Sunday, January 02, 2011

Looking Forward

2010 (may it rest in peace) was a challenging year for me in many ways. Lots of snow (that's good), trying to train for the Boston Marathon while recovering from plantar fasciitis (and record snow levels), a bout of Lyme disease (or so they said; I'm still skeptical), and of course, the daily challenges of home and work.

By the end of the year, I was darn weary of it all and optimistic about the dawning of the New Year. While I don't go crazy with New Year Eve celebrations, I do see the New Year as a metaphorical "reset" button. It's a good time to put the brakes on the weird, negative thinking that I can do so well and start with a fresh, positive outlook. I was really looking forward to that fresh start.

Which is why I was a bit surprised this morning when the day dawned gray and misty and all I wanted to do (after feeding the cats at 5:00 a.m.) was crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head and not come out, not even for a trail run. This is not an auspicious way to start the New Year. Clearly, I'm still in great need of an attitude adjustment. And to help with that, let's review my resolutions (or intentions) for 2011:

  • Balance my life better. Work is a bit stressful and as a result, I've gotten myself into a rather "stuck" state. I feel guilty for not focusing 100% of my time on work and therefore don't seem to accomplish anything else (yes, I'm well aware that behavior is stupid)
  • Get better at managing lists. I have also sorts of to-do lists (mostly in my head) but don't seem to accomplish much (see the first bullet point). I'm going to try to schedule time each day for specific tasks; when the time is up, it's time to move on to another task (I'm not optimistic that this approach will work, but it's worth a shot).
  • Knit a sweater. Despite the number of years that I've been knitting, I've never knit a sweater. I've started several and finished none. I intend to rectify that this year, even if it means designing my own.
  • Meditate. I read an article recently that said that meditation can help improve memory and concentration (which I probably already knew, but forgot). I've got a serious case of monkey mind going on and my memory is pretty bad (sieve-brain, I like to call it). That bugs me to no end.
  • Add yoga back to my life. I'm finding that as my body is becoming less flexible, my mind is as well, and that's not attractive.
  • Take time each day to find joy, and carry that joy with me (even if it's recalling how cute the cats look when they're sleeping)
  • Take time to figure out what to do with my life. A tall order, but the growing sense of dissatisfaction with my life is an indication that I need to give this resolution some attention.
  • Spend more time with family and friends.
  • Don't beat myself up for falling short of my expectations. This resolution is a hard one. I don't want to lower my expectations of myself. But I do need to understand what's going on in my head when I "fail" and then learn from that experience.

My list is rather ambitious and already I'm feeling like a failure for not having accomplished anything on my list this year!

A Knitting Retrospective
This year wasn't the most productive knitting year I've had, but I did manage to finish some projects:
  • Vancouver mittens. This was my first successful attempt at designing, and designing colorwork. While they aren't my best work technically, I'm happy with them. They mostly fit (barring the wonky right thumb and the too-long left hand) and are very warm. I'll attempt a second pair of mittens for my niece, using a plied yarn instead of a single-ply.
  • The Spiral Scarf. This project was a lesson in short row architecture. I'm pleased with the results. However, my dislike of mohair continues to be reinforced. It's scratchy and the fibers get in my mouth and eyes.
  • Cloning Anemone Rib socks. Well, technically this isn't an FO because I had to frog the second sock yesterday due to a serious counting error. I was making the size medium sock but cast on 68 stitches instead of the 72 needed. That mistake became apparent as I was knitting the gusset. This will be my third attempt with this pair of socks. They say the third time's a charm. Right?

These are the projects that I want to do this year:
  • (Design and) Knit the aforementioned sweater
  • Design and knit the aforementioned mittens for my niece
  • Design and knit a hat for Tom (by February)
  • Finish the second Cloning Anemone Rib sock, without having to frog it
  • Finish the Fair Isle tam that is currently on the needles
  • Choose one more UFO and finish it or frog it

So there you have it. Looking back and looking forward.

May 2011 be filled with love, health, happiness, wisdom, prosperity, and FOs!

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