Friday, January 6, 2023

2023 Goals and Works in Progress

Ah, a fresh new year! I just love years-in-review and seeing everyone's hopes and goals for a new year. Even though time is linear, the cyclical rhythm of the calendar always makes me want to take stock and reevaluate.

I had to go back to my post from a year ago to see what my 2022 goals were. Here's how I did:

  • Pay attention to the stores I am purchasing from: This one turned out to be really hard, mostly because I don't buy a lot of random stuff. Toiletries come from Amazon and Target; for gifts my kids usually want specific things that I also get at those two stores. Sure I can buy them some artisan wood toys that cost a lot that they won't love as much as a plastic Paw Patrol vehicle, but at this point in my life that would be a waste of money. I do only buy used books, either from online sellers (AbeBooks is great) or local library sales, and I try to find toys at thrift stores or my Buy Nothing group. I hardly buy any clothes, but when I do I go to the local outlet mall. As a short person (I'm 4'10") I need to try on clothes before I buy them, because the majority of the time they don't fit. I'm tempted by some beautiful US-made artisan clothes, but in reality I'd just have to return them. This continues to be a life goal and I'll buy from local/independent sources when possible.
  • Support artists: Yes! I purchased some cards and a calendar from May We Fly, I'm a patron of Randi Lynn Reed (her YouTube and Website), I bought a subscription to Taproot magazine, and a mug from a local ceramic artist, Sunny Hess Pottery.
  • Waste less food: I didn't set any measure for this goal so I don't know if it was officially achieved, but I feel like we threw less food away this year. I basically elected myself to be the human garbage disposal and ate all the soft fruit and made salads of random vegetables. I also took one for the team and ate all the random baked goods out of the freezer. This included a cinnamon roll from Christmas 2021 which honestly wasn't worth it. 
  • Read what I like: Success! I DNF'd (did not finish) more books in 2022 than I had in a long time. If I felt a sense of dread or overwhelm at how much more of a book I had to read or listen to, I just gave up on it. I don't rate or track these books because even if they didn't work for me, that doesn't mean they aren't great or couldn't be someone else's favorite.

In 2023 I'll have a lot going on as usual, especially during flower season, so I'm not setting a ton of goals. I would like to:
  1. Publish at least one blog post per month: It's always fun to look back at pictures and record memories of the every day, so I definitely want to keep up with blogging. I wish I could write more often, but with my regular responsibilities, once a month is about what I can handle. One day I'll retire and be a blogging machine!
  2. Have one new experience per month: As a homebody and an introvert I do love my alone time at home; but that comes at the expense of actually experiencing the world. I'm going to be flexible with this goal and keep my options open, so it may look like trying a new restaurant, visiting a museum, taking a class, or hiking somewhere I haven't been before.
  3. Create a list of books to read and then actually read them: More on this at the end of the post.
  4. Finish projects in process and complete some new ones: I have had several crafty projects in progress for years. Over the years my tastes and interests have changed, so I'd like to have room for the new.
First up is this yarn I'm spinning. I think I started this in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic. I used to spin quite a lot, but hardly do at all now. There's only so much time in the day! The singles on the wheel have started to get dusty, so I really need to complete this project. I'm guessing I'm about halfway through the fiber.


The next project is a pinwheel sampler quilt that I started as part of a sew-along, but lost interest in. It's entirely possible this was started before I had kids. (My oldest is 9 now, so....) I love how the blocks look, but what you can't see is that the white fabric I used is very cheap muslin. I didn't know any better at the time! I want the white to match, so I will likely just make 2 more blocks and turn this into a wall hanging.


My second in-progress quilt is made from a bunch of old t-shirts. This is the third t-shirt quilt I've made, and in general they are quite fun. And yes, these t-shirts are from 2001-2003. I currently have nine blocks, and plan to make seven more for a total of 16. I already have all the knit fabric ironed on to stabilizer, so it's just a matter of adding borders to the smaller pieces, and then adding sashing in between. I want it to be colorful and scrappy; so far it's headed in that direction!


On Black Friday I bought some sewing patterns: the Redwood Tote, Maker's Tote, Hinterland Dress, and Studio Tunic. I want to clear the decks of these older projects so I can make at least one of these this year.

Reading Goals

The past two years have been all about volume. I read a total of 196 books in 2 years. I've focused on reading for fun and entertainment, but I'm ready to work my brain in a new way. Like a lot (most?) people, the digital world has decreased my ability to pay attention and think. I was an English major, and as such read a ton of classics. I haven't gotten through one in a decade! My strategy is to break things down into small pieces (a certain number of pages a day), and listening to audio without doing something else at the same time (besides walking or knitting, which don't require focus for me). 

I have four categories I want to focus on; I don't expect to get through this list in its entirety. I may substitute or read more or less in one category; I'm starting off excited though!

Non-Memoir Nonfiction
Sapiens by Yuval Harai
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Classics
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Middlemarch by George Eliot
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Big Honkin' Books
(Middlemarch and David Copperfield both count in this category too!)
The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers (816 pages)
11/22/63 by Stephen King (849 pages)
Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (936 pages)

Unread Books I Own
(I am starting the year with 56 unread books)
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A book by Kate Morton (I own 3)

Are there any others I need to add to this list??

Happy New Year!

12 comments:

  1. DNFing books is a big thing for me, in that I never do it. This means that I have read some books and really regretted the time I spent on them. NOT ANYMORE. I am vowing to DNF if a book isn't speaking to me!

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    1. Do it!! Put those books aside and never think of them again!

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  2. I have heard SO many people talking about Middlemarch. Could it be time for me to bite off that giant tome?!

    I definitely do DNF...quite regularly now. I always feel a bit icky (what if this book became amazing on page 115...and I quit it on page 110, but life is just too short).

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    1. DNFing is one of those things that becomes easier the more you do it. And it makes you feel like such a rebel sometimes! I've been hearing about Middlemarch too, which is why it's on the list. I remember liking the movie a long time ago, but other than that I don't remember too much about it!

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  3. I didn't know that you quilted! I love your quilts in progress. And I love the patterns that you have on deck and I can't wait to see which you decide to make. Here's to a lovely 2023!

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    1. Quilting was one of my first crafts - I finished my first quilt when I was 16. I still have it and use it occasionally. It's also the craft that fell most by the wayside once I had kids, because it was hard to get away to my sewing area. It was much easier to pick up some knitting - but now that they're older, it's becoming more of an option.

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  4. I love your goals and I love that you have so many creative hobbies.

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  5. It is always interesting to see what a variety of crafts people do. I didn't know about your spinning or quilting. Good luck with finishing projects this year and enjoy your reading.

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    1. Thank you! I tend to get bored easily so I always have another craft to flit around to.

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  6. Your quilts are lovely, like you I have an unfinished quilt that I really ought to finish this year! I love your goals, they feel so achievable which is what a goal should be, if we pick something difficult we are setting ourselves up to fail.

    I have read about 80% of the books on your want to read list. I read far less than you, I suspect I have read about 30 books in the last two years. I read big, long books most of the time so they can take more than a month to finish. I hope you enjoy your reading this year.

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  7. Your "year in books" post blew my mind. You are voracious! I've loved a bunch you have on your 2023 list, and I have also recently adopted the "do not finish it if you're not into it" mantra. I'm 66 and have no time to waste on things that do not engage me. Hooray for your 2023 goals as well. I've been meaning to make a Studio Tunic, thanks for the reminder. I look forward to seeing your progress with all of your intentions. Onward! xo

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