Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 Word of the Year: Dedication

Reaching for the Sky

© Caroline Roberts, 2009

I've been reading lots of blog posts where people have a word for the year and I thought it might be fun. I thought and I thought and I came up with nothing. Then it hit me in the dead of night: Dedication. Not only is it a great word that encapsulates all the things I have in mind for 2010 - a kind of mission statement in one word - but it also comes with its very own theme tune! Let me explain. Growing up in the UK there was a kids program on the BBC called Record Breakers, all about the Guiness book of records and featuring people who were making record breaking attempts. The end sequence featured the show's host, Roy Castle, playing "Dedication". I wish I could find a clip of it, but the lyrics went "Dedication's what you need, if you want to be a record breaker!"

Undefeated by my 2009 goal review I set some goals for this year.

For my art I want to be productive. I will record my studio hours and set myself the goal of 10 studio hours a week. Theoretically I could do more but I am going to start achievable and modify this as needed.

I plan to post to this blog three times a week and talk more about art, paints, studio practice and abstraction. I want to see the reader numbers grow and some great discussions started! The studio can be a terribly isolated place.

My children are young and they each have areas they need help with. My daughter is learning to read and write. My son adores math and needs to be challenged in it, but needs help with handwriting.

Sometimes adventure has to be planned in or busy-ness takes over. Our plans to date are:
Florida in March (hopefully to see the shuttle launch).
A road trip to Yellowstone in the summer.
Five state park visits with bikes or just to walk.

I will do some form of exercise three times a week. I have never been a regular, consistent exerciser - I set crazy goals and train for things like a marathon and then, when the big goal is out the way, I stop. How stupid is that? But without the goal I can't keep up the effort. This year I will become consistent with the help of a trainer and progress tracking.

Giving Back (volunteering)
This area of my life is too big right now. I have a long list of commitments and I will keep them but my studio time is suffering for it and I resent that. The tasks I will volunteer for are swim team co-chair, Fall market logistics, library duty and math stars at school and the graphic design work I do for the Houston Civic Symphony. Maybe science fair for my daughter's class... see how these things creep in?!

I reserve the right to alter any of these goals as the year progresses and circumstances change! It may not be obvious from the outside but my goals really can be summarized in my word of the year. To me, this year is about dedicating myself to the things that are truly, deeply important to me - my family and my art. Everything else is to be given up as commitments come to an end.


  1. Dedication is a great word and I love how you broke it down into how it affects each area of your life. This has inspired me to figure out what my own word of the year would be.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Sounds good Caroline. It is never easy to balance life and art. Life just doesn't always fold neatly at the corners...and art goes quieter as it grows dormant. You have to pull back on the one time sucker and push forward on the other one. You'll find the right balance for you though and you've set some good starting points.

  3. Bravo for choosing such a wonderful word and for taking on such a great attitude in your goal setting! It's going to be a great year and it will be fun to see how it all unfolds.

  4. Thank you Jaime, Rose and Laure. My aim is that I will remind myself of Dedication each time I am tempted by time suckers. Let's hope that it works! I think it's easier to remember a word that symbolizes a whole list of goals.

  5. What a great, all-encompassing word! I love how you have your goals all broken down and well sorted.