2018 Summed Up In One Word

Imaginary Boundaries

I get such a kick out of man-made boundaries- imaginary lines that exist to delineate one space from the other. State lines, country borders, time zones, years…all exist to help us measure or delineate. When I cycled a lot I sometimes would cross from Maryland into Pennsylvania and I found it so silly. Nothing is different- the landscape is the same, the temperature and wind, all remain the same. Maybe not the pavement (at least in the case of Pennsylvania) which does indicate a certain difference- budgeting, taxes, economy, etc… but I digress into a potentially touchy area of political opinion… Lets stay on topic.

Changes in years I think is one of the interesting things we have made up as a species. We lump events into years. Birthdays, deaths, gains, losses… I will say I’ve had my share of shitty years. (Sorry for the language but really there’s no other way to describe them.) I have had my share of loss. You can choose to lump a year into the “good” category or the “bad” category. But really, the bad things, and good, happen and are there to teach us something. I’ve learned a lot about letting go of expectations on how I think things” should” be and who I “should” be. I had a few “bad” things happen this year. My basement took on 3 feet of water, I hit a baby deer while driving across Michigan, had some personal melt downs, and lost some projects. But in the grand scheme, I can’t complain.

Letting Go of Control

The Buddhist philosophy is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Abrahamic faiths believe that God is in control and things happen for a reason. Whatever you think or believe, we go through a lot in our lives and it’s the way we choose to look at those events that define who we are. I was bitter for a while after my mom was diagnosed with cancer. After her death, I chose to let loose, setting my life into a tailspin. Looking back there are some things I would definitely do differently, but honestly they all brought me here. And here is pretty damn good.

A Good Year

I had a good year. I’ve learned that good years come and bad years will too. I know I’m not done with those, but l have learned that I can choose to be ok with the discomfort. To not hold on so tightly to my little idea of what should happen. I can choose to do things in my life that will either hurt me or help. I took the last few years and the experiences that came with them and decided that I was going to accept myself for where I am and who I am. I am certainly not perfect. It took a few things for me to realize that perfection was unattainable. But I can strive to do well. I decided that I was going to set some goals for myself and start working towards them. It was hard not to see immediate results from those actions. I’m very impatient, and I get it from my mother. She was always telling me to walk faster, (she was 6 feet tall so I kinda had to.) So when I began working on my various goals I wanted to see that people were noticing.

And The Word Is

So my word for 2018 was Patience. I have had to learn patience that the momentum I’ve been building will gain speed and energy and I just need to keep my focus on the long game. I did achieve a lot this year:

  • I wrote my ebook on the “Art of Murals On Canvas”,

  • I wrote and got approved my CEU course - “Timeless Finishes and Current Trends in Decorative Painting” and was the first decorative artist with an IDCEC approved CEU,

  • I launched my fabrics and wallcoverings line, “LS Home- Artistically Curated Fabrics and Wallcoverings,”

  • Got the Maryland Design Center to carry LS Home,

  • Taught my first class at the annual IDAL conference at High Point,

  • Came very close to meeting a huge financial goal,

  • Hired an incredible assistant,

  • Acted on some business changes,

  • Had 3 paintings on display at the Delaplaine’s annual Juried Art Show,

  • Had 6 of my paintings accepted into the Maryland Federation of Art’s annual Juried Show,

  • Had my largest paying job to date,

  • Made new connections and started working with several new Interior Designers,

  • Hired a marketing expert,

  • Taught a sold out Abstract Painting Class, (I’ve added a second on January 31!)

  • Hosted my first Open House in my new studio,

  • Joined ASID as an Industry Partner,

  • Met Luann Nigara and was asked to be on her podcast, “A Well Designed Business,”

  • And WENT TO MOROCCO!!!!!

Looking Forward to The Year Ahead

I’m looking forward to 2019. I’ve been accepted into Salon which takes place this coming April in Chamonix, France. Its hosted by one of my artist idols, Pascal Amblard. Salon is an annual gathering of Professional Decorative Artists to share their talent and learn from one another while also teaching the public about our craft. Membership is based on talent and merit. I originally applied in 2014 and was accepted but chose not to go due to my mom’s illness. I’m thrilled to finally be participating and have already booked my place.

salon chamonix 2019 lenehan studios baltimore.jpg

My Word for 2019

Going into 2019 my word will be Confidence. I am confident in my ability to run my business, to navigate my life, to feel good in my skin. I am confident that I am a successful and independent woman, capable of doing some amazing things. I have a lot of faith in myself and have a great support system with my friends and my family. I’m not going to hold on so tight to the expectations I have set for myself because I know that if I do I will be met with disappointment, but I can instead choose to roll with whatever happens.

So cheers to a good year, and I hope that you choose to see your 2018 as good despite the bad. Lets go 2019!