January flew by despite being full of ups and downs. The weather was cold, then hot, then cold again, and my brain chemicals didn’t know how to react. I was really hard on myself for being lazy and depressed, but I came out of it and now I’m on an emotional upswing.
This month, I (and sometimes Daniel):
- attended two concerts at Mockingbird before it closed down
- reached out to a band about joining them as a vocalist
- contacted a local photographer to look into assistant opportunities
- started a Fair Trade blog; I’m really proud of it
- witnessed a friend’s marriage dissolve
- went on several walks (one, two, three, four)
- became obsessed with Trader Joe’s (that’s worn off a bit now)
- attended a swing dance lesson and Sock Hop
- took a lot of photos
- survived a couple snow days
- attended a game night
- started modeling for my online shop
- experienced record sales at my online shop
- wrote three poems
- finished decorating the library
- got the mullet trimmed off my outgrown pixie cut
- felt insignificant
- felt proud
- watched a lot of The Wire
- wore many layers
- was almost always cold
- bought a digital scale for mailing orders from home
- talked to some llamas
- visited many thrift stores
- nurtured new friendships
How’d I do with my 4 Simple Goals?
- Grow my online business: things have been looking up. I use new bookkeeping software that helps me keep track of fees, purchases, and revenue.
- Put money in savings every month: I should be able to do this as soon as I deposit my paycheck.
- Buy fair trade/ second hand as often as possible: I think I’ve stuck to this.
- Travel to a new place: we visited an antique mall in Ruckersville; that kind of counts.
Hope you had a fun, productive first month of the year.
For the past two weeks it’s just been Daniel and me. And it’s nice to spend time together – to work and read and relax in the same room for hours on end – but almost everyone else left town and you kind of feel like you’re holed up in a room the size of Charlottesville with nothing to do and only your second half to talk to (which may really just be yourself).
Last night we broke the fast from socialization with a potluck dinner. I sat on a couch squished between two people, leaning forward to take in the conversation, and felt grateful – and lucky – to be a small part of such an interesting, dynamic, funny, and thoughtful group. The isolation was worth it for the chance to realize that.
That being said, the past few weeks have helped me think through and intensify my goals:
- I’m eating (a little bit) healthier, eating in more, and saving money.
- I’m taking more walks.
- I’m considering delving back into the world of portrait photography (I’m offering free photo sessions in the Charlottesville area).
- The advertisements I put out for my store are slowly but surely bringing in new customers and I’m staying on top of bookkeeping.
- My fair trade blog venture is bringing me great satisfaction.
- I’m in the process of working with Fair Trade Towns USA to approve the city of Charlottesville for their Fair Trade directory.
How do you work through periods of isolation? How are you achieving your short and long term goals?
2012 was a long year.
In 2012, I:
- quit fashion blogging.
- opened Water Lily Thrift (and sold more than 50 items on etsy alone!)
- quit the craft store where I worked as a framer for nearly a year.
- got poison ivy and experienced ‘roid rage.
- celebrated Daniel’s and my two year anniversary in St. Augustine.
- considered many academic and career options.
- sewed a lot of things, including curtains, pillows, skirts, and a dress.
- cooked more than ever before (and kind of enjoyed it).
- became passionate about fair trade and buying second hand.
- converted almost all of my makeup to organic.
- learned barista skills.
- photographed my newlywed friends.
- became a better photographer.
- won a couple giveaways.
- wrote a few poems I’m proud of.
- went antiquing often.
- read 25 books!
- moved to Charlottesville.
- felt lonely, became better friends with myself, and made awesome new friends.
- hosted Thanksgiving.
- visited the Shenandoah Valley.
- toured Florida Caverns and Luray Caverns.
- kayaked with Andrea.
- wrote 252 blog posts.
- bought some pretty good clothes.
- went on a country road adventure (and crossed the FL-GA line) with my sister to photograph old barns.
- played a lot of Barbies with the seven year old I babysat (I miss her).
- went to Lowry Park Zoo.
- attended two weddings and a high school graduation.
- had my wedding featured on Ruche’s blog.
- was featured in the company newsletter for great customer service.
- took nearly 1,000 photos (maybe more).
- dyed my hair blonde (not doing that again).
- ate lots of wonderful Asian food.
- photographed some grad school graduate friends.
- photographed a baptism.
- quit church and found a church I love.
- took adult ballet classes.
- expanded my graphic tee collection (narwhals and elephants and cats, oh my).
- painted, scrapbooked, modpodged, and canvas-stretched.
- became a pet mice and rat owner. Oh, rodents.
- saw a Bluegrass legend in concert.
- felt defeated and uncertain.
- felt confident and content.
- had Christmas with part of Daniel’s family.
- visited Baltimore.
- experienced snow for the first time in a long time.
- experimented with varied depths of field.
- had horrible and wonderful work experiences.
- felt humbled by the love of companions and the beauty of the natural world.
It’s not often that I feel that a year carried its full weight in time. But this year held a lot of change of both the psychological and the physical sort. I changed jobs three times, moved several states away, blogged a lot, opened an online business, doubted myself, loved myself, read many books, practiced patience and self-control, hosted parties, cooked real food, ate at good restaurants, played with Barbies, went to bars, discussed personal struggle with great vulnerability, put on fronts, argued, cried, practiced compassion, found a church community, adopted causes, voted, felt stupid, felt brilliant, slept in, woke up early, put my foot in my mouth, and spoke eloquently.
I overheard a woman at a restaurant in Baltimore telling her friend that she was glad 2012 was over. I have no desire to redo any part of this tumultuous year but I’m thankful for how the experience, transition, and room for contemplation have changed me. I feel that I, and my life situation, have changed for the better this year. There’s no reason things won’t keep getting better. Thanks for everything, 2012: the chaos and the calm, the tears and the laughter, the boredom and the ecstasy.
(based on a misreading of A Beautiful Mess blog’s challenge)
- Grow my online business: be intentional about advertising, sourcing items, bookkeeping, and having an online presence.
- Put money in savings every month: emergency preparedness and stocking away for the future are always good things.
- Buy fair trade/second hand as often as possible: stop making excuses and consider all my consumer options.
- Travel to a new place: go somewhere I haven’t been before.
I did my best to establish achievable goals that I really want to pursue. 2013 will be a good year as long as I stay motivated and don’t overwhelm myself. One thing at a time.