Welcome back?

Nothing quite showed me that I missed my little blog here like almost losing my little blog.

A year ago – wait, more than a year ago now – I was thinking about shutting this blog down. I started to archive a bunch of posts I was going to revisit and repost or post about over on Patreon. I was going to use Patreon for all the blogging – both the patron-only posts and then also little posts like this, so people could get an idea of my voice and content before committing to becoming a patron, if they were so inclined.

Then the rest of last year happened.

Then this year happened.

Good lordt, y’all.

I actually thought about resurrecting it in December, when Tim got sick, but it was just easier to post one place (Facebook). But then a lot of people who wanted to be kept in the loop weren’t on Facebook, but then I got set up with Caring Bridge and that was really perfect for what was going on. So I posted there instead.

Then I got to the point a couple of weeks ago where I was ready to start moving the archived posts over to Patreon… and I found out I couldn’t get into this site any more. I struggled with it for about a week but gave up, and resigned myself to losing all the back posts. I had already lost the 2002-2008 posts when I had The Great Migration of 2008 over to this site, but that meant I had 2008-2021 (or whenever my last post was) that would be lost. I was pissy about it for a few hours, then started to look at it as a way to just go ahead and let go of the past, start over, fresh – or even not even start over at all.

But then Laughing Squid saved the site! And I got back in! So… here I am.

People have been asking me to turn everything I’ve been writing to Tim into a book. I’m not completely adverse to that, but … I held a lot back. There’s a lot that only a few people knew as it was happening, and there are a few things I never told anyone. That’s what’s been holding me back from looking more into that. Everybody would have to get really cool about a lot of shit, real fast, for me to be honest enough to put it all down.

But also…  I’ve been toying with the idea of reposting all of the things on Facebook, and the things on Caring Bridge, here. Then at least if I never put it down into book form, it would be all together in one place, here. At least until I lost the archives again, hahaha. Sigh.

Anyway. Good morning. Anyone still around…?

Smart Goals

I told someone I was thinking of listing out the things I wanted to make sure I get done in 2020, and they were like, “ugh, that sounds way too much like New Year’s Resolutions” and I had a moment of …. Really? Because I think of resolutions as one big thing that there’s an 85% chance that is likely going to fail by February or so — quitting smoking, losing weight, learning underwater basketweaving.

These are SMART goals — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Each one is a specific thing, not general; each one can be measured as far as how far I’ve come towards the end result of the goal; each one is achievable in that I’m not giving myself something so big or so broad that I’m likely to be afraid to do it; each one is realistic in that they’re all something I’m likely to do at this point in my life; each one is time-based in that I’m setting myself a point in time by which I’d like to have accomplished this goal.

So here are a handful of goals I’d like to achieve by the end of 2020.

  1. I’d like to read fifteen books.
    I set myself a Goodreads goal in 2019 of reading 24 books… I made it to 14. Ugh. I don’t even know myself anymore. Only 14? That’s embarrassing! Especially because half of them were graphic novels! What the hell! So while I’d like to say I’ll read 20, I’m going to lower my goal to 15 – still one more than I did this year – but I’m going to hope that I really sneak in a few more. But at fifteen, over fifty-two weeks, that’s three and a half weeks per book. I used to be able to read six times that fast, so… this is doable. If I put down the stupid tablet farming game….!
  2. I’d like to have twenty finished objects off the needles.
    Remember when I used to knit like 60 things a year? OK, granted, I used to work in a yarn store and that was part of my job. But I do miss having finished things to show off. It just so happens that I’m coming in with eleven new colorways next year, so if I knit a pair of socks or armwarmers in each of those, there’s 11 of 20 right there. I also want to knit some Christmas ornaments, some cat toys (Santa brought me the cutest knitted cat toy book), and some soap bags. The soap bags and ornaments I want for our Christmas stockings, of which we usually have eight or nine. If I’m already at 11, nine soap bags bring it up to 20 right there. All done by December. I can dooooo eeeeeeeeeeeet!
  3. I’d like to whittle down my fiber stash by spinning twenty bumps of fiber.
    A bump of fiber is usually about 4 ounces. I plan on bringing my wheel with me to the Farmer’s Market, going forward. While I don’t plan on doing Farmer’s Market every Friday for an entire year, I will probably do it at least 20 times. I’m down to do it steadily until the end of March, so that’s… 13 weeks, and then if I pick it up again in September, that’s another … oh, wow, another 17 weeks. So if I can spin at least half of a bump of fiber at the Farmer’s Market every time I go, and then finish it over the weekend, this is more than doable.
  4. I’d like to find a new advertising venue.
    My ads on Ravelry get engagement, as in, people click on them… but there hasn’t been a lot of shopping from the ads this last year. Where else can I advertise? What else can I advertise? I want to advertise my stitch markers more on Raverly, so that’s one thing. But maybe I could also advertise on Knitty.com (an online knitting magazine). I would love to be able to advertise in BUST magazine, but the one time I did it, it was almost $500 for the issue, and that’s just… yeah. That was really more for me, to be able to see my ad in print. But overall that’s way too rich for me.
  5. I’d like to write 16 chapters.
    OK, this one is a ringer… I was planning on doing that anyway.
  6. I’d like to get the majority of my old family photos sorted and scanned.
    I’ve already started on this, years ago, but then my scanner just up and quit talking to my computer, so … blargh. What I’d like to be able to do is scan negatives, as well as (or instead of, for where I have them) the photographs, and also the crapload of slides I have from my paternal grandfather. I looked around on Amazon and for about $150 I can get a teensy scanner that does negatives, slides, and get this… it also does Super 8 film. Of which I have a couple of reels, and had given up hoping I’d ever know what was on them. So Imma save my pennies, maybe combine a couple gift certificates, and get that little Kodak scanner. Most of the photos are already in boxes, sorted by decade. But there are stragglers around. I’d like to have everything I want sorted in the same room by the end of January; sorted by the end of February; then that gives me ten months to scan as many of about 80 years of film and negatives and slides as I can. Hey, at one decade per month, that’s doable, right? Because it looks like the kind of thing I can set the gadget up to do while I’m doing other things, and then just come over and feed more through it every now and then.

So… goals. Do these really look like New Year’s Resolutions? I hope not, because I’ve never been able to keep those (“learn to play the guitar,” I’m looking at you…!). But planning and setting goals? I’m pretty good at those.

Begin as you mean to go on

I have a friend who says “begin as you mean to go on” at the beginning of the year; in other words, start January 1st with what you’d like to carry on throughout the year. Since my January 1st starts with family and friends and a big slow breakfast that slowly morphs into lunch and eventually live music and naps and then dinner with the people you’ve just spent the whole day with…? I mean, that is pretty awesome.

So far this year I’ve been spending a lot of time at the whiskey bar (AND NOBODY WAS SURPRISED).

I’m feeling a little behind in making plans for this coming year, work-wise. Well, sort of. I have plans, I just haven’t had both time and brain power to write them all down and plot them out on the calendar… which means that about now I’m stuck in that Catch-22 of needing to start on plans I haven’t had the brain power to chart out because my brain is so full of all these plans and I can’t find the peace of mind to sit and write them all out to clear my head. Ugh, is that convoluted, or what?! BRAINS ARE DUMB.

It doesn’t help that I’m once again disenchanted with business groups in general, which always try to push me in the direction of BIGGER BETTER STRONGER FASTER and for the love of Peanut Butter Sandwiches why isn’t BEING WHERE I AM enough? I don’t want to hire people to do my work so I can come up with ideas and have them execute it. I don’t want to wholesale. I don’t want to do a craft show every week. I don’t want to beg or pay Instagram “influencers” to shill my art.

So I guess it’s helpful that the yearly workbook I usually get to help chart out HaldeCraft for the next 12 months was put out too late this year for me to consider using it. It usually comes out in late October and this year it came out, I think, the day after Christmas….? Two days after? So I got a different workbook and I’m getting ready to read through it and see if I agree with what it suggests.

Speaking of suggestions… something else another friend is talking about a lot is her Word of the Year. I’m sure if you’ve been on the Internet you’ve heard of this; you choose a word to sum up everything you want from the year — Mindfulness, Intention, Joy, Recovery, Courage, Simplify… you get the idea. Maybe you’ve even done one? I’d love to know what you thought! It’s been suggested to me that I choose one, to help narrow down my focus and trajectory for the year.

Here’s my problem with the Word of the Year… my mood changes probably 643 times a day. In a morning when my word might be “Intention”… by lunchtime it might have changed to “Breathe” (can “don’t murder anyone today” be summed up in one single word?). So I’m freaked out by choosing ONLY ONE WORD. How do I know it’ll still be my word by the end of the year? Heck, by the end of January?! OH THE PRESSURE.

I also see a lot of people making resolutions, and also talking about how they shun the word “resolution” and prefer the word “intention”. So instead of “this year I resolve to start _____”, instead they say “this year I intend to _____” (fill in the blank). The theory is that there’s such baggage caught up in the word “resolution” but New Year’s Eve is such a liminal point that it’s a good time to make changes, so…. pick a new word to represent it? I guess?

I was recently asked what my intentions were for 2019. I had to be honest… my intentions, my resolutions (if you will), are the same as they always are, as they are every day when I wake up. I want to be a better person than I was the day before. I want to be kinder, more generous with my heart and my time, more trustworthy, more dependable, more of a champion to the marginalized. I want to be the light. But I want those things every day. Every morning when I wake up is a chance to start again, to do better, feel deeper, reach farther, support stronger. Every morning I begin as I mean to go on. Which apparently, this morning, means that I am word-vomity and disjointed and writing a blog post to avoid doing other more pressing work. Sigh.