I committed to this project but got derailed. I’m going to go through and answer some of the questions for my own reference.

Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

I want to remember hoofing it around town while carless and enjoying it – calling ourselves Intrepid Urban Explorers (important in a city where everyone has a car). I want to remember that we effectively saved money. I want to remember that we started taking better care of our surroundings, which improved our relationship. I want to remember my dog playing frisbee. I want to remember that I ran two 5Ks and one four-mile race, and that even though I wasn’t always feeling up to my training schedule, I still did it, and it felt good. At some point during the year I read that Louisa May Alcott was a runner, and it conjured up images of running at a time where it would’ve been a very strange thing for a woman to do – and it would’ve been a very powerful feeling. I want to remember gaining some agency, realizing that it’s okay to try and be creative, and starting on a path toward embracing my love of design. I want to remember playing with my best friend’s daughters, and learning lessons about parenting way before I have to be one. I want to remember getting engaged at the park where we play frisbee with the dog and run and walk, while it was dark outside but 50 degrees in December, and crying. And how happy we were.

Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I learned that I can be creative and do a good job. I think I knew this, sort of, before, but I was afraid to put it out there and really, genuinely try. I will apply it…by applying myself. And not talking down to myself.

So, actually, these are the only two prompts I decided to answer in the rest of the batch. I think it’s been a good exercise, though. I’ve certainly gained something from it. A little year-end perspective. A little year-beginning motivation.

Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? Author: Victoria Klein

I’ve skipped quite a few of the reverb days because they just…didn’t feel right. But here’s one I can definitely answer. I’ve come to appreciate my daily life. My home. The little things that make it nice – which are simultaneously big ones, like having someone to cook with. Animals to snuggle with. Blankets. Time to read whatever I want, be they science books or spy romances. The ability to be creative, and be supported in that.

Simple things that make me happy.

Since this is sort of my new, bright, shiny creative space, I thought I’d share some work I’ve done in my typography class. This assignment was to create two sets of the same instructions: one legible, one illegible – using only type. I chose to illustrate instructions for looking at constellations.

Here’s the legible set (these are meant to be 4×6 flash cards):

And this is the illegible set of the same instructions:

There it is! I think there are a few changes I would make now that it’s been a few days since I made first made it, but overall I’m pleased with what I came up with.

It’s been a crazy week – got my wisdom teeth pulled and now I feel I may be coming down with something. Nevertheless, I’m not going to let my reverb posts die off.

Day 6:

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? Author: Gretchen Rubin

I’m making some of my Christmas presents. I won’t say what they’re made of since possible recipients may be reading this. They’re a little old-fashioned and will definitely look handmade, but I love them. I hope the people I give them to will too.

Day 7:

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? Author: Cali Harris

I’ve discovered the importance of my immediate community: my friends. I’ve made some new friends this year and spent quality time with the old. Creating and keeping good friendships is something that’s become very important to me. I need people outside of my family who I can talk to and rely on. I’d like to be more involved with the creative/entrepreneurial community, so that’s certainly an aim for 2011.

Day 8:

Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. Author: Karen Walrond

I’m sarcastic. This usually gets me laughs. I’m trying to tone down jokes at others’ expense, though. I’m nerdy. I get very excited about certain things: mythology, crafts, the internet. I am an unabashed fan of things I enjoy. I make no apologies for being nerdy or different. It’s a goal of mine to enjoy the things I enjoy without a care for what other people may think of me. What’s that saying, “Dance like no one’s watching…?” I’ll spare you the dancing, but I will nerd out something fierce.

I’m a skeptic about basically everything. Sometimes I hide this in social situations because it makes me sound like a scrooge – but I mean it in the best way. I want to know what the truth is, even if it’s not the most comforting thought.

Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? – Alice Bradley

I let go of a friend. That was painful and awkward, and I could’ve handled it better. I was immature. I didn’t yell or scream or accuse, I just faded into the darkness. It was time to end the friendship, after a long period of attempted moral support, but I’ve always been bad at ending relationships in a healthy way. I’m sorry for that, but I’m glad to be free, honestly.

I let go of the idea that I need to be on a Career Path.  It’s reasonable to want to enjoy work, but I felt like I was failing at something – until I realized it was something I had no control over. The economy, changes in office structure, the realization that there are a lot of things about business work that I don’t care for: these things all combined to throw me off of whatever imaginary path I thought I was on a few years ago. I’m thankful for it. It’s made me think more about what I really want to be doing and how I want my future to look. My life can be any number of things and I don’t need to impress anyone, including myself.

Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

author: Jeff Davis

A lot of my “sense of wonder” comes from the contemplation of science…even though I’m not a scientist myself. I think for some people that could seem counterintuitive, but so much about the universe’s order and chaos is completely amazing to me. I love reading and listening to Carl Sagan. If anyone ever had a true sense of wonder, it was him.

For me, the idea that I’m a speck on a speck in a big collection of specks is beautiful. It makes me love every day (even the terrible ones.)

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

author: Ali Edwards

I thought about this all day, and the answer, which I knew immediately, surprised me. I’ve felt very alive often this year, doing an activity I’m often loathe to do: running. I’m glad this prompt came up, because it’s reminded me to continue running through winter. Nothing’s better than feeling strong, loping along with my dog (who always enjoys a run, even if I’m in a foul mood), through spring air, summer humidity, fall leaves and even winter briskness. Running gives me a sense of control and power I don’t often feel at work. It’s a great release; a time to be alone in my head while observing the entire world around me.

Prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

Author: Leo Babauta

I think a better question would be: what don’t I do that doesn’t contribute to my writing? Wait, that’s a double negative. Okay, fine. Here are a few things I do that don’t contribute:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Reader
  • Netflix
  • Pinterest (kind of obsessed now)

On the other hand, these do sometimes contribute to my writing by giving me things to think about and subjects to write about. Half the time I don’t actually get around to writing about them. Maybe I’m just a professional ruminator.

In the past few years, I’ve started thinking of myself as a non-writer. I like to rant, and type things out, but I don’t embrace the process of re-reading my writing, adjusting it and fine-tuning it before I present it to the world. My current script is that I’m too lazy and I just don’t care enough about writing to make it perfect. I’m happy to slap something together and share it. I feel I can communicate relatively well, but I’m also generally writing from the perspective that I’ll be the only one reading it.

Writing is no longer my preferred way to communicate. It may be the one I’m most comfortable with, but I don’t feel a deep connection to it like I once did. I would probably never refer to myself as a writer.  So the things I would eliminate to give more time to writing… I will keep them for now, because they inspire me in other ways, and I’ll write when it feels like the thing to do.

I initially started this blog to write about frugality, but I found in the long run that a) I wasn’t that frugal and b) it was pretty boring to write about. I’m restarting it now so I have a space away from my regular blog to participate in Reverb10.

Today’s prompt:

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

My word for 2010: transformative. 2010 started with me in a serious rut. My career looked like a dead end after I’d spent years planning to move up. I was doing freelance, but it wasn’t satisfying, and I was really only doing it for the extra income. My home life was happy and satisfying, but I’ve always needed other outlets to express myself and feel useful. I’ve always had an interest in design, but was too intimidated to really embrace it and see what I could do. My boyfriend encouraged me to start some classes in web design. I started in fall, and I have to admit I love it. I have something interesting to do that I don’t have to do to make ends meet; something that could go in many directions for me.

The word I’d like to embrace for 2011 is progressive. I took the first steps toward a new hobby, possibly a new career, and have allowed myself to be creative, recognizing that creativity, in any form, is never wrong. It just is. In 2011 I’d like to take more steps toward defining what my newfound fearless creativity means for me, and how I can use it to live a richer life daily.

Another element of being fearlessly creative, for me, has been to be a little bit fearlessly cheesy. To participate in things like Reverb 10, which in the past I might’ve seen as silly, or decided to participate in privately and then quitting after a few days. I’ve set up this blog as a space to contemplate all elements of my creativity and daily life, and to not be afraid of questioning myself and my motives. I’m looking forward to responding to each day’s prompt and learning from the experience alongside other creativity fiends.