Hey, what happened to 2012?

G'day all!

Wow, we are in the few days of December, the dying days of 2012.  This has been an incredibly quick year, and I am told that as I get older, they will go faster and faster.  No wonder people cry out, "Stop the World, I want to get off!"

A tropical Christmas - tacky!  Fab!

Christmas has come and gone, with its good cheer and fellowship.  Christmas carols have been sung for another year, woe and alas - I like singing them even when trying to sight sing the descant or the alto line, depending.  Sometimes I sing the bass an octave up but I won't blame one particular friend for that cos I also latch onto tenor lines as well.  Christmas presents have been opened and admired and as yet are still sitting under the tree except for the camera lenses which have been put to use on the cameras as appropriate (my phone, the Big Camera).

We have seen a juvenile Snowy Owl up at Sunset Hill, when I decided to drive up there for sunset a couple of nights ago on a whim.

Snowy Owl
I wasn't sure which of the owl or the sunset was more interesting.  Most of the people there thought the owl - that is what they were looking at.

Or sunset?

We drove over to West Seattle yesterday and had a look around there.  Nathan had never been.  There are some great views of Seattle across Elliott Bay.  It would be a nice place to live if you didn't have to commute to Seattle/SLU every day.

Teeny tiny panorama

All in all, it has been a pretty quiet week.  I've got some things done but mostly just had a break from things.  Admittedly I spent waaaay too much time looking at upcycled jumpers (sweaters) on Etsy and getting ideas for the ones I've been gathering.  Ahem.  This was all inspired by a skirt I got at a Christmas fair a month ago, a skirt I particularly like.  I have to work out how to make the overlocker cooperate on two layers of woolly goodness - my experiments so far have indicated the sewing machine is happier on that thickness of material.

This little owl has been following me around.

Time for some reverb, yes?

Day 22:  What was the greatest gift you received in 2012? What was the greatest gift you gave?   What do you intend to give yourself in 2013?

What was the greatest gift?  Probably the hand of friendship.  It isn't easy moving countries, even when you do mostly speak the language.

What was the greatest gift I gave?  Hmm, probably extending the hand of friendship out the other way.  (No, not that way you naughty people!)

What do I intend to give myself in 2013?  The gift of time - try to cut down on some things that are taking up too much time and work on things that matter to me, or need to be done....

Day 23: What will you let go of? 
Name three excuses -- stories you tell yourself that are holding you back -- that you are going to let go of in 2013.

Three excuses -
  1. I'm not good enough
  2. It won't work
  3.  I'm just a blonde (*giggle*)
Those are pretty good excuses, no?  OK, they aren't.  I most likely am good enough, if I don't give it a bash it certainly won't work and yeah, the blonde is fairly much out of a bottle now after chemo.  (But I do have a wave in my hair these days that I never had before!)  Even when the blonde wasn't out of a bottle I still had a brain in my skull.  Still, it works to make people think I'm vapid and then clobber them over the head with something.

Day 24: Your most important habit?  
What is the single most important habit you intend to cultivate in 2013?

My most important habit?  Habit, habit, habit.  Hmm.  Regular exercise.  It is good for mind, brain and body.

Day 25:  How will you be vulnerable?  The soft white underbelly, the flaw in the armor, the Achilles' heel -- weaknesses are what make us the most human, the most beautiful.  Next year, how will you tend to your vulnerabilities? How will you build them a shelter from the storm? How will you put them through physical therapy? How will you find a way to make them work to your advantage?  

I know what some of my vulnerabilities are and they are typical of many peoples - fear of abandonment, fear that I'm not good enough, fear that I'm not worthy.  There's also that extra one of fear that It Will Come Back and No Treatment Will Work.

I dragged a friend down some of those horrible steel mesh see through stairs the other day - she is even more scared of heights than I am but she made it down.  I was proud of her cos I didn't realise that she was less capable of dealing with them than I was (I have to sing songs and look out, out anywhere bar down down down... omg I could fall through the cracks!).  I sometimes forget that others have vulnerabilities as well.

A view like this helps distract me.
I don't like exposing my vulnerabilities, just like any other person.  Flaunting them or even just revealing a little of them is simply a way to get hurt.  You learn that one quickly enough as a child!

So I will coddle them and swaddle them and put them aside as much as possible.  Maybe sometimes I will unwrap them and examine them and wonder how I can make them and me less vulnerable.  I will remember that they are part and parcel of being human, part of this whole experience.

Day 26: How will you make time?  How do you intend to carve out more time for the things that are the most important to you in 2013?

Time management is not one of my strong suites I have to say.  I tend to futz around a lot, drawing together inspiration and wondering how on earth it got this late (in the day or the evening.  Actually, like now!).  I need to plan things a bit better, not sit on Remrants in Ravelry so much (I've already started limiting my Ravelry time!), get back in contact with some bloggers I used to follow quite a bit, and make sure I've got some handcraft to hand (usually knitting) so that I can utilise any "downtime" on the computer to make progress on my projects.  I would like to focus my daydreaming a bit more too, both of crafts and other things that I like to think about.

Day 27: How will you honour your creativity?   How did you make time for creativity in 2012? Looking back, is there one creative time or one particular creation that stands out for you? (Maybe you could share it here?) How will you continue (or start) making time and space for your creative passions in 2013?

Making time for creativity in 2012 meant robbing Peter to pay Paul - rather like a very small Ponzi scheme and about as closely monitored by authorities (in this case, me).  If I took creative time, it usually meant I didn't get exercise done instead.  I should focus more on getting both exercise and creative time done, along with work of course!  This means less stuffing around ont he computer!

I am thinking of getting a couple of books on creativity that I've found on Amazon to play with.  I've done a couple of things on creativity before and found them useful, but I think it is time for a refresher.  And if anyone knows how to actually distill ideas and get them down on paper/cloth/insert media of choice here, I'd like to know about it.  Sometimes I am just brimming with ideas but have no idea how to implement them, or have so many ideas I just can't choose between them.

I haven't shown all these off yet, have I?

I think as far as creative times went, my nesting period a couple of months ago, when I managed to finish about five quilts in a couple of months - now that was a pretty impressive creative time!  You might ask about the knits I showed off in August I think it was - that was pretty good too but some of those knits had been waiting for most of a year for me to tie in some ends or do some seaming.  Three of the quilts had been waiting for backs for a while, and two were fairly new, completely made this year.  All of my quilt backs are pieced, to a greater or lesser extent, so making the backs is almost as complicated at making the fronts for some!

Day 28:  How did you overcome *those* fears?  Think of three things that daunted you in 2012: how are you going to work towards overcoming them in 2013?

Those fears.  The things that are far worse than the monsters in the closet.  (I have finally gotten past the fear of something living in my wardrobe - for years and years and years I had to have the wardrobe doors shut to keep the bogey monster inside it, thank you very much big sister!) It isn't dignified to be my age and be scared of the boogie man!  Monsters Inc was a fine movie btw and made the monsters much nicer.

How to overcome those fears.  There's only one way - run at them full tilt, waving a sword and screaming like a crazy person.

I didn't have an option about moving to Seattle - I didn't really want to come here, I could anticipate the weather and I saw that as the biggest hurdle for me.  I know I am solar powered - Oz and San Jose suit me just fine.  The winter weather is Seattle's worst aspect, followed by the traffic.  Days of grey are not inspiring, and it amazes me that Seattle is home to so many big industries, but it doesn't amaze me that it is the home of grunge (as in the music) nor is home to so many craftie types.  After all, when the sun sets at 4:18 in midwinter and it is dark by 4:30 many days (see above-mentioned grey), what else are you going to do?  (Ok, ok, our neighbours have been demonstrating what else you can do - the squeaking beds and squealing women are a little more than we would like to deal with or know about...)  But I'm here and I'm going to make the most of it.   Suck it up, sunshine!  When you can see the area, it is lovely - Cascades in one direction, Rainier in another, Olympics across the Sound.  It is green all year round, except it went brown(!!!) in August and things were looking water stressed by September.  Without this amazing setting, Seattle would be blah.  The water and the mountains make it.  Make it what?  They simply make it.

The Fear of It Coming Back.  Well I can exercise, I can eat good foods, I can cut back on the sugar, try to not stress about things and keep up my regular checks.  But it is one of those fears that really is out of my control and stressing about it doesn't help any, so I mostly can put it aside and leave it be.

Other fears?  Well we deal with them as they occur.  Do I need to worry about them?  Is there any point worrying about them?  If I worry about them, will it help any?  Mostly the answer is no, so that is the point when I find something else to worry about, something within my control. Letting go is probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned in the last few years.  There's always something I could worry about but why expend the energy on such things?

I might be back on New Year's Day with the last of the reverb - I should do it before 2013 but I might well be on a little roadtrip somewhere.  DH has some time off and we have an itch to scratch and a car to scratch it with...



  1. Happy New Year! May 2013 be truly wonderful x


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