New Year’s Eve 2018 was a wet and blustery one in these parts. I suppose that’s not all bad – for those people who insist on lighting their own celebratory fireworks, the risk of starting a fire was decreased. While I typically spend NYE reviewing the year that’s drawing to end, I decided not to do that this year. Instead of looking back, I’m looking forward.
That’s not to suggest that there aren’t accomplishments from 2018 of which I’m proud…there are. But 2018 – particularly the last half – really felt like being in a holding pattern, for reasons outside of my control. I don’t like that. I like decisive action and measurable progress, so being in a holding pattern is very frustrating for me.
I believe that, for me, 2019 will be a year of significant changes. I learned a lot in 2018 and plan to put that learning to work in 2019, though I may not be able to do it immediately. I’ll have to exercise patience, and that’s an ongoing challenge.
In 2019, I’m going to continue to expand my creative outlets and skills, having neglected them (clearly, to my detriment). I began loom knitting at the end of 2018 and will be teaching myself crochet and (needle) knitting this year; in fact, I’ve already started. I’ve crocheted a few chains and can do the most simple crochet stitch, the single crochet. Some of you skilled crochet artists are probably chuckling to yourselves, but this is how learning a new skill starts: simply. I’ll be practicing, making mistakes, frogging pieces, and finally creating respectable crocheted items. It will happen.
I’m also spending more time writing by hand, in an effort to increase the legibility and aesthetics of my handwriting. Technology has not helped in this regard – years ago, I had very nice, easily read, handwriting, but that’s no longer the case. I intend to address this and more fully appreciate the art of handwriting. I’ve been practicing daily, and I’ve already noticed improvement – just imagine what a year of practice could do!
There will be more paper this year; ironically, I’ve decided to revert back to using a paper day planner (a soft cover Moleskine). I use the calendar function on my smartphone regularly, but it’s not the same as looking at a paper planner, much like how reading an ebook isn’t the same as reading a paper book. I like the smell, feel, and sound of paper…and, most of all, the way words look on paper. There’s personality in hand written words, and they’re alive in a way that perfect fonts are not. In the same vein, I’m journaling this year (despite my resistance in earlier days to doing it). At the end of 2019, I want to look back at the thoughts I captured in my journal. They may be illuminating. Or corny. Or depressing. There may be incomprehensible doodles. I don’t know what they’ll tell me at the end of the year, but they will tell me something.
Changes are coming this year. I’m not averse to changes, and I think they will provide more learning opportunities. Change is a part of life, and I find that if you struggle against it, it merely overwhelms you like the waves on a beach: you can let those waves knock you down and fill your bathing suit with sand, or you can dive into the wave and let the energy carry you along. I choose the latter (having once, in Hawaii, literally had my bathing suit filled with sand after being knocked about by waves whose strength I’d underestimated). And when the changes cause stress, I’ll pull out my yarn and loom (or crochet hook or knitting needles) and do something that’s at once productive and meditative. And maybe have a cup of lemon balm tea, too.
Happy 2019! May this year bring you personal growth and many opportunities to be creative!