What is it about a new year that makes it feel like a clean slate? I always saw it as a deceptive trick - after all, that thing I didn't complete on December 31st must still be finished, even if the last digit of the year has changed.
But moving, into a new apartment (with fresh potential for arranging and decorating and routine-making) and a new city (bigger and with a different culture than Fayetteville, and several hours away from friends and family that were within walking distance before), has provided a rare opportunity to truly start fresh.
And start simpler. A few years ago, I made a brief attempt to knit my way through Vogue Knitting's Stitch-a-Day calendar (I think I might have made it through January...) - this year's fiber art project is (I hope) more manageable: Knit the Sky. Using three shades of Koigu (for sky) and 3 shades of Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico (for clouds) I hope to knit one round each day that represents, with reasonable accuracy, the atmospheric conditions. It will force me to look out a window at least once a day, and I feel like it could become a soothing ritual. And, at the end of the year, I'll have a scarf - no assembly required!
While I don't plan to stop completely, I'm also hoping to shift my focus a little away from the knitting and onto a couple of other areas, instead - domestic pursuits being one of them. I want to organize and decorate our apartment, so that it's a haven for Adam to come home to; I'd love to dabble in crockpot dishes more, and in cooking in general (since I'll be cooking at least a couple of meals a day for Brooklyn and I soon); I'm also going to attempt a terrarium (I have a kit, but remain dubious). I'll document all of those adventures here. Hopefully the Macgyvering and mishaps that ensue will be entertaining, and encouraging, to both me and you. :)
Writing is going to be my other main focus. I'll have the privilege of joining a few other ladies in a weekly gratitude link-up (click those links - all of them! You need more good blogs to follow), and you're more than welcome to join in, as well! We'll be counting our way to 1000 gifts (that's just 2-3 a day, for a year) and highlighting ones that stand out. Since I've already started counting, I'm excited to continue with new motivation and encouragement, and I also feel like this ties nicely in with my other projects (after all, the sky changes every day, and I'm definitely going to need a fresh start every morning if this free spirit is going to become domesticated). That begins next Thursday, so for now I'll leave you with a renewed invitation to join in, either in the comments, on Facebook, on your own blog, or just in a personal journal (although it's wonderfully encouraging, for yourself and others, to share!), and my weekly list of gifts:
85. The way people give the gift of happiness and excitement this time of year (like proposals, and upcoming-baby announcements).
86. That (usually) only one of us at a time is cranky about moving, so the other one can help them.
87. The freedom to pause in the midst of packing stress and spend time visiting family.
88. The knowledge that people are praying for us.
89. Mail forwarding.
90. The grace and strength to keep getting up multiple times in the night, every night, for months, with Brooklyn.
91. Eucalyptus/spearmint bath salt.
92. The continued functionality of my laptop, even after all the "tough love" I've shown it.
93. Multiple image-capturing devices, to document where we've been and where we're going.
94. That River Pointe is willing to let us move in a little early (that's both before the beginning of a new month, and speeding up the application process).
95. Adam packing all of the horrible fiddly things so I could miserably have a sinus infection in peace (depite what it sounds like, that is such a gift).
96. My parents opening their (gluten free, dairy free) home to us for a few days as we transition.
97. Adam's thoughtfulness in suggesting that he move all of our things down a day early so that when Brooklyn and I arrived, everything would be there.
98. My dad's generosity in getting a moving truck and taking off work to help.
99. My brother-in-law's willingness to also help, and his wife's willingness to give him up for a whole day.
100! An enjoyable roadtrip with Brooklyn, to the tune of Tenth Avenue North.
101. Tenth Avenue North. I love their music, and without them, Brooklyn wouldn't be named Brooklyn (it's an interesting story, if you ever want to hear it).
102. A conveniently (perhaps too conveniently...) located Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
103. Another year spent with the ones I love.
104. Reinstitution of Brooklyn's schedule, leading to a better night's sleep.
105. An amazing dinner prepared by my talented husband in our new kitchen.
106. Adam's sweetness in unpacking and organizing as much as possible before he starts work, so I won't have to.
107. A nap (you have no idea - or maybe you do).
108. Bathtub[s!] that are long enough for me to fit in comfortably, knees and all.
Is there any renewal going on in your life right now? Will you join us in counting (and proclaiming!) His mercies?