Happy New Year! I’m sorry this is a bit belated, I’m usually a bit burned out by the time the holidays wrap up. I’m also the kind of person who likes to let things marinate for a little while before I decide where I’m at, and I feel like the turning of the calendar this year was extra meaningful.
Show & Share
Above are a couple projects I just finished, a pair of hats that were supposed to be gifts for my niece and nephew for Christmas (don’t worry, I’m a very responsible aunt, they did not suffer for a lack of gifts this year, just headwear). The pink & cyan hat is for Lucy, the blue & green is for Ben. I didn’t use a specific pattern but I put extensive details in my project notes on Ravelry, just follow the links above. The bird in the picture is a new member who joined our family in December, Gruau (it’s a french name, translating to ‘groats’, so basically ‘Oatmeal’). He’s franco-Ontarian and mostly speaks (mumbles) in french. Right now he’s living at home and isn’t in the store, but perhaps some day …
New Year/New Project Game
Based on my interactions with you guys, many of you are feeling more than just a little burned out these days. I can always gauge this by the number of people who ask me to tell them what to make. I get that, the stress of living with uncertainty doesn’t exactly stimulate the creative juices for me either. The problem for me is that I don’t have a clear-cut answer for you, you all like different things and everyone needs to grow in different ways. So, instead of giving you a project idea, I’m going to offer you a New Year’s game …
1. Decide who you will be at the end of this year. Who do you WANT to be at the end of the year? Maybe you want to be your best self, work on gratitude, or you might want more compassion and forgiveness in your life? Maybe you want to be kinder, or more loving? You might decide to chase joy (never a bad choice) and become a happier person. Growth and groundedness might appeal, or you may just want to be more connected with yourself. Self-Love could be what you desire, or grace, or an open heart. Whatever you want will be great, just choose UP. Once you ask the question meditate on it, the answer might take its time, but it will surface naturally.
2. Whatever comes out, set it as your goal. No matter how out of reach it feels, just tell yourself that you are setting this as your goal, and this is who you want to be at the end of 2021. Don’t worry about how you’ll achieve the goal, just set it. It doesn’t matter if you are the world’s biggest pessimist and you’ve decided you want to be an optimist by the end of the year, just set the goal and let it go – you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
3. Choose a project that will be a gift for the person you are going to be at the end of this year. You’ll probably have to meditate on this one too. There may be lots of browsing on Ravelry (go though the projects you’ve favourited in Ravelry through the years, there are gems in there). You’re probably going to be drawn to the project but not connect entirely with it, which makes sense, you aren’t that person yet, are you? When you find it be open to it, when you second-guess yourself stop, listen to your intuition and don’t listen to your head – this is not the place for reason. The style might be different than what you usually go for, the colours might be something you’ve never related to before, it might even be something you’ve never thought you’d use – whatever it is, just lean into it. Remember, this isn’t for you, it’s a gift you are making for the person you are going to be, someone you don’t know yet, someone who doesn’t exist yet … kind of like a baby gift. (I haven’t chosen my project yet, but when I do I’ll let you know.)
4. Get the materials and cast on! Don’t bookmark and put-off your future-self. You only exist right now, but your choices in the now will shape your future. It doesn’t matter how resistant you are to your goal or your future self, just push yourself to start and get the ball rolling!
5. Swim with the current. Once you have set your goal, the resources you need to get you to your destination will find you, just be sure to take advantage of them as they cross your path. It may not be big things, but don’t pass them by. When someone mentions a book, look it up, skim it. If you hear about a podcast, check it out, see if there are any episodes that appeal to you. Accept referrals, consider advice, explore new avenues as they open up, try new things you may have passed on before. Sometimes a small thing leads to a smaller thing, then a weird thing, and then THE thing (and then twenty more small things). Trust life, let it change your perspective and let yourself grow.
By the way, unless you live on the coolest commune ever, there are going to be people in your life who are going to poo-poo your choices. Don’t pay them any mind, and lean towards the people who cheer you on. As long as you are growing towards your highest good you’re going in the right direction. You don’t get to choose the cards you’re dealt in life, but you are able to choose how you play them.
Helpful Resources for Meditating on Things
Thanks to the interweb there are many, many, many free and extremely helpful resources out there these days. There are several apps like Insight Timer, Calm and Headspace that offer both free and paid content to help you mellow-out and mull things over. You can listen to soothing meditative music on Youtube; search for Solfeggio Frequencies or Binaural Beats (if you subscribe to a music service like Spotify you can also search Solfeggio or Binaural). If you are a closet studier and book learning is your path of choice try Letting Go by David Hawkins (this is a book worth purchasing, either in paper, as an ebook or on audible. It’s always on hold at the library and it’s something you’ll want to keep on your shelf and revisit). You might also want to keep a journal. If you aren’t a paper and pen person there are lots of good Journalling Apps out there, I’ve been using the Day One app for several years, but ultimately I don’t think it matters what you choose, as long as you like how it works.
So, you not only have a new project on the horizon, but you now have some activities, reading material, and resources that will get you through the second half of this pandemic and help you come out better than when it started. That’s not too shabby, is it?