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2023 - A Year in Review

A piece of knitting in blue yarn with a dropped stitch held by a pink stitch marker. The knitting and three small ball of yarn lie on a brown wooden surface with a white crochet doily in the background.

 

Well I don't know about you but I've never been one much for journaling, reviewing, resolutions, reflecting. Part of this has been because I don't know WHAT to write about, part of it is due to believing that my handwriting was destroyed due to rapid note taking (I'm looking at you, university). Feeling the feels doesn't come naturally to me, and heavens forbid that I should share or express those emotions. However something is, not compelling me, but insisting that I review this past year before moving into a new one. 

This time last year I wrote briefly that I've felt a change in the air for some time. Many of the events leading to these feelings were personal and tumultuous and really didn't feel like the sort of things that I could share in my business, but seeing as it has affected my dyeing and also my willingness to show up both in business and personal life, maybe I should have. I tried to work around the edges, but somehow it always felt like excuses to just stay put, to not change anything, to stay with what was safe and familiar and known.

No more! Changes need to be made and I'm the only one who can do this. Nothing changes if nothing changes. So without further ado, here is my first attempt at pushing at the boundaries of comfort, at qualifying the unknown, at working out what needs changing and how. This is my 2023 in Review.

Highlights

  • Adding two new-to-me markets to my calendar.
  • Enjoying a long-awaited holiday to Viet Nam, spending time with my brother and his family. Learning a bit more about my family and making some fabulous memories whilst watching my two nieces grow.
  • Attending the Victorian Branch of the Australian Lace Guild as both a vendor and guest speaker.
  • Surviving the Year of Firsts and firing my beloved out of a cannon.
  • The most successful Bendigo Show yet!
  • Scoring some temporary work with the AEC.
  • Getting some financial advice and realizing that it's possible that I can survive.
  • Spending seven weeks living with Dad.
  • Enjoying family time in Sydney the weekend before Christmas, reconnecting and making more memories.

Lowlights

  • Watching a situation unfold that almost shattered one of my "other" families.
  • A house-sitting situation that almost undid all the joy of my overseas holiday.
  • A major sale that fell through, after it was half paid and I'd committed some of the money to necessary repairs.
  • Breaking my collarbone, and eventually needing surgery.

I'd like to reflect on and expand my last point a little more: the breaking of my collarbone. The dominant side, of course. On the upside, this happened after all my markets were done for the year, and the day after I'd finished my AEC work. On the downside, it has upended all of my end of year plans and completely destroyed any opportunities for work or income in the short term. It meant that I got to spend seven weeks having my Dad live with me, as he helped out as best he could around my house and chauffeured me to and from appointments and supermarket shopping. It has given me determination to work hard to heal, to overcome many fears (and some still to come), to welcome my scar into my life (her name is Scarlett, of course!). I believe that things happen for a reason, and I believe that my injury was meant for me to pause, to appreciate what I do have, and work out what I need and what no longer serves me. This is a work in progress, and I'm curious to see what next year's review might bring. My poor Urchin in the photo above reflects my 2023 pretty well: it started off gloriously; had to be frogged and re-knit amid doubt of whether I'd done the right thing; then just as I thought I was back on track a dropped stitch caused me to pause yet again.

2024, a new year. A chance to make changes, to experiment with what I know so far, to grow and change, both personally and in the business. I think that making resolutions is incorrect: the root word is resolve, suggesting that there is a problem that needs solving. I like to concentrate on some synonyms of resolved: decisive, determined, confident; these feel more aligned with where I am headed now. To this end, I have decided to participate in a Word of the Year challenge. My first step in a new direction 😊

What about you? Do you review the year just gone, and do you use this to make plans moving ahead? Do you have any resolutions, anything that you want to change or investigate or explore? What this year has given you pause, challenged you to rethink what you know, or shown you opportunities that you hadn't considered before? 

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