2017.

Whew.

What a weird year, right?

I started out the year having no idea what was in store for me. I wasn’t working and had just graduated a project management program with no idea what I wanted to do other than never hear another word about project management. :shudder:

I had this little blog here, and some opportunities to do freelance writing, and plenty of free time on my hands, so I just started blogging and crocheting a lot. Then I found a full-time job in a field I’d never considered…or more like the job found me. I kept blogging. I fell in love with my job.

We’ve had ups and downs that come with having a family and kiddos and messy bits that make up a life. I’ve had moments of questioning whether I’m going in the right direction, but through all of those I just kept going.

My word (actually a phrase) for 2017 was Dig Deep. When I look at that post I see so many things that didn’t get done in 2017, but I’m not beating myself up. I accomplished a lot last year, and I’m proud of all of it.

I didn’t end up writing 52 essays. But I wrote a LOT. Some ended up here on my blog. Other writing will forever remain private but close to my heart.

My 2017 temperature blanket is stuck somewhere back in April. I’ll finish it this year. Whatevs. I own my calendar, the calendar doesn’t own me.

I wrote a lot of patterns last year. (A lot by my standards, not most people’s.) Hugamonster is by far my favorite because it’s given people so much joy. It’s nice to get emails from people who have made boxes of them to donate to hospitals and women’s shelters. Hugamonster even inspired some people to learn to crochet, so I call that a huge win.

I started writing for Bombshell Bling twice a month, and that’s been a lot of fun!

I’ve made a lot of new friends being a part time mod in Mildly Offensive Fiber Artists. That group gives me life and inspires me and makes me laugh on hard days.

Surprisingly, I’ve stepped out of all of the political groups I was involved in. I didn’t see that decision coming because I felt so strongly about being active with them at the beginning of 2017. Over the course of the year, I decided it was more effective to do things to help people who were being hurt by this administration’s policies than it was to rant about them on the Internet.

So I got involved in Family Promise through my church.  By the end of 2017 I was our church’s coordinator. Once I get a handle on that I’m looking for opportunities to do more of that sort of thing. Bonus: my talking about working with Family Promise has inspired a few other people to get active with volunteer work.

On a related note, I stepped away from writing politically charged crochet patterns. I still make those sorts of things for my own entertainment, but found that in practice those pieces created barriers for me – barriers to conversation, making connections, and growth. That’s not what I’d set out to do, as fun as it was to make them.

Dig deep was the perfect phrase for me last year. There were plenty of times I had to dig deep to keep going. But, I discovered an unintentional meaning as well. There were a couple of times I had to do some intense soul searching to make hard decisions. My phrase reminded me to go deeper than surface level considerations. A lot of this thinking was about my career path, but there were some rough patches with kids and family where I had to dig deep as well.

Keeping those words in the back of my head was extremely helpful.

I’ve agonized over my word for 2018 for weeks. I still don’t feel like I’ve settled on one that I’ll want to live with for 365 days, but right now Simplify is speaking to me. I’m the Queen of Making Things More Complicated Than They Need to Be and also a Collector of Things. Those are two areas I’d like to improve, and Simplify seems like the right word for them (especially as I clean out my craft room).

2018 Resolutions:

  • Make art every day
  • Take one photo every day
  • Write every day
  • Don’t beat myself up when I fail to any or all of those things

That’s it. I’m keeping it simple. (my word is working for me already!)

Another word that’s speaking to me is Relentless, though I can’t put my finger on why. It’s similar to Dig Deep but with more tenacity. Last year there were definitely times when I got so overwhelmed I just stopped (see my unintentional social media and blogging break during the entire month of December). Somehow I think if I work with Simplify for a year overwhelm won’t happen with the regularity it has in the past. So I’m keeping Relentless in my back pocket for now.

It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this, and I’m going to spend the afternoon cleaning and organizing my craft room, now that the furniture that needed to be out of there is gone. That was a gift my kiddos gave to me this year, though they may not see it as such. 😉

I do have some crafty goals this year but I’m trying not to plan things out. I like to follow my interests and leave wiggle room for course correction, so sticking to a plan is painful for me. (Probably why project management was SO not on my career path!)

2018 Crafty Goals:

  • Improve my cross-stitch skills
  • Learn embroidery (I’m doing a stitch a day to help with this)
  • Finish my 2017 temperature blanket
  • Learn to hand letter
  • Improve my watercolor skills
  • Publish at least 12 crochet patterns
  • Make afghans for my two oldest boys and husband (this was a goal last year that I failed to even start)
  • Give this blog a makeover. I’ve learned a LOT in the past year and a half about blogging, especially about how the nuts and bolts work behind the scenes and with what direction I’d like to move in. I’m proud of what I created but see how things could be so much better. So don’t panic when things start looking different. I’ll give you a heads up when I start working on it. 😉

I have some opportunities to work with craft publishers this year which I’m super excited about. In mid to late January I’m going to be doing a couple of book reviews and have my first ever giveaway! I feel really lucky to get to work with such a cool company and hope to do more of this sort of thing over the course of the year.

So yeah, 2018 will be busy.

I want to say thank you to all of you for hanging with me this past year. Without your stopping by to visit, this corner of the Internet is just empty words flung out into the void.

I love you all and I hope you have many blessings in the upcoming year.

Xoxo,

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