5 things about New Year: 1.1.16

1. It is traditional to start the year as you mean to go on: exhausted, hungover and full of doubt as to your life choices. 

Perhaps not. But despite going to bed early (honestly, parents!) and with only the bare minimum of champagne inside us, I wasn’t exactly full of New Year energy and optimism this morning. That’s okay. The last two weeks have been about the mix you’d expect: part peace and rest and joy, part omg TOO MUCH (people, children, food, everything). Enough peace and joy, anyway, to remind me of how happy I actually am with my life and where I’m at. Even when I’m not. If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry, it makes sense to me, which is what counts. 

2. The most joy and excitement of the holiday has come from assorted crafty projects. (Sorry for the lack of photos. Am photo challenged while my good phone is in for repairs.)
Exhibits A & B: the two skirts* I made Elfling, very long promised and delivered under deadline pressure (Christmas!). We’re still planning to take some fabric paint to ’em. 
Exhibits C, D & E: my three GAL projects. (The first one was finished well before the holiday started, but I’m counting them as a group.) GAL is so great for this: it motivates me to make some relatively quick and simple things that I might otherwise admire but not get around to, and the satisfaction quotient from just Making Stuff (on a fairly compressed timetable) is high. (Time to actually blog them would be nice too, but hey, we can’t have everything. At least not with bored children in the house 24/7.) 
Exhibit F: a design project I’m not ready to show you yet – a small thing (last of the kids’ knits, at least for a while), but really, really cute.
Exhibit G: is not actually my own project at all, but is extremely awesome. That’s Elfling’s first knitted FO. She declared it so yesterday, as photographed (“What is it?” asks Daddy, meaning eg is it a washcloth?; “it’s an OWL” comes the “duh” response), but it has since entered a state of advanced evolution, with feet and wings and stuffing and a fabric back, and a proper stuffed toy identity. (Tweety, Queen of Owls, currently nursing a cold.) I am unspeakably proud of this, since it’s entirely her own design. I mean, I did help with the execution in parts, and I made a few suggestions (felt for the wings, rather than drawing them on). But it’s really her concept, a lot of the details (eg how to make the feet) were 100% her own, and it is a whole THING she made, and it looks great.

Doing all this stuff (and none of it took very long, in actual work hours, although obv monsterwrangling obligations meant that some of it took forever from concept to completion) was really very satisfying. I was reminded of the quite unreasonable delight I got from making a beginner’s necklace from a 5-minute, zero-creative-input beading kit. Honestly, there were no creative choices to be made whatsoever and no skill was required… which kind of makes me wonder what’s the point, but did mean that I could actually find 15 minutes** to get it done in the middle of a very stressful time (immediate aftermath of the move, when Dude wasn’t sleeping). And getting something made felt AWESOME. (It’s also a lovely necklace that I love to wear, so.)

3. There are lessons in all that. One is that it’s well worth taking time out for small projects that aren’t part of my usual knitting agenda. Another is that there’s disproportionate reward from doing something new. Even scary. (Sewing, remember, terrifies me.)

4. I don’t do New Year resolutions. I’m also wary of goals. (Some goals are useful, but there’s a danger of setting yourself up for failure and feeling like crap.) I do however set priorities for the year ahead, and plan for how I can focus on them in practical terms. For 2016, one of my priorities is sewing. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it; I don’t expect to be whipping up a whole new wardrobe. But I will be learning, and for the first time in recent memory, I’m excited about that prospect, not consumed with fear. (Thank you Elfling, for being so demanding and getting me here!)

5. I’m looking forward to getting back into the daily routine. The great thing about the Christmas holiday is switching off and avoiding all outside pressures and responsibilities. But the not so great thing is the blehs that can come with that, especially after my illness-stricken November. As much as I want to hibernate, I reckon getting reacquainted with 5am will do me a power of good.

Welcome, 2016! Be kind to me, would you? I could use a little kindness.

* From this free tutorial, which I highly recommend. Very very thorough (full details for lots of sizes, whether you’re making a fold-over or regular waistband, single-seam or two seams), lots of clear pictures, very helpful. 
** Sleep deficit + monsterwrangling = triple the time a normal person would take.

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