Hard to believe it's been a year since I joined the "blog-o-sphere". No, I haven't posted as often as intended. Sometimes life gets in the way, or you feel like what you're doing or thinking is of no interest to anyone but yourself. And maybe it isn't, really. But you never know. We all touch lives and make a difference, and sometimes don't even know it. If you're wondering how you count in the lives of others, maybe it's time to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" again.
2009 has been a crazy kind of year. A book contract won and cancelled, the experience worth the outcome, and no regrets because I learned so much and know I'll try again. A long awaited and much remembered Jonas Brothers concert--including the meet and greet. Financial woes (yeah, so who didn't have those, right?) Days and weeks of knitting 12-14 hours a day, and loving every minute. A bountiful garden, rhubarb pies and lemon verbena. Walks in the park with my daughter. Learning about letting go and finding the courage to keep dreaming anyway.
Bottom line, and what I was always asked as a child--especially when in trouble-- "Well, did you learn anything?"
I learned that the world is all about perceptions and attitude. It is as kind or as unkind as you believe it to be. Each person sees the world and their place in it from a unique point of view and what is real to them IS REAL even if it isn't necessarily the truth or how someone else sees it.
Some hard lessons learned this year--
You can be sure and still be wrong.
Instead of "trust until proven otherwise", trust must be earned, repeatedly.
Some people still think "because everyone else is doing it" excuses any behavior.
Not everyone WANTS to be their best self.
Sometimes, it's nobody's fault.
Nice things I learned--
You are stronger than you think.
How to do the picot bind off.
How to write a book proposal.
How to translate lace patterns to circular knitting.
How to do the long tail cast on with one hand.
Things I still want to know--
If true love never dies, how do you know it isn't before it does?
Will steeks still work if you don't use wool?
How to use my drop spindle.
I learned that dreams and hope are most of what makes life worth living. Dreams of what we might become or what could be accomplished. Hope for a better day. I've learned that keeping dreams and hope alive is a personal responsibility. No one else can do it for you. Others can inspire and offer encouragement, but it is up to the individual to believe and act upon that belief. Others can also snatch your dreams away--but only if you let them.
As far as knitting and crochet, I've learned a lot of things. Especially in knitting. Most of that came from practise and being willing to try new things, or to rip it out and start over. Several projects were complete more than once, simply because I knew I could do better. Just today I listened to David Reidy's Sticks and String episode--Carpe Lanam
As he said so much more eloquently than I, life is too short to not enjoy your knitting (or crochet). As a designer, I am always thinking of the person who might follow the pattern I have written. Is it clear and concise? Is it easy to follow? Beyond pleasing the editor, one must think of the stitchers. Are they likely to be frustrated by the pattern? Will they be pleased with the result? Will they be proud to wear or give away what they have made? Now, more and more, I add to that list of questions, Is it fun? No matter how beautiful the design looks in the photograph, if I haven't done my job as a pattern writer and enabled the person following the pattern to replicate the design, AND enjoy doing so, I have failed miserably. So, thank you David Reidy for making me think of my work from another perspective.
Discoveries of note:
Lucy Neatby videos.
I have learned that happiness is a choice we make, regardless of circumstance. This sounds trite and cliche and even Pollyanna-ish. If optimism in the face of doom were my only shortcoming, I'd be doing pretty well.
Here's wishing you a New Year filled with new hopes and dreams. And if those dreams don't all come true, here's wishing you the strength and grace to be happy anyway!