Here’s to another year ushered in on the couch, in pajamas, with my favorite person!
They have a saying in Armenia that the way you greet the new year is reflective of how you will spend it. Well, if 2017 is anything like last night (minus baby waking up at 11:52pm), it will be just perfect!
2016 was one hell of a year, full of highs and lows. But what's important is that among all the darkness and chaos, there was plenty of good. And for me it was the year of many firsts!
First year of motherhood.
A rollercoaster of emotions, many a sleepless night, nursing in the most random locations, being there for all of my daughter’s milestones, and a never ending learning curve. So grateful for this little family of ours!
Finding my creative outlet.
Oh my, what a journey it’s been! My year started out with a basic knowledge of knitting and crochet, a handful of cheap balls of yarn, the origins of which are unclear to me, and a couple of really blunt knitting needles. I figured if I was gonna be “stuck” at home with Anya, then I might as well make stuff. Little did I know that what was barely a hobby would not only turn into a passion, but that it would also provide me with so much joy, an incredible community, and new perspectives on life!
Embracing the new “imperfect” me.
I know, it sounds so cliche. But, I am a perfectionist (think Monica from Friends). Debilitatingly so. Often I wouldn't even attempt things for the fear of not executing them to the highest standards (or just my own standards that I set unattainably high). I wouldn't go out for a run if I didn’t think I could at least run a 3-miler. Or start a blog until I had that perfect name. I made a real effort to go out and do things last year, instead of only saying I wanted to. If I only had the time (or the ability) to run for 10 minutes, I just went out and did that. And, sure enough, 10 minutes grew into 20, and 3 miles turned into 4, 5, and 9 mile races. I have a lot more work to do on this, but it's a start!
I shaved my head in 2016, and it was totally worth it! We had two family members diagnosed with cancer at almost exactly the same time (definitely on the low end of things to happen in 2016). I was already planning to cut my hair really short, as did my entire family, but then I decided to just shave it all off. Needless to say, it was a very liberating experience (growing it out, not so much)! I have now donated my hair to www.locksoflove.org two years in a row, and I can’t wait to have long enough hair to do it again.
Slow food. Slow fashion. Slow living.
Having Anya really changed my perspective on how and what we consume. I first started asking questions when we introduced solids to her. I couldn't help but wonder what I was actually feeding my child. Where did this grow? Who grew it? And how was it grown? Naturally, I wanted her to be healthy, and I wanted her to eat food that was as chemical-free as possible. A good way to guarantee this is to buy produce at farmers' markets, or, at least, avoid buying produce that we know for sure was not grown locally.
It is also so easy to over consume in a country like the US, where everything comes in huge portions and quantities. The amount of food we would throw away was appalling, and we're constantly working to fix this.
But it's not just food. Consumerism is a huge part of our society today, always buying more, driven by fast fashion and the latest version of what we already own. I am myself guilty of this. I have given away suitcases full of clothes and shoes and other paraphernalia, and I still can't seem to fit everything I own in my closet. Not only does this worldwide over-consumption produce waste and an irreversible footprint on the environment, it also encourages exploitation of labor and is, simply, a waste of money. So, I made an effort to make fewer purchases and always ask myself the question "Do I really need this?". And, if so, can I find an ethically produced version of it? It's been a good exercise, and I plan to continue with this in the new year!
And here's to an epic new year! No resolutions, but lots of goals this year!
- Be present. Instead of trying to juggle everything at the same time, dedicate little bits of time to each activity separately.
- Be kind. First and foremost, be kind to yourself, and give yourself credit for all your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. And be kind to others. Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. Trust that everyone has their own good reason for their actions and opinions.
- Pay it forward. Educate and empower. Find a cause you really believe in, and fight for it. Fight for those less fortunate. Help those less fortunate.
- Consume less. I plan to ask myself these two questions when making purchases "Do I need this item in my life?", "Will I use this or throw it away eventually?". The intention is to make less waste overall (food, clothes, money...).
- Learn. Learn. Learn. Always explore. Always ask questions.
- One design a month. I really want to pursue knitwear design, and this means working harder towards producing new patterns. Super excited for this!
- Selfish knitting. I always gift what I make, to the point that I basically don't own any hand knit items myself. So this year I want to make a conscious effort to knit for myself!
- Make socks. I have never knit socks before. I plan to join the Box O Sox KAL, and attempt to make a pair of socks every month!
- Knit with intention. I really want to make with intention this year. That means picking projects that not only will I enjoy making, but that I (or someone else) will also enjoy wearing.
- Knit more!
- Run a marathon! I am officially signed up to run both the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon and the TCS New York City Marathon in 2017. This will be my fourth half marathon and my first ever full marathon!!!
- Discipline. I winged a lot of my races last year (mainly because they were short races). With a full marathon in sight, I really want to be more disciplined in my training, nutrition and hydration. This means sticking to my training plan. This means not just going out for a run, but switching up my runs, and my training in general. This means nourishing my body correctly, both in terms of food and water intake.
- Personal Best. Since this will be my fourth half marathon, maybe work towards setting a new personal best? We'll see!
- Knitting. Repeating myself again here, but I would like to take knitwear design up a notch, and this means working hard towards producing new patterns each month!
- Yarn. This is a big one, and I have lots of yarny dreams that I will unveil on the blog as I go along. To start with, I plan to bring 100% sustainably sourced and naturally hand dyed yarns to Oysters and Purls. There will be a lot of experimenting and learning involved in the process, and it won't be easy from my tiny NYC apartment. But it should be fun and exciting!
- Blog. This one's pretty self explanatory!
- Collaborations. Make new connections and friends, and collaborate with other makers and artists in the community.
I think that's it, folks!
What do you have in store for 2017? I would love to hear about your intentions and goals for the new year!