Sunday, January 8, 2012

Glue Sticks & Dreams: The 2012 Vision Board Session


Loved being the DJ for vision board night with  &. Excellent use of glue sticks & dreams, ladies!

Last night, Erin, Stephanie and I had a vision board session complete with chicken and sausage gumbo, a loaf of toasted and buttery French bread, and a bottle of red wine (I had a vodka and cran, naturally). We also had several stacks of magazines, poster board, four pairs of scissors and four Elmer's glue sticks - pretty much everything you need to create a vision for your future. 
Yes, we are complete dorks who will sit around a table cutting out photos of Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and owls (there's a lot of symbolism up in here) so we can create collages on a Saturday night. 

In case you don't know, a vision board is basically a representation of who you are, who you want to be, and what you're looking for from life. It's not magic. It's not some silly trick from The Secret. It's simply a good way to stop and think about what you want and what your goals are. 

How often do you stop and think about what you really want? 

I suspect most people don't ask themselves that question as often as they should. It may sound silly, but flipping through old issues of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, and Health is a good way to start answering this question. You look for phrases, words, and images that speak to you, cut them out, collect them in a pile, and then start gluing them to your board. 

I used to make collages just for fun all the time when I was in high school and college. I still have a few of them. When I was about the age my daughter is now, my mom showed me how to make collages, showed me all her tricks for filling up the white space, creating a pretty poster. 

When I was growing up, we had a thick lap board at our house. My mom kept it near the sofa and I'd use it if I was sitting in the living room and needed a hard surface for working on homework or writing a poem or short story. The lap board was covered with a collage my mom made in high school and covered with a protective finish. I loved the retro images (yellowed with age) and being able to read the words that meant something to my mom. (My dad's name, Wes, was on the collage because they started dating in high school. My parents had since divorced and my dad lived in Indiana, but I always liked seeing this evidence of him, this piece of my mom's past.) 

That collage wasn't technically a vision board but it definitely told a story about who my mom was in the late '60s, about what mattered to her, what made her laugh, what made her smile. 

Last night, Kate had a friend spend the night and I set up a card table for them so they could make vision boards, too. They used neon green and neon pink poster boards and clipped out photos of Muppets and Katy Perry and candy bars. 

Kate glued on photos and wrote this: Out with the old, in with the new. (Her boyfriend broke up with her this week. Little jerk.) She wrote: Don't be afraid. 

That's my girl. 

She clipped out a magazine headline that reads: Spoil Her Alert. ("Because I like to be spoiled," she said.) 

Kate's friend wrote on her board: 
When you are stuck between 2 decisions, throw a coin in the air. Not because it will help, but when you throw it, you suddenly know what you want. 

She also wrote this about her big brother: Goal - Convince Mom 2 send Matthew 2 boarding school! 

She also clipped out the phrase "Power is the ability..." and paired it with another phrase: "to do good things for others." 

I like this girl. 

While we cut out pictures and words, Erin was our DJ, pulling up tunes on Spotify. There was some Michael McDonald and Michael Jackson (OLD PEOPLE MUSIC, Kate declared), some Usher, a little Nicki Minaj. 

We laughed a lot. Jacob came in and made fun of us. We took silly photos with our vision boards. (In our defense, it was after midnight and we might have sniffed too much glue at that point.)

We talked about what we want from 2012. Erin's vision board has an owl (wisdom) and directives to tell her story. To travel and enjoy it. To remember who she is (a girl who wears gold shoes and has adventures.) 

Stephanie's has a nice big photo of Ryan Gosling (Hey girl) and a request for good things, flashes of genius, and cash (yes, please).  

Money is a big theme on my board, too. I need some. But what's important  is how I want to make it. I want someone to see the value in my book. I get so discouraged but I have to remind myself to keep working toward its completion and publication. I'm going to do what needs to be done to get where I want to be. 

There are messages of happiness, "days of love and sex" ("You're so inappropriate, Mom," Kate said). 

There's a fabulous shoe to represent the new wardrobe I need. It's amazing how one year off work can leave you with little more than yoga pants and tennis shoes in your closet. 

There is a reminder to be patient. Life doesn't operate on my time frame. 

I want to journal more. I've been so busy writing about 2009 and 2010 that I haven't written down all the things I want to remember about 2011. 

I want peace. Sometimes I still torture myself about things I cannot change. In 2012, I am determined to do this less and forgive myself more.

There's a big photo of George Clooney photographed like an old Hollywood movie star. I might have squealed a little when I saw it in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. It's only symbolic, of course. I don't expect to meet the real man in 2012. I'm looking for my personal George Clooney. I'm ready for love. (I think. If I listen to the message I'm getting from the images and words I cut out, then I'm going to believe I am.) 

We finally wrapped things up after midnight and tossed scraps of magazine pages into the trash can. We signed and dated the back of our vision boards. One day we might want to look back and see just what we longed for when we were in our thirties. 

There's no magic. There's no secret. There's no way to rub a lamp and have three wishes granted by a genie. 
But, dammit, you can ask for what you want. 
Hell yes, you can ask. 


  1. WHY ARE THERE NO COMMENTS ON THIS POST? We are awesome and fun and funny and clearly so talented with paste and paper. Someone should acknowledge this. Stat.

  2. Yet there are numerous comments on Things I Say to My Cat. This pretty much sums up the nature of the Internet.

  3. and when doubt and confusion come by for a visit...toss up the vision board and get right back on track.

    i like this idea. what a fun and amazing night well spent with friends.

    smilings so important! love it.


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