Another New Year

And here we are, at the start of a brand new year. So far I slept in until noon and am still in my pajamas, so 2012 is off to a pretty good, albeit lazy, start. I've got a mug of tea sitting beside me, and a stack of knitting that's calling my name. Tomorrow I go back to my regular work schedule and life goes on, but today I'm just going to relax and enjoy my day off.

To me, the best part of January 1st is taking the time to reflect on the year that passed before, and to dream about what's to come in the year we've just stepped into. Not a lot happened to me in 2011 -- I continued at my job, I continued with my house, no new pets joined our family, Jason and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary, and life went on. No big gains, no big losses. And, especially after all the craziness and change that 2010 brought, I find that I'm okay with that. There's a lot to be said for calm.

As always, I took the time to add up my end-of-the-year knitting stats. And the grand total is 21 projects for a sum of 6,550 yards. (for the record, the total projects counts all of the knitted veggies as a single project instead of individually which would put me up to 27) That fell shy of the totals from the previous year; 2010 saw 34 projects for a total of 7,880 yards. My best year for yardage remains 2008, with 9,979 yards.

Not great, but not awful. Pretty much in keeping with the rest of the year.

My favorite project of 2011 was easily Epic Wedding Shawl. While EWS definitely contributed to my lower project count and lower yardage total, because I spent over three months with it, I can honestly say that it's one of the few projects (especially large projects) I've made where I've reached the end of it and looked back to realize that I loved [almost] every stitch of it. It was one of the few projects, ever, that I've come to the end of and not felt a sweeping swell of relief that it's finally over, but rather an odd mingling of pride and loss at its completion.

I'm proud of it, of its thousands and thousands of stitches, of the hours and hours spent working on it, and of the simple beautiful fact that with just some balls of string and two sticks and my own two hands, I was able to create something physical that holds all of the love and affection I feel for my cousin, and that she carried it with her on one of the biggest days of her life.

Though overall 2011 was middling, that one event does stand out to me.

 

As far as my Resolutions went, I didn't do too bad.

  • I wanted to keep up better with housekeeping, which I did.
  • I wanted to knit more for Jason, which I did.
  • I wanted to use up more of my stash yarn/buy less yarn. I succeeded with the first but failed in the second, so overall my stash stayed about the same so I'm calling that one a draw.
  • I wanted to improve my eating habits, which I did; I'm pretty proud of this one, since I was so used to eating like crap when left to my own devices. I managed to cut way back on soda, and halved the amount of sugar I put into my daily mug of tea.
  • I wanted to exercise more, which I did, sort of. I made it a point to take the stairs instead of the elevators at work (probably about a dozen trips up and down per work day) and started running when the weather was warm enough, but then stopped doing when it got cold. So, another draw?
  • I also wanted to read more, handily accomplished with a total of 129 books for the year, and write more, which was a total fail.

This year, my resolutions aren't all that different. Mostly it's a lot of keep on keepin' on. I want to keep reading, keep up with housework, etc etc. I do have some goals that are more specific, though.

  1. I want to cook more at home. Though I feel like overall I've started eating better than I did before, I also feel like we're still getting dinner out more often than I would like.  I need to track down a bunch more "one pot" recipes that freeze well, because I did some of those late in this year and it worked out well, especially on nights where I had a bad day or wasn't feeling well. Where before I would have just grabbed take-out, I just stuck my arm in the freezer and heated up something I'd already made. So, more of that. (Any easy/quick/healthy meal suggestions that make good leftovers would be appreciated!)
  2. More with the exercise. I need to find something I can do for the half of the year that the weather is 20 degrees and crappy. I'm reluctant to join a gym, so I'm still working out the details on this one.
  3. Practice the piano for at least 20 minutes per day. That's a short enough length of time that I can just sit down and bang through with little effort, but for some reason I don't. It's usually 6:30 by the time I get home and then I'm dealing with dinner and unwinding, and then before I know it, it's suddenly too late to play because I have elderly neighbors on that side who go to bed early. I need to come home, play for 20 minutes, and then deal with everything else. Heck, playing would probably help me unwind after my work day, so I'd kill two bird with one stone.
  4. And it just wouldn't be my New Year's Resolutions list if I didn't include something about The Stash. I was actually just talking about this with Jason earlier, and he'd pointed out (in that very practical way of his) that it's kind of silly that every year I put all sorts of restrictions on my yarn buying and then break them and feel guilty for breaking them, when there are two ways to approach the issue of shrinking The Stash; either buy less, or knit more. I don't know why this didn't occur to me earlier. Therefore, this year I resolve to knit more. There, done!
  5. That said, I am also resolving to work from The Stash and only The Stash for January and February. I have enough projects lined up right now that this should be a fairly simple matter.

I'm also adding a new section: Goals! These are things that I don't necessarily feel that I need to change, but things that I would like to accomplish anyhow.

  • I'd like to get through March without purchasing new yarns. I've got more than enough projects to keep me occupied through then, but my resolve is another matter entirely.
  • I'd like to knit more socks. Wool socks are lovely. I need more.
  • More socks for Jason, too, while I'm at it. He loves the one pair he has. He needs more.
  • Read at least 120 books.
  • Write more.

Not all that different from years past, but totally doable. I think I'm finally getting the hang of setting realistic and attainable resolutions for myself, so I'm optimistic

2012, I think this is going to be a good year. I've got a good feeling about you, and my hopes are high for the both of us. Let's see where these upcoming months take us!