The Great Discontent is one of my favorite online reads, offering insightful interviews with creatives throughout diverse fields, and Elle Luna's piece on "The Crossroads of Should and Must" resonated with me big-time last year, just like it did with literally thousands of people. So when they announced this year's 100 Day Project, I immediately wanted to join in.
Here's the gist: you do something creative for 100 days. Every day; yes, even when you don't feel like it. There are no rules--you can paint, write, cook, sketch, dance, whatever. I mean, it could be 100 days of sex, if you wanted (I joke, kind of; the social media element probablyyyyy wouldn't work out well). They only ask that you share it with others via Instagram with the hashtag #The100DayProject--oh, and you're supposed to have fun, too. Elle says that for her, this project is about discipline, which is something every single creative struggles with from time to time, or frequently.
Naturally, I thought I should do something noble, like 100 days of service or 100 days of gratitude. Eh, boring. And then I thought about how I'm not a photographer and I'm not a fashion blogger and I'm not a chef and so on. But you know what I am? A noticer.
I like to notice small details. I like to pay attention to people. I like to make small observations and reflect upon them. And sometimes, I get so caught up in the rush-rush-rush of my day, I forget to notice. That makes me sad.
I used to spend a lot of time practicing noticing. I spy, with my little eye, something . . . RED! I remember from my childhood or years of babysitting. (Kids are big-time noticers.) I used to journal every day. I took a college course on creative nonfiction once, and my core homework assignment involved writing down daily observations--just to get in the practice of paying attention to details that could be used for a story.
Then... I got busy. Crazy busy, right? Just like everybody else. Sometimes my head is pointed down at my cellphone far too often, and the vast majority of the time, I avoid writing and blogging because I feel like I don't have "time." I keep thinking I need several hours to write, when I really just need 15 minutes.
Hence #100DaysofISpy. 100 days of noticing. 100 days of quick blog posts that are short and sweet, so I can practice brevity and discipline. (Ha--already failing at this with the introductory post!) Oh my god, one HUNDRED blog posts...
Since it's already day four, here we go.
Day 1: I spy . . . white tulips.
These were a surprise gift from my fiancé. "Just because" flowers are so special, and I love the clean lines and crisp petals. Newness is coming, not winter (even though I'm stoked for Game of Thrones to return).
Day 2: I spy . . . service in action.
A group of fellow yoga teachers and myself put together snack bags for a local coding class for middle and high school age students. We laughed and joked and played with each other's kids and ate too many peanut butter m&ms and drank wine.
Day 3: I spy . . . a cloudy horizon.
Gloomy days are the worst, especially when we've had a touch of summer and everyone is frantic for hot temperatures and sunshine. In between teaching two yoga classes, I forced myself to get in a run. Four miles felt VERY LONG, which seemed fitting on such a gross day. All my students seemed in a funk as well. But you can't beat the view at the top of the Capitol stairs, or the feeling of being done, so I'm reminded that gray days will always pass.
Day 4: I spy . . . chalk and caffeine.
While grabbing iced coffee from Zanzibar to kick off a busy day, I noticed the new Downtown Farmers Market poster in the cafe window. The artist is a good friend and former coworker of mine, and she's so amazingly talented. I'm in awe of her, and so proud to see her work around town. Also, the DTFM kicks ass and I can't wait for Saturday strolls down there.
There you have it, my first four days of #The100DayProject. Only 96 to go.