My Big Project for 2015

For me, having a couple of kids in a couple years was an experience that was both communal and isolating. I have such a wonderful group of friends and family, but I definitely spent a lot of time focused on myself: my needs, my big dreams, how I want to raise the kids, what kind of mom I want to be, etc. As I thought about goals and resolutions for twenty-fifteen, I realized I really wanted to look outside of myself this year.

I wanted to participate more fully in the world, engage with my friends and family in a more conscious way, encourage, support and love the incredible people in my life with more care and intent. Basically, I wanted a goal or a project that would force me to think a lot less about myself and a lot more about other people. But I also needed something that was doable, given that I live far away from most of my friends and family and my days as a work-at-home-mom are pretty full.

So... how best to do it?

I decided I would write letters. A lot of letters. 

350 letters, to be exact.

 I'm writing to my mom, my grandma, my friends and sisters, my husband. Old friends, new friends, blog friends. People I admire from afar and people I admire up close. I want to celebrate their triumphs and birthdays and anniversaries (things I've never been great about remembering). I want to write more thank you notes. I want to cheer others on, get out of my own head, make some good habits and spend a little time every week thinking about other people - with no technology to distract me, just pen to paper.

And repeat.

For me, there's something about writing a note or a letter that requires more focus than just an email. It's an exercise in attention. There's postage required. There's forethought required (for birthdays and such). In addition to wanting to cheer others on this year, I think this will also help me practice some discipline, organization and writing skills.

Why 350 letters?

I like the number for a couple of reasons. This year we'll celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary and in November I turn thirty-five. 35 times 10... well, you get the picture. It's also a good amount for me: not quite a letter a day, but a big enough number that if I fall behind, it won't be easy to catch up. So I'm motivated to stay on top of it.

The first couple weeks have been so much fun. Even though this is technically supposed to be a challenge, I've been enjoying it so much that it doesn't feel like it. The project has also been a creative catalyst for me. I'm back to designing stationery, which has energized and excited me more than I expected. I can't wait to share more about all of it. 

So this is The Big Project I mentioned a couple weeks ago when I shared about my goals for this year. And now that it's underway, I'm realizing that's it's not big in the sense that it's impossibly challenging. I think it's big in the sense that it'll take a whole year and it's forcing me to do something outside of my norm (even though it's something I enjoy).

I'll check in throughout the year on the blog with my progress and I'll be sharing the nuts and bolts of how I'm doing this and how I'm tracking it in the weeks to come. I also have a way for you to get involved so stay tuned for that!

In the past, I haven't been great at following through on things like this, which is why I'm putting it all out "there" for you to read. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Are you taking on a "big project" this year or have you done anything like this in the past? Let me know if you have any tips for staying motivated and organized! And if you want some accountability for a project of your own, email me and we can encourage each other. xo, C