In the past, my yearly reflections and goals have tended to focus on quantity – – how many yards of yarn will I knit, how many sewing skills will I learn, how many miles will I ride on my bike, how many races will I finish. While it’s good to have measurable goals, they tend to cater to my Type A / control freak personality and, if there’s anything that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I ought to depend less on my ability (or, as is usually the case, my inability) to control things and instead learn to appreciate all of those little things that can make life so wonderful. In this coming new year, if all works out, Josh and I will be embarking on an entirely new set of adventures, adventures that might be so far beyond my control that I might finally learn this important lesson.
Slow Down, Reflect, and Appreciate
While it may have escaped the attention of my blog, I worked hard this past year. I spent the first part of last year, updating and revising some older knitting patterns and then spent the second half releasing new patterns – – all in all, it was one of my most productive years. At the Day Job, I experienced tremendous upheaval and variations in my responsibilities, without losing my marbles and, I think, maintaining an even keel. In the garden, I sowed, grew, maintained, and harvested a ginormous amount of crops and ornamentals – – months after the final harvest, I have a chest freezer full of food from my garden, from which I regularly make meals for Josh and I. As but one specific example, I tended to 41 tomato plants, which is a ridiculous amount of tomatoes for a two person family (six, if you count the chickens, who definitely enjoyed their fair share of tomatoes).
In the coming year, I want to slow down, reflect, and appreciate. I want to be less focused on how many knitting patterns I release, I want to feel no guilt at how much or how little I sew, I will have a much smaller (and more efficient) garden, and I am not going to obsessively track my running and biking miles. I want to work on knitting patterns when I feel inspired to do so, I want to sew when I am excited about a project, I want to garden for the joy of gardening, and I want to ride my bicycle because it’s a fun activity. Already in the throngs of the new adventure, I have been exhausted beyond belief. While I anticipate the exhaustion to subside, I want to get away from my compulsion to do, do, DO, more, more, MORE, and instead enjoy and appreciate my experiences.
An Adventurous Spirit
The thing about adventure is that it’s not really an adventure if you are determined to control it. It’s not an adventure if the outcome is known before the beginning. So much of my life, I do the same thing over and over, and what I do generally has expected outcomes. I go to the same restaurant and order the same thing. I set out on a hike, and travel the same route each time. When everything I do is the same as the other thing that I did, the days become indistinguishable from each other and I forget that life can be a great adventure. Part of the shift in focus from doing more to appreciating experiences is also enjoying and being curious about the unknown and excited by possibilities.