As we celebrate our New Year, I, like many others, look back and reflect on the past year, trying to figure out what I did that I’m proud of, what I accomplished, what I would do differently, what I can take away, good and bad, as a tool to live the sweetest life possible in the year to come. I had a lot of fun. I did a lot of traveling, I spent wonderful days with friends and family, I trod the boards and chewed the scenery with my theater family, I contributed to my synagogue. Sounds like a very sweet year, no? Well, yes. But as with any life, there’s always a little bitter with the sweet. There’s the obvious things, a loved one diagnosed with a life-changing illness, another losing a beloved pet. The slings and arrows both real and perceived, that if you think about it, add a strength of flavor and a spice to all that sugar. But I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t take a minute to wallow in the muck that is my own reality. I didn’t really accomplish a thing. I touched not a scrap of metal, not a breath of fire. I wielded no hammer, I created nothing. I got truly and helplessly stuck in a place I’ve long since grown weary of. I dwell in, as my friend, Ed, called it, “the warm, shitty place.” I swore, after my last checkup, that I would once and for all, lose the last 20 pounds and get healthy. I bought a stationary bike. I lost 10 pounds. I was working it! I hate the bike! I gained 5 pounds. It’s summer! I still hate the bike! I need a margarita! I gained another 2 pounds. I’ve garnered some interest in a couple of my pieces, how exciting! I don’t have time to create though, I’m too busy drinking margaritas!! I’ll worry about it after the summer when things calm down. In the meantime, can someone get me an adult beverage and a cheeseburger? Oh, but here come the holidays, and vacation and the Christmas Art show I do every year is around the corner and I no longer create because it’s fun, only as a means to a financial end. And I’m even more stuck than before. Oh wait! I did get a kickass tattoo!! And I’m putting off my annual physical because I’m too embarrassed to get on the scale, because seriously, every single person I know is climbing walls and flipping tires and I stand only when my Apple Watch tells me to. And my perception of myself is of a woman who is good at a lot of things, but great at nothing. A woman who is suddenly far older than she ever imagined and doesn’t have f$&^*ing forever to climb out of the muck. So. Imma back up a bit. I’m going to skip the Art Show this year. I’m going back to the beginning. When I picked up a big ass hammer and started pounding the crap out of an innocent piece of metal. When I created, not to sell, but to tell a story. My story. Shit and all.