Yesterday was September 1st. I received an email from my sister with the subject titled “happy birth month”. Of course I smiled! Then later I talked to my daughter Emily and she wished me “happy first day” of my Birthday month as did my niece Melissa who called me as well. As I said to Melissa, most people celebrate their birthday for a day. Some may stretch it out for a week or so with various celebrations and then there is me who will celebrate for an entire month. I was trying to recall what first prompted me to begin celebrating for a month at a time. A number of years ago I decided to walk each and every day of my birthday month for a minimum of 30 minutes (my doctor has suggested it as I was trying to lose weight). I’ve always exercised but at that busy time in my life, I was lucky to get in 3-4 days a week so every day for a month was a stretch. There was a lot of satisfaction after that month of completing my self imposed birthday challenge. I did it again the following year. Have been lax with a specific challenge the past number of years but still believed in honoring the month of September with whatever celebrations I might come up with.
Yesterday I decided on a new birthday challenge. I’ve been so busy the past few months with the launch of Words and Watercolors that I have not painted on a regular basis. In fact, I’ve hardly even drawn in my journal. Yesterday felt like summer had arrived in San Francisco (yeah, though it was back to cool and fog as I walked this evening) and I celebrated by going outside with my backpack to one of my favorite parks to play with my watercolors. Enjoying the warm breeze as I looked across the Bay capturing the landscape on paper, I had the idea to make the commitment to do a drawing and/or painting each day. It can be a simple as a 10 minute sketch in my journal or as time consuming as a sketch then watercolor on my Arches watercolor block of paper that can often take me at least 2 hours in one sitting with more to follow as I finish the piece. This will be a challenge as I realized I’ll be heading home to Indiana for the last 2 weeks of September. I’ll be busy visiting family and friends and showing off my cards and catalog. I thought for a second about reconsidering and doing this another time but then I remembered it was the 1st day of my Birthday Month…this is the perfect challenge to inspire me not only for this month but hopefully the coming new year! And so on day 2, I’m looking at a beautiful watercolor (if I do say so myself) that I finished this evening of the fuchsia that I began sketching last week in Liese’s back yard (stayed with Liese and Sallie in Seattle last week).
I hope I can lead by example and others may choose to do their own challenge!