid-way through because, well, I couldn’t. My small stomach put my big eyes to shame.

ship foodSometimes January has big eyes and a small stomach, too. It can be easy to stack your plate high with intention and goals, only to sit down at the table, take two bites, and realize that’s all you can digest right now.

I used to think my inability to live up to my grand January ideas was some kind of personal flaw, but now I’m re-considering.

I think I’m made to live small, to move slowly, and to hold just one thing at a time

It’s been three years since Annie sent me that 5 word email that became a 55,000 word book, the one that said “2011: We will make art.”

To this day, if I get quiet enough and let myself consider the impact her words have had on my life, I still get a little emotional. It means a little something different to me now than it did then but needless to say, We will make art has changed things for me. I know it’s changed things for some of you as well because you’ve written me and told me so.

But one thing I’ve also heard from you is you wish you had a next step, an easy way to discuss the book with others, a way to more practically apply what it means to make art in everyday life.

I agree. And so I’ve been working on some things for you.

During this first month of the new year,  I want to move forward into living art and to dive more deeply into these concepts so that in 2014, our art will come from a place of love and not fear.

Each week in January I plan offer some practical tools to help solidify what might seem to be a dreadfully abstract concept – making art with our work and our lives.

little ways

So let’s grab a reasonably small plate and begin to practice holding just one thing at a time.