The other day my eldest daughter (Duke Law, 2017...as a Jewish mother I'm contractually obligated to insert that) told me that, for the past few years, she has started her year by ascribing to it a single word. Think compassion or intention or resilience.
I'm all over that kind of thing, so I started thinking about what word I wanted to guide my life in 2018.
Then I said, " Hey, wait a minute!" And, yes I said this rather than just thought it because I talk to myself. "How can I decide what I want for the coming year if I haven't looked back at the previous?"
I don't think I can, so I'm going to take some time to do just that. Starting with these:
These are the quilts I designed and pieced this past year, 3 have been or will be featured in Modern Patchwork Magazine and 4 (Simple Jim, Mosaic of Eight, Flying Dice, and Medusa) were created to promote my new modern batik line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Mark to Make. I'm in the midst of writing and illustrating all those patterns for their mid-February 2018 release. But that's next year. Right now I'm remembering, not planning.
This past year, I've also sewn a lot of clothes, almost exclusively for myself (when I say that I really mean exclusively). I faced and tackled my fear of sewing with knits. I even hand patterned and dyed some knit fabric to make this:
Also, I tried my hand at hacking several garment patterns, either by altering them or using knits where wovens were called for and vice versa, learning a lot about making clothes in the process.
I am excited about all the possibilities, but can't talk about what's next up because, like I said, this is the look through the rearview window.
And, I have lots of favorites, that is books, websites, articles, newly discovered makers and artists who I've either shared with my newsletter readers or bookmarked for myself.
(Breaking the rules here) I'll be listing those in another Year in Review post.
If I were to name THE most significant thing that happened to me this past year and it's been a big one with everything from new directions in my work to running my first marathon in 5 years to my daughter (you know, the lawyer) getting married, I'd have to say it's starting to volunteer with Back on my Feet. With chapters across the nation, BOMF helps to combat homelessness through running. Yes, that's a real technique and a totally revolutionary approach to this problem. BOMF recruits folks from shelters and recovery programs for runs three times a week. They learn that exercise can help you cope and plan and direct your life and, of course, BOMF offers additional resources like job training, mental health, school and housing assistance. The first thing folks get from BOMF is running shoes.
Twice a week I get up at 4:30 am, drink my coffee, and drive to parking lot adjacent to the Salvation Army Shelter in downtown Austin. I meet up with my fellow volunteers and the folks we refer to as "our members" We warm up, choose a running route, and then huddle together to recite the Serenity Prayer. Then we each stretch a hand toward the center of the circle and, on the count of three, yell," Back on My Feet!"
While we run we talk about important stuff and silly stuff. We support each other and build community. Several of the folks I've met at BOMF have also started attending another running group I participate in (this one's just about running...and possibly eating). We ALL learn how connected we are and that's what makes it such a powerful experience for me.
Actually, that might just be my word for 2018: connected.
Oops, am I looking forward again?
What about you, what's your word for 2018?