2013: An Ecstatic Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2014: A Bold New Year

It's gonna be a great year!I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner.

As you may be aware, I’ve been pondering my new “word” for this year. It’s been a struggle, to say the least. (FYI: It was a struggle last year, too. I think if it’s not a struggle, maybe it’s not a good word. Hmmm…)

I had developed a plan, which I talked about here. I followed all my own directions. Nothing.

Ugh. Blergh. I left it alone for a while.

Then, I tried some new things, and you might see if they work for you.

  • I asked friends to brainstorm.
  • I went to Thesaurus.com.
  • I thought about words I didn’t like, then looked at their opposites (a thesaurus can help with this, too).
  • I prayed.
  • I looked at how another person decided on their word, which I read here.
  • I walked around the block.

I was ready to give up for the night. After all, I rationalized, there was no real deadline. There was no reason I had to come up with a word before the 1st of January. I hadn’t even heard of this program until mid-January last year. I was ready to give up for the night, but I decided to try one last thing:

  • I went to other sites (here, here, and here, and here) where people talked about their words, and read the list of words that people had picked.

BINGO! That’s when it hit me: Bold.

Bold. I love it. It says everything I need this year. Heck, it’s even part of my motto. Again, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. Go figure.

Then I stayed up a couple more hours designing my graphic. Amazing how energizing this process is.

Unashamed: The Finale

UnashamedIt’s been an interesting, eventful year, and I remain unashamed.

When I first became aware of the concept of picking one word for the year, instead of a passel of New Year’s Resolutions, I was immediately intrigued. I’ve never been much of a resolution keeper, anyway, but this sounded do-able. For a couple of weeks, I had struggled with what word to pick. I love words, and, well, picking just ONE of them seemed an unlikely prospect. Nevertheless, I struggled on,

As you can see from my posts here, and here, and here, I did succeed. I would never, ever, ever have guessed that the word “unashamed” would be not only interesting, but of real value to me, as I was reminded of it time and again. It carried me through a nearly soul-crushing depression, relationship traumas, an interstate move, and career upheavals.

Now the year is drawing to a close, and I’ve already been thinking, at some length, about next year’s word. I’ve narrowed it down to a few, but a couple people have asked me what process I used to determine the word. I think I can safely say that it’s not so much a series of easy steps as it is a time of reflection.

  • The word has to be deep. I can’t really speak for others, but I seriously doubt the word “groceries” would be of value to me.
  • The word has to be applicable. “Read” isn’t useful for me, because I already do it everyday. Probably to excess. It’s hardly something I need to grow in. Which is a good reminder:
  • The word has to promote growth. I already “think” too much, so I need a word that stretches me in a different direction.
  • The word should be challenging. Again, I have a tendency to “linger,” so that’s not where I’m headed.
  • The word shouldn’t be too narrow. I’ve read about a system where the idea behind choosing the word is how I want God to be working in my life. That’s really cool, but again, that’s something I probably spend a lot of time pondering anyway, so it’s not where I’m headed. Not this year.
  • The word should be able to be interpreted in a variety of ways. Again, not too narrow. But not too broad. In my internet meanderings, I ran across a couple of people who chose the word “do.” Whoa, Nelly, That’s just too much.
  • The word has to resonate. That’s really it, in a nutshell. Whatever the word is, it has to “ring” for me. It has to hit me, just right.

I’m down to about five words. I’m getting closer. One thing I’m excited about this year is working with Ali Edwards and her ideas here. I’m still thinking. You think, too. In no way should this be a constraining idea, where if you don’t get it by New Year’s, you’re out of the loop. Nonsense.

Hooking up

I’m always happy to find a good thrift store denim skirt, and in the spring got a real gem: a slightly flared, eight-gored number from Nordstrom. I wore it a couple dozen times this past summer alone.

However, in the course of moving a couple months ago, I tore one of the waist hooks and though I tried a variety of methods, couldn’t salvage the original. (It was not a sewn hook, alas.) I had bought a pack of Dritz sew-on closures, meaning to replace it immediately, but you know how that goes. Exactly. I “hemmed” and hawed, and tripped over it a dozen times while it sat, on the floor at the foot of the bed,, oh-so-patiently-waiting, hoping to be repaired and worn.

20131216_095941But this morning, in a fit of industry, I already had a needle and thread out, as I had sewn a page into my journal. (This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and it won’t be the last. It’s the perfect way to attach pages that I’ve written in other places to the “regular” journal that I’m keeping.) Having finished that job, I had ample thread left on the needle, and figured what better time 20131216_093609than the present. So I got to work, and attached the hook. Yes, a crappy looking job, if ever there was one, and not one I’m proud of, as a seamstress. But, it gets the job done.

Until I tried to put the skirt on. It’s pretty obvious, from the picture, that this was never going to be that easy of a job. Why? Because as you can see from the right-hand picture, the new hook is considerably wider than the previous one. Sigh. Now I had to remove the catch on the other side of the skirt. Because the original closure was set into the fabric like a rivet, there was no way for me to re-sew it. Plus, the one that I was now going to remove would have to be 20131216_090712trashed, too. I was really hoping that it wasn’t so sturdy and well-attached that it would rip the fabric, like when I had torn out the first one.

Grabbing a pliers from the kitchen, I managed to pinch the bar enough that I could remove it from the denim. I felt a bit like a dentist during this part of the arrangement.20131216_093504 Goodness, look at the teeth on that. It amazes me that I was able to rip out the hook on the other side.

Next part was attaching the new bar. Because I had, rather fortuitously, run out of the wine-colored thread I used initially, I figured there was no point in going back to it, and just opted for a matching blue. This time, I was much more diligent in both attaching it in a both a manner that would secure it, and having that manner be attractive workmanship (workwomanship?).

Mission accomplished. I can now wear my favorite denim skirt again, and am doing so today.