My Theme for 2012? Create.

My holidays usually start with a decompress period of a few days followed by a sudden restlessness that usually results in a whole bunch of projects around the house getting done. This year, though I could feel that restlessness, there wasn’t the motivation for getting jobs done, but rather a creative restlessness. I wanted to make & create things.

In figuring out what to do I finally realized,  for the most part, I had completely backburnered any of my creative pursuits over the past year. With the exception of our Hawaii trip in August, I probably took as many photos this year as I did in some individual months in years past. I haven’t been blogging and my photoblog has been sporadic at best.

As I pondered it further I realized that when I’m not creating, I’m just not happy and I’m not creating new opportunities or experiences for myself.

So my theme for 2012 is going to be “Create”.

Create: Opportunity

One thing I’ve noticed is since I’ve started letting my blog & other content outlets go quiet so too has my connection with the local community. Social tools like Twitter & Facebook are great for the odd passing conversation but I’ve been missing the deeper discussions that a good blog post can help kickoff. Twitter & Facebook  have also meant I’m often not developing or sharing ideas deeper than what I can cram into a Twitter status update.

The ultimate result is the loss of opportunity. Opportunity for ideating, sharing, and connecting – that has to change this year.

Create: Change

I’ve made good use of Netflix over the holidays and caught up on a variety of documentaries that I’ve been meaning to see, many of them of the “the system is broken” persuasion – the unfortunate side effect is it’s left me riled and frustrated at the whole situation. While over the years I’ve done work with some organizations  trying to bring about social change in one way or another (tcktcktck, SiG@MaRS, Community Power Fund, Windfall Ecology Centre, ChangeCamp etc.) those opportunities have been few and far between and I know I’ve missed opportunities to contribute more – so I’ll be watching for more opportunities to create change this year.

Create: Community

One area I’ve really let slide over the eighteen months or so is around helping create community both online and off. Toronto’s way overdue for another VizThink, and the BarCamp we hoped to have late last year never quite materialized. I hope to help remedy both situations this year.

I also want to start reconnecting with the start-up community in the city – My experiences in a variety of start-ups over the years is just not getting used in my current role at the bank and from time to time I get that start-up itch again. I’d love to scratch that itch more actively in an advisory or mentor capacity for some of the entrepreneurs and start-ups in the city. (know someone who’d be interested? let me know!)

Create: Accountability

Finally, I want to create some sort of accountability for this year. So friends, real, virtual or other – please call me out this year if you think I’m slacking the the “Create” department.

I hope everyone has a great 2012 – I know I’m looking forward to creating one for myself.

– Ryan