Every January, I make a vision board. To be honest, I enjoy the craft portion of the project most. A vision board is basically a pretentious collage that makes me sound like I have my shit together. It’s supposed to convey your dreams and leverage the law of attraction to make them happen. Yet, I never put a hospital on my vision board, but I can’t seem to stay out of one.
This year I am forgoing the traditional vision board for three reasons:
1. I am overly ambitious; my body is not
Before vision boards, I wrote resolutions. For example, here are my New Year’s resolutions from when I was 15 years old:
- No chocolate except for special occasions
- Find a volunteer job
- Fix my many social problems or just shut up when necessary
- Save $150 a month
- Journal 3 times a week
- Keep my face clear
- Do all the other stuff I can’t think of right now
Well, that pretty much covers it. I was not a cool 15-year-old and I did not get more reasonable about my goals with age. I still eat chocolate every day and my face is usually dotted with hives. Let’s not even discuss the social problems. For the record, I did get the volunteer job… AT A HOSPITAL. These days I’m lucky if I can even keep my paying job. Vision boards and resolutions alike are loaded with guilt and regret.
2. The universe misinterprets my visions
In case you missed it, read last year’s warning about vision boards.
3. My friend refused to participate in our vision board tradition this year
Technically, we’ve only made them together once, but since my mast cells forbid all of my other traditions, it’s officially our thing. Maybe she refused this year because last year she was a little too scissor-happy with the yoga magazines and now feels guilty. Or maybe it’s because when we craft, I try to work “modge podge” and “she shed” into the conversation every 10 minutes, because I think it’s hilarious. She reminds me it’s actually called “mod podge” and I become more persistent. MODGE PODGE.
This year, I decided I am making an encouragement board instead. Yes, that does sound even more nauseating than a vision board. Yes, a unvision board would be way more fun to make. (A unvision board is a collage of things you wish you could unsee. Yes, I totally made that up.) But after another year of pursuing the same dreams, getting knocked down and beat up, and feeling totally out of control, I need an encouragement board.
This past year, my friends and readers have kept me going. When I was in the hospital, your encouragement gave me strength to keep fighting and hope that I would recover. Oftentimes, I didn’t feel like writing, but the messages of support reminded me my writing helps people laugh and feel less alone. I dug up these messages time and time again when I felt low. Finally, it occurred to me to print these messages and make a collage.
Here’s what else my encouragement board entails:
- A 11”x14” foam board
- Scrapbook paper for the background
- Inspirational quotes
- Magazine clippings
- MODGE PODGE (use doubled sided tape if you react)
Chances are you don’t have a blog and dozens of comments feeding your ego. However, I bet if you shared your dreams on social media, you’d also receive encouragement. Maybe from people you didn’t expect. And you can always print this out:
I BELIEVE IN YOU! YOU ARE AWESOME! – Hell’s Bells and Mast Cells