I have a word for 2016, and it’s “more.”

Today is the first day after winter break, with Adam back at work and Hannah back at school. It’s the first day I’ve chosen not to be a teacher and to instead be a creative who works from home. I didn’t get up and go to a building for a job this morning. I’m jobbing right now, this is the beginning. I’m getting my ducks in a row and my thoughts in a…row.

I needed a few days to collect my thoughts about resolutions for this year. I almost didn’t make any. I don’t usually have this hard a time wiping the slate clean and starting fresh, but I think because the last couple of months were so stressful it colored my whole view of 2015. If all the stress had happened in May or something, by December I would’ve been back to plotting all kinds of shenanigans for the coming year.

But as it stands the stress was just too close to the finish line, and I’ve felt the need to purge the entire year away. I’ve spent the last week purging and reorganizing my studio…I’ve thrown out so much stuff. And I’ve done this before, but oh, boy, do I mean it this year. Photos of that another day.

But back to 2016. My mom tells me on a regular basis that I do too much. And I hear iterations of this all the time from various people. Well…of course I do. I don’t know a single modern woman, married or single, childless or…full of children (?) who doesn’t. Emphasis on modern there. It’s not an age thing, it’s a mindset thing. That’s kind of the definition of modern womanhood, isn’t it? We work more and want more and do more because girls run the world. We wake up like this. Beyonce tells me all of these things, and I believe her.

Yes, I’m tired. And probably not as organized as I’d like to be. I’m trying to craft a new career while raising a small human (with special needs, no less), keeping my domestic surroundings together, finding time to be creative, nurturing a happy marriage, and keeping myself sane and healthy. That order changes on any given day, but you see the list. Some of my best new friendships in recent years have been with women whose lists look exactly like this one.

I need balance in my life, but I don’t want to get it by doing less. There isn’t a single thing on that list I’m willing to sacrifice for the good of the whole. That IS the whole. That’s the entirety of my life, and I don’t want it to be less. I want it to be MORE. Oh, if I had a dramatic city rooftop to stand on in the rain, at night, while I emote that word at the top of my lungs, I’d be on it right now.

MORE!

There. That’s as close as I can get right now.

I want more ideas, more quality time with Hannah, more balance, more organization. I should plan ahead more. I need to purge more stuff, and cut more clutter. I need to listen more, and write more, and do more. I should really volunteer more. I should definitely sleep more. Go the gym more. Oh, I would love to read more. Cook more new stuff. I should use my sketchbooks more, and doodle more. I’d like to hang out with my husband more. Play more games. I should push myself with more challenging quilts. I need to pitch more articles and try more outlets. I’d like to see my friends more.  I sort of really want to dye my hair something outrageous, like electric blue or bright purple, because it would just be MORE.

That’s the theme of my year. I’m clearing out the cobwebs in my brain this year, and I’m trimming away the things that eat my time but aren’t giving me life. If I’m trying to do more and be more, even if I don’t hit every mark at least I will have tried. And that is way more satisfying than just chugging along with life. Life should be more.