Doing Something!

Doing Something!

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. – Neil Gaiman

When I look back on my goals for 2016, I had some winners and I also had some losers:

My goal to stitch daily fell by the wayside and a large part of why it did was because I did not give myself permission to make mistakes. I wanted my stitching to be perfect without acknowledging that this is a new craft and as with all new things – there is a learning curve, and making mistakes is part of that process. It is certainly true that I am my own worst enemy with my inner drive for perfection – and if it can’t be perfect, then I won’t do it. But, this year I am going to work on that and give myself permission to make mistakes, to learn, to make new things, to push myself, and GROW! I will also move beyond my desire to only present what is perfect and share the process – mistakes and all.

Thanks to Honoré, I spent some time at the end of 2016 rethinking my daily schedule/routine. I have reworked it allowing for a few moments each day to learn something new about stitching and to implement what I have learned. As the year progresses, I will have a collage of stitches that will reflect a daily snapshot similar to Bonnie Sennott’s journey and by this time next year, I will have completed a grand stitching journey where, I am hoping, there is visible growth and immense pride in my mistakes and accomplishments!

Organization also got left behind in the dust of “doing other things” – I blocked out Marie Kondo’s calls to focus and I am paying for that in spades as 2017 starts. Again, Neil Gaiman gives a gentle invitation to live, to push myself, and to change myself – and this is an invite I am going to embrace wholeheartedly!

2017 will be my year for being more organized in so many things. But, one main organization task will be to give some semblance of order to my digital and physical photos. This is something I have procrastinated about far too long and I am ready to get to work on this!

I want to continue in my desire to weigh less and to move more! I did well in 2016, but I still have a long journey to go – and after basking in Holiday Cheer for a good portion of December – this month I will focus on getting back on track.

I also want to use more of my handspun yarn, so this will mean doing more intentional spinning. I look forward to spending time sampling and planning for projects rather than just spinning with no plan in mind!

Finally, I set a challenging reading goal for this year and I look forward to working through my “want to read list” as I hope to exceed my goal!

Here is to a year of pushing myself, changing myself, changing my world, and doing things!

Happy New Year, everyone!

The Trader Joe’s Effect

The Trader Joe’s Effect

It has been two weeks – 14 short days – since the election and the Southern Poverty Law Center website tells me that there have been more than 700 incidents of hateful harassment’s since the election. That is more than 50 incidents per day, which boggles my mind, but what is even more upsetting is that these incidents have “taken on a new boldness“. The “Trump Effect” is even more ugly than I could have ever imagined, and I imagined it to be horrid.

But, what about my neighborhood, my city, my little corner of the world? Have I noticed any changes?

Sadly, we have. People seem to be ruder as they drive – in the past, merging into traffic there was just a “driver courtesy” allowing people to merge. Now, this seems a thing of the past – rather than allowing a driver to merge in – they speed up and crowd the driver out. A scary thing to the observer, and even scarier to experience. Ask me, I know!

And, if that is not enough – the laying on of the horns and hand gestures received because you stopped for pedestrians in the cross walk is just the icing on the cake. (Please note, in Pennsylvania – pedestrians in the cross walk have the right of way and traffic must stop for them)

This level of rudeness is not restricted to our area streets – people in shops also seem less kind and considerate – from those working and to those shopping, which makes the shopping experience so delightful – not!

Sadly, it is not only happening on our roads and in our stores – our schools are experiencing it too.

However, there is a bright spot despite all this boorish behavior and general nastiness.

Trader Joe’s.

Yes, that’s right – if you need a boost – a lift in your spirits – a reminder that not all of humanity is inhumane – stop at my local Trader Joe’s.

The people who shop there are kind and considerate and smiling.

Adding to that – the people who work there are genuinely happy, helpful, eager to assist, and filled with good cheer.

I do not know how this little microcosm of goodness exists seemingly separate from the Trump Effect, but I want to thank Trader Joe’s – what they are doing is not going unnoticed and I am so thankful this place is nearby!

I would love to see The Trader Joe’s Effect spread across this nation – and I am going to do what I can to help it right here! I will be that person who is kind, considerate, and smiling – genuinely happy, helpful, eager to assist, and filled with good cheer! Won’t you join me?

A Case of the Tuesday’s – More or Less

A Case of the Tuesday’s – More or Less

It seems that this is going around since the end of 10 on Tuesdays.

I usually plan the previous week what I will post the following week. So, this is what happens when you don’t plan.

I have a case of the Tuesday’s.

However, I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I have not revisited my New Year’s Resolution list so I think it is time for an update.

You can find my original post here and the updates here and here.

Overall I think my resolutions are making a difference in my life.

I know, right?

I am feeling so invigorated by weighing less and moving more! So far I have lost over 30 pounds and I am now very conscious of what I eat and how it is made. Not in a fanatic way, but rather in a more enlightened and realistic way. I am also moving more – and that is something HUGE for me. I am not a lover of exercise, but I am walking and riding the exercise bike. I have not been doing much yoga and I need to change that pattern because the yoga is not only good for my body, it is good for my mind.

Moving the stitching supplies near my desk has not been a success. I am a little disappointed in myself – but only a little. I am still making plenty in my daily life. Do I want to stitch? Yes! So, I need to plan on how that will fit in my life and I need to be realistic that it won’t magically happen this year. I don’t think I can squeeze anything more in (especially if I want to get some things finished for the holidays). Look for this to be revisited in a new and more successful way in 2017.

KonMari is a very good thing, and I think the best thing about it is how it is a continual process. Things that I originally thought I could NEVER get rid of are being revisited. Perhaps, by the end of next year I will be a graduate of the Konmari program! Ha!

Now, to the last and most difficult thing on my resolution list – Gratitude. This continues to be a constant struggle in my life. Am I just an ungrateful person? If I am being completely honest with myself; yes, sometimes… More specifically, I think that it feels awkward to find gratitude in small everyday things. It is not that gratitude is not on my minds – it is part of my daily meditations. Nothing I am currently doing is “sticking” so when I saw this mentioned on Karen’s blog I thought this might be something that could help get me on the path. It has occurred to me that gratitude might not be a solo journey. And, I am kicking this off with Gratitude Week and November will be a month I am immersing myself in the process of gratitude (and since I am going to try to participate in NaBloPoMo again, I will be sure to let you know how it is going!)

I have one final surprising thing to share with you, and it involves a small giveaway as well!

I have long loved Kay and Ann of Mason Dixon fame! I have read their blog for years and I am so thrilled with their new venture! When they announced Stripes some months ago I, of course, ordered one! Now enter that stellar organization – the US Postal Service…suffice it to say that my mail carrier thinks that mail delivery is a contact sport – things often arrive looking as if they were in a soccer game and got kicked around a bit. Thus, arrived my precious little copy of Stripes – battered and bruised. I did not want or ask for a new copy of Stripes. I just wanted to let Ann and Kay know that perhaps a padded mailer was a good idea (especially knowing my mail carrier) and in the future I would be willing to pay more for shipping with one! Imagine my surprise when a new copy arrived last week, including a hand-written note from Ann that might have brought a tear or two to my eye, and I want to pay it forward! If you would like that copy of MDK’s Field Guide No. 1 – Stripes, please leave a comment below and I will announce a winner next Tuesday and send it off to the winner (in a padded mailer! lol)

Thank you, Ann and Kay, I am so grateful to you both for a million and one reasons!

Resolution Check-in

Resolution Check-in

And, just like that the second quarter of the year is underway – time flies when you are having fun? Way back in January, in our very first 10 on Tuesday of 2016 Carole asked us to share things we’d like to do more… and less.

I thought it would be a good thing – and to help keep me accountable – to see how I am doing with my “more or less” list. As you will see, there is some success and some failure, but I am not giving up. I am recommitting to what I want to do – where I want to go – how I want to be. Continuing is what is important and I will forge ahead on that path!

success quote

  • Moving more – some days I win, some days I’m sedentary. Perhaps the weather change and the garden will help kick this one back on track!
  • Eating healthier foods has been sustained – I think it is safe to say that this is our habit.
  • We were pretty good consumer’s this weekend – thanks to some amazing deals at Lowe’s, Bedner’s, and JoAnn’s!! However, these items will be put to use in making things (or growing things). I would like to get back to doing some daily stitching, however, I am not stressing about it.
  • Konmari continues in a room at a time and I finally got to the boxes in the garage – this is a very good thing. There was some very good sorting that happened and I am happy to report that I now have several free shelves!!
  • Finally, gratitude, for which I am giving myself a failed grade for the first quarter – there was some, but nowhere near enough. I am going to refocus myself on the little things, and see if my gratitude does not grow and I will start with the weekend, which was lovely from the Pineapple Cilantro Moscow Mules (pictured above) to the wandering through garden centers with Steve. I am grateful that weekends exist.

Here is to a New Beginning Monday where I will start as I plan to continue, I hope your day is good too!

Risk Factor

Risk Factor

when-was-the-last-time-you-did-something-for-the-first-time

I read the best blog post today and it really made me stop and think.

  • What makes a person a risk taker?
  • Why are they different?
  • How do you become one?

I would not ever classify myself as a risk taker. I have no desire to engage in dangerous activities. I guarantee you will never find me jumping out of airplanes, swimming across the deepest oceans, or climbing Mt. Everest.

But, I really like challenges, change, and being different.

I am not afraid to fail either.

And that, to me, seems to set the risk taker apart from everyone else – they are different, perhaps, because they are not afraid to fail.

This post struck such a chord with me because this week I began a new job – one that I am extremely excited about. A job that is completely different from anything I have ever done before, but one filled with things I love to do the most. I am sure I will share much more about where this job goes and how it grows, but for now I am adrift in the Sea of Unknown and I could not be more excited.

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