…And forward on 2023

Sometimes I feel like we never stop moving. In the last two years, we’ve renovated an entire house, gotten married, had a baby, changed employment… and the list keeps going. Despite this, I can’t help but look forward to the changes that come with a new year.

In 2023 I:

  • Will figure out what type of fancy loom to buy. I sold mine at the end of 2022 and sort of feel as though I should have come up with a plan beforehand. My initial plan was to buy the same loom but in a size 48in, however, a very kind weaver talked me out of it. I’m told that it’s uncomfortable to weave on that size rigid heddle. This leaves me stuck between a 24in rigid heddle (assuming I can double weave on it), an 8-shaft table loom, and an 8-shaft floor loom, probably due to the variations in size and price point. I just want to occasionally weave blankets and towels, nothing fancy. So it’s hard to justify the cost of a $3,000 floor loom. Unless, of course, I can find a used one.
  • Will sew a dress with my egg fabric! I purchased it a year a go and just haven’t been able to sit down and make the thing. I also want to make something out of the floral denim I snagged from Notion Fabric. And finish my husband’s bike pants. And maybe sew a few more things for O. It’ll happen!
  • Will knit the things. Some are planned and some are TBD, but I will knit the things as inspired.
  • Will slow down and explore the world around us. It’s a lot of fun to view the world through the eyes of someone who’s literally never seen things before, and a good reminder that the world is our playground.
  • Might finish the Wheel of Time series. At this point, I’m halfway through and still going strong, which hopefully doesn’t jinx me.
  • plant a garden? Maybe this is the year?

I’m not really sure what 2023 will bring, but as I look at the year laid before me I can’t help but be hopeful about what’s in front of us. Some things will stay the same, but so many things will shift just enough to be felt. You don’t really blink and become a year older, each passing moment can be felt if you allow yourself to be aware of them. There’s something truly beautiful in that, so for 2023 that’s what I hope we do. I hope we sit in each moment and enjoy them, the good and the bad.

Looking back on 2022…

2022 was an incredible year for so many reasons, it’s hard to believe it’s behind us.

In 2022 I said I:

  • would spend more time in the garden. This one actually makes me chuckle because almost zero gardening got done this year. I had these grand plans of building some raised garden beds and planting vegetables that we usually buy. Instead, I found myself hanging out on a blanket or on the deck. Relaxing while O was napping or watching her play.
  • will spend as much time outside as possible actually, doing all the things. We spent a lot of time outside this summer, but in a much slower way than my 9-month pregnant self dreamed we would be. Instead of mountain biking, we spent lots of time walking in the woods around where we live. Sure, not as glamorous as summiting a major mountain, but it was nice to feel as though we were regaining our time in the wilderness.
  • will read books because I want to, not because I set a numeric goal. I’ve actually been cruising along through the Wheel of Time books and loving the world-building. The secret is definitely taking the time to read a couple books in between so that the constant recapping doesn’t feel annoying.
  • will spend more time by the water. This one, sadly, didn’t happen as much as I was hoping it would. We took a trip to the ocean and O loved it, and then hit a growth spurt/sleep regression and the trip became less about enjoying the water. In the end, the best part of the trip was taking her to the Boston Aquarium and watching her talk to the penguins. It was a humbling reminder that the best-laid plans are really only good intentions.
  • will design and publish a baby sweater! This happened, in fact, I designed a few things this year including two cowls, a pair of fingerless mitts, socks, and a shawl. Don’t ask me where I found the time!
  • will make. So many items flew off my knitting needles this year, I’m honestly not sure where I found the time and know there are more projects in my future.
  • will keep trying new things. I started a new job, does that count? What about caulking a window? This goal was created without realizing how many new things would be forced upon me as a new parent, it’s amazing how I suddenly understand the appeal of a vacation when someone else plans the itinerary and you just show up.
  • will journal and/or sit with myself more. Neope. I even attempted to meet this goal by putting together a book of photos and whatnot of our first year as parents. I think I learned that my reflection happens while my hands are busy with other things and that that’s ok. I’m learning to let go of the romantic idea that my life should be documented and that I need to process everything on paper.

…and Forward on 2022

As I write this post, it occurs to me that I’m not really sure what I expect 2022 to bring. I suppose we’ll see some change (some good things and some bad) and we’ll also find ourselves wondering if anything has really changed at all. One thing that the last two years has really taught me is that nothing is truly set in stone and if you’re willing to pivot you’ll have a better time.

In 2022 I:

  • will spend more time in the garden. Whether it’s planting vegetables or sitting around the fire at night, I want to make sure I enjoy all the hard work and time we put into cleaning it up last year.
  • will spend as much time outside as possible actually, doing all the things. It’d be cool to get a mountain bike for the summer months, but we’ll see.
  • will read books because I want to, not because I set a numeric goal. This was a good goal last year and I think it should stay on the list.
  • will spend more time by the water. Even if that water in question is found while enjoying a walk in the woods.
  • will design and publish a baby sweater! Hey it could happen.
  • will make. Whether it’s via my knitting needles, sewing machine, loom or some other method, I will make things with my hands.
  • will keep trying new things. How else am I to discover things I didn’t know I would like?
  • will journal and/or sit with myself more. I am just as important as those around me and should treat myself as such.

The interesting thing about getting older is that my desire to push myself as far as I can go isn’t as strong as it was when I was in my early 20s. It’s not that I’ve become apathetic, it’s that I’m learning to slow down and enjoy what’s around me. I’m learning not to beat myself up when I don’t meet a goal and to think about why that goal wasn’t met (and even whether or not I care). So while I’m tempted to add things to the list such as “travel to new places” or “finally hike Mt. Washington for real”, I realize that having less specific goals means that there are many different ways to meet them.

Looking back on 2021…

It crazy to believe that 2021 is over, it feels like time slowed down while speeding up. We’ve been back to in-person work for a few months now and even though the pandemic is still something that affects our day-to-day lives it’s safe to say we feel like things are starting to normalize. Time is still broken, but honestly, I think I’m ok with it. It’s nice to enjoy the small moments and to imagine ways to start incorporating bigger ones.

In 2021 I said I would:

  • hike Mt. Washington. I think this year will be the year that this finally happens, we’re starting to run out of excuses. We pushed off hiking Mt. Washington in favor of shorter hikes closer to home. This doesn’t mean I’ll never hike Mt. Washington, it just means that this year didn’t end up being the right year for us. Though we gave up long day-hikes this year, we found ourself in the woods more often because we didn’t need as much time to get away.
  • camp a lot. In fact it would be great if this was the year of camping. I’m talking load up the car and go somewhere new. I’m talking pack a bag and camp off trail. 2021 is going to be the year of the woods that 2020 started off being before the house distracted us. Nope, didn’t camp at all. This makes me a little sad, but it was so rainy this summer! By letting this specific style of vacationing go, we found ourselves taking more day trips places an hour or two away. Plus, my husband enrolled in a firefighter certification course and, though it ate up a lot of our weekends, I couldn’t be prouder.
  • knit more sweaters for hiking. I knit one last year and am obsessed with wearing it instead of a jacket, for something that’s not bulky it’s so warm! instead, I cranked out baby sweaters, so many of my friends expanded their families this year! That and I started sewing more garments, so while more hiking sweaters are still desired they took a back seat this year.
  • be finishing off one of our bedrooms as a nursery. Which in itself is a crazy concept that we’re wrapping our heads around slowly because it’s always been an abstract idea. Don’t expect anything until someone sticks me with a covid vaccine though! This got done! We finished off the nursery! We’ve also started on the hallway, which means that in less than a year and a half we’ve fixed up most of our house! Also, it just occured to us that no contractor was hired to help us, which makes the final results even more mind blowing.
  • be growing vegetables that will make it to edible format. I can feel it, it’s going to happen this year. Unfortunately, this is another thing that didn’t happen this year. So much energy was spent on other things this summer, but I’m thinking that next year we’ll have the capacity to complete more hobby projects around the house.
  • not try to read 100 books. Last year I found myself pushing through books that I wasn’t into because I had a number goal and limited time to reach it. This year I want to read books that I like and abandon ones that don’t hold my interest. Or at least save them for a day that I’m in the mood for them. This goal was so much better for me than last year’s I read over 70 books and don’t feel bad about the ones I put down for various reason.
  • daydream about running in person races and patiently wait for them to start happening again. Or at least try to be patient. This happened! Hubby and I ran the New England Dog Jog in May with Loche and had such a fun time! It felt so good to be “surrounded” (staggered start and all) by other people working towords a common goal. We also had plans to run an October race but I pulled a muscle and needed to let it heal instead.
  • probably knit my niece something kitchy, because eventually she’ll care what she wears. This year, I made my neice three cute little sweaters and a poncho. Plus I sewed her a summer dress! Not sure if I’ll collaborate with my sister as a holiday gift this year, I’m starting to want to knit what I want when I want to again.

In 2021 I:

  • Got married! We tied the knot wearing whatever we wanted to in our backyard. For me, this meant a sundress and no shoes.
  • Worked hard on setting healthy boundaries.
  • Planned and instructed a learn to code python series.
  • Joined the Wonderland Yarns team as a collaborator and ambassador.
  • Was a 2021 maker for Blue Sky Fibers
  • Took a few sewing classes and made garments that mostly fit
  • Upcycled a chair

…And forward on 2021

Does anyone else feel like 2021 is the year of hope? As we peel moldy wallpaper off yet another room, it’s hard not to dream about what comes next, even if that next is the day when we can invite people over for dinner. People who will have almost no idea of how far the house has come over the short time we’ve owned it.

in 2021 I:

  • will hike Mt. Washington. I think this year will be the year that this finally happens, we’re starting to run out of excuses.
  • will camp a lot. In fact it would be great if this was the year of camping. I’m talking load up the car and go somewhere new. I’m talking pack a bag and camp off trail. 2021 is going to be the year of the woods that 2020 started off being before the house distracted us.
  • will knit more sweaters for hiking. I knit one last year and am obsessed with wearing it instead of a jacket, for something that’s not bulky it’s so warm!
  • will be finishing off one of our bedrooms as a nursery. Which in itself is a crazy concept that we’re wrapping our heads around slowly because it’s always been an abstract idea. Don’t expect anything until someone sticks me with a covid vaccine though!
  • will be growing vegetables that will make it to edible format. I can feel it, it’s going to happen this year.
  • will not try to read 100 books. Last year I found myself pushing through books that I wasn’t into because I had a number goal and limited time to reach it. This year I want to read books that I like and abandon ones that don’t hold my interest. Or at least save them for a day that I’m in the mood for them.
  • will daydream about running in person races and patiently wait for them to start happening again. Or at least try to be patient.
  • will probably knit my niece something kitchy, because eventually she’ll care what she wears.

Between politics and the pandemic, 2020 was a stressful year. Going into 2021, I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful for the hope that I feel and the desire to make this year a good year.