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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reviewing 2013

At the beginning of the year, I set a theme for myself.  I wanted to work on "mindfulness". Being more present and aware of the moment and what is happening.

I set it into a few specific categories.

1. With my Son
2. Health
3. Spending
4. relationships
5. my own thoughts

How did I do? That is what I am here to review. In some areas I did rally well. And others I struggled with significantly.
A lot of things happened this year. Many things with people I care about, and things I had a lot of thoughts and feelings about, but no control over. And things I could not write about. And many little accomplishments that I am extremely proud of.

1. With my son. : what a joy it was to watch him grow and develop. It was my intention to focus my time with him as being just that, my time with him. Few distractions. TO be fair, its hard. Technology pulls us to look at phones and see what the rest of the world is doing. Someone might be trying to get a hold of me after all! But what on Facebook is more important that letting my son know that he is the most important thing to me. So I put away the phone a fair amount or turned it off. Not nearly as much as I think I should have, but I did. And it was easier when we had a semi-organized activity. Like cooking or going to the Bouncy house place. Perhaps more structure and signing up for a class together would help further.

2. health: well. I made approximately 0 weight goals. But I did complete 2 half marathons. And I came to really enjoy running. Running has become a nice time of meditation where I can center and quiet my mind. I don't realize how cluttered my brain is until I run. Then it can focus. I also have become more mindful of how strong I have become. Lifting and cuddling my 30 pound son and strengthened my arms. Running after him increases my endurance. And I just feel good physically.

3.Spending. I did much better on this in the beginning of the year. I amaze myself how I can spend almost $0 from January until my birthday in March. I think and consider what I am doing and buying.
 After that it becomes a steady decline. And the budget goes a little out of whack. Its not that I do not want to spend at all, but be more mindful about it. About why I need to buy something: to fill an need or void? And am I being conscious about the etiology of the product. We got better again in November. Especially when it came to buying and making presents for Christmas.

4. Relationships: I think I kind of sucked big time on this one. I can get so caught up in my own head and experiences that I can lack empathy and where others are coming from. And this is one thing I want my son to have and learn. He learns it from watching his parents. While I feel I strengthened some relationships with local people and even met a few new people, it can be so difficult with family. Where there is history and expectations and hurts and blah blah blah. This will continue to be a growth area for me.

5. my own thoughts: these will be the death of me. I swear. I need to quiet my mind so badly. Running has helped me a ton. I have learned to try to step back, if I can, when I feel my brain ready to explode. Take a break, settle down, see what is really happening in my head. But sometimes that is not possible. And it is not pretty. Quieting my mind will also be a continuing process. I did become mindful of some of my own fears and stepped into them to achieve some wonderful professional goals.

I have to say I did like the "theme" idea for my year. I am considering another theme of goals for next year, which starts tomorrow. I just need to organize my thoughts.

I hope to continue to be mindful. To enjoy and experience the moment. What is happening. Who I am with. What I am thinking and feeling. It is not a state of perfecting . But just letting things be.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sewing and Christmas

I decided about this time last year that I wanted a cute home made stocking for my little guy. After searching ETSY and not finding quite what I wanted, I randomly decided " I can make him a stocking". Never mind that I didn't really have a working sewing machine nor had I sewn since my 4-H years.

I first explored Hobby Lobby, and several fabric choices later, tried to figure out how to get my moms 40+ year old sewing machine to work. And after almost losing my mind and a few fingers in frustration, I begged my mother in law for help and went up for a visit.  

She helped me piece together this, my sons first stocking. 

By my birthday in March all I wanted was my own machine. And my lovely husband obliged. (Even if I had to drag him to JoAnn Fabric) 

And since I have had some fun experimenting on how to make things. Cute headbands. Stockings. Baby bibs. It's been quite the learning curve as I am not generally known for being good at following directions. I want to try a few more new things, but I think that will wait until after Christmas.

What I have learned is once I figure out how to make it. I am pretty good at experimenting and getting creative from there. The stockings I make now bear little resemblance to Bens first one. But I am more than ok with that. I like these much better now. 

I also just today stole an idea and made my first mini stocking tree ornament. 

So my new little hobby is fun. I am even making some custom orders for people , I just finished an order of 10 full sized stockings ( here are a few of them)

I have created an Etsy shop now too. For fun. But it also makes me feel a little more proactive about trying to recoup some if the costs of starting my own business ( the counseling practice, remember !!)

So. To celebrate and to selfishly self promote. I am doing a little giveaway. It's for 2 items. One full sized stocking of your choice from my Etsy store and one mini  stocking ornament. 

Just fill out the rafflecopter form below

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway