Advice for the new year

Originally posted December 29, 2015 – with minor changes

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

— Neil Gaiman

I stumbled upon this Gaiman quote last December and figured my final scheduled post of the year was a good time to share it. And it reminded me of the “Joy of Painting”.

For those of you that are familiar with the late American painter Bob Ross – who found his niche teaching relatively easy painting techniques (trowel, anyone?) on the public television program “The Joy of Painting” – you’ll recall that he often said that there was no such thing as mistakes when painting – only “happy accidents” that could be turned into something else.

It’s not bad advice for life either.

Have a very happy New Year ‘s Eve – whatever form of celebrating you do. I’ll be back again on January 1st.

Bob Ross painting borrowed from a Real Clear article on Ross


4 thoughts on “Advice for the new year”

  1. Happy New Year, Rowena! I seriously admire that you’ve taken up dancing – first because of your health issues & second because I am an awful dancer – I sing & can mark time, but I have no sense of rhythm (ironic that I married a drummer).
    I’m so happy to hear that the sunflowers bloomed – yes tending to plants is often more difficult than tending to children..
    I finish up my weekend school program in mid-February, and then I’ll have more time properly tend to my blogging – I’m afraid I’ve let it languish a bit this year between work, school & life. But we keep moving forward & do what we can. 🙂


  2. Happy New Year, Carol.
    This is great advice, which I need to embrace with both arms. Indeed, we’re talking about a serious bear hug!
    I am finding that there are some things where I stride in trying new things and totally blowing my expectations out of the water. This includes taking up dancing last year, despite my chronic health issues. I started out with a 6 week ballet class and this developed into lyrical dance. This has extended me so much and I’ve felt exhilarated waking up the next day. I’m taking up tap next year.
    Ironically, what I haven’t done is take a photo of my feet in my ballet shoes. I’ve needed to get it right. Hence, I haven’t done it at all.
    You might recall that I received sunflower seeds from the MH17 crash site in the Ukraine. Well, I was too scared to plant them last year in case I killed them. However, I finally found the courage and they’re now flowering. Indeed, I put a stocking over one today hoping to catch the seeds. Being a farmer of something so precious is stressful. Yet, at the same time, you work hard. Be vigilant and they have flowered.
    Here’s the link:
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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