I already kicked off 2018 with my new Small Goals post, but I realized I put the cart before the horse a little bit – 2017 is over but it deserves a recap. So here’s my obligatory blogger recap of 2017. Cheers!
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OK, let’s start at the start. When 2017 started, collectively we weren’t in a good place. Donald Trump somehow became president. Every one I knew was in a constant state of stress and panic. The whole situation had me feeling tense and garbage-y every day. Of course Donald Trump is still president, but I’m coping slightly better with this.
But on a personal level, 2017 didn’t start off so hot either. I was working at a job that was, well, not a great fit for me. I’d go to bed thinking I don’t want to go to work tomorrow and I’d wake up thinking OMG I definitely do not want to go to work today. And I realized after working a lot of jobs that once that feeling sets in, it’s really hard to shake it.
There were other things, of course. My family had gone though a major upheaval in 2016 (and those effects were still lingering at the beginning of 2017). I realized that never working out was a bad idea. I knew that my house had some serious foundation issues. I was feeling creatively restless. Overall, I was really frustrated with my situation.
Bearing all this in mind, I realized that I had to rely on myself to make some changes. This is a really difficult thing to do – to just generally change up miserable situations – but my parents (especially my mom) raised me to be a problem solver. I saw some major problems in my life and I had to find a way to fix them. Cue this gif:
But you know the saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I wasn’t suddenly going to find a new job, become creatively fulfilled, have a structurally sound home, a perfect family and a buff bod overnight.
But I could work on making myself happier. So I started small by treating myself to something I knew would give me some satisfaction: I took a tarot class. I wrote about it here, and it really shaped my entire year. Truly. The card I drew that night, the Fool, symbolizes new starts though sometimes in unknown directions. I placed a lot of faith in that card – that my new direction (hopefully a creative one!) would become apparent – and I tried to remain patient as that path became more obvious.
Days later, the Universe served up something amazing: a call for artists for a tarot-themed art show in Madison. Like I said in the post at the time, holy shit. Except now I mean it ten times more because that show gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get serious about embroidery.
I spent 40 hours making my card for the show. And hot off that finger-numbing exercise, I opened up Kaminski Handicraft. This is a jewel in the crown for 2017 because it is a dream long postponed, and finally come to life. By the end of the year, I beat my personal sales goal for the year! I made 22 online sales and almost as many IRL.
For most of the spring and summer, Kaminski Handicraft pulled me through. Embroidery gave me something to think about while I was at work (and something to do over lunch hour), it was something to tide me over when I was really disappointed with where I was at. However, even with embroidery to occupy my mind, I was in a bad space. I desperately started searching. I felt like Charlie Kelly.
One evening while at dinner with a friend, I was discussing job prospects. I had zero at the time, but mentioned a position I applied for months prior that still looked to be unfilled. As fate would have it, one of her good friends worked for the company. She said that she’d get in contact with her and give her my name. By the next day, Taste of Home contacted me for an interview. A few weeks after that, I got offered the job. I cried.
Besides these two major accomplishments/problem solves for the year, I accomplished a lot of other tasks. I participated in the Women’s March with my friend Kellie, I signed up with a gym and started weight lifting classes (I know!), I got married to Michael again, we got our basement fixed, I tried some adventurous bakes at home (and for Taste of Home), I participated in my first-ever craft fair and I blogged here more than ever (35 times to be exact!).
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I don’t write this to brag or to be overly proud. I write this because 12 months ago, I was the Fool. I had no idea where I was going, no idea what to do, but with a little problem solving, hard work and help from the Universe, I managed to reset my course.
I sincerely wish you all a healthy, happy and satisfying 2018. Hoping it’s even better than 2017!