I had intended to read through my entire blog of the past year so I could offer up a retrospective on the year, but after some quick calculations realized I had written 273 blog entries in 2008, which would take me a LOOOONG time to read. (If I’d only been writing fiction I’d have had an entire novel by now!) I did page through several months’ worth of archives and have decided that all these entries were written by a maniacal chipmunk. Not me. Nobody could have that much energy!
…erm, well, actually, so far so good. But I was still astonished by the enthusiasm and energy that comes through in my blog entries from last year. I hope this year brings more of the same!
I do want to offer up some of the things I am most proud of in the past year, the ones that I can remember anyway:
- Celebrated my second anniversary with Mike. We will celebrate our third anniversary on the 28th of January. This has been the best and healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in; we genuinely love each other and we complement, support, etc. each other very nicely. I had thought “never again” after my disastrous first marriage, but now, who knows?
- Finally wrote the “coming-out” autobiographical essay on bipolar disorder that I’d been meaning to write for some time. This may have been the most important thing I did for myself in 2008, and I’m pleased about it, both that I finally wrote it and that I had the nerve to post it on my main website.
- Overcame some nasty asthma to ride in my fourth AIDS Lifecycle, raising over $6800 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and raising my lifetime total to over $20,000.
- Designed, sewed, and rode 545 miles in 7 fabulous couture outfits, including one with over 1000 hand-sewn peacock feathers and lots of gold organza!
- Did some serious weaving. Learned network drafting (thanks Bonnie!) and started exploring color work with gradual transitions between shades.
- Won my first weaving award ever at the Conference of Northern California Handweavers – a silver ribbon for my “Tiger Eye” shawl.
- Redesigned my website and learned HTML and CSS to hand-code my website templates. (Actual implementation work still under way by a friend of mine in India.)
- Started building Weavolution, the social network for weavers, with Claudia. This rapidly went from a smallish side project to a major piece of work, and will be one of my big focuses in the new year.
- Rented a commercial kitchen, got a helper, and made 133 lbs of chocolate in a record-setting chocolates year. Also improved the quality of the chocolates over the previous year – many recipients said this was the best year yet!
Here are the accomplishments I want for myself in 2009:
- Deepen my relationship with Mike. We get along really well now, but the better we know each other, the more we can support each other. I’m looking forward to our upcoming third anniversary and am already looking towards the fourth and later ones!
- Practice compassion: either ride AIDS Lifecycle 8 in June, or else get into some kind of volunteer work, exact form TBD.
- Lose 20 pounds. I currently weigh 162 lbs, which is way too much for someone who’s 5’0″. Granted that I’m very athletic and a lot of that is muscle, I’m still looking pudgier than I’d like. So I want to lose at least ten and preferably 20 pounds in 2009.
- Learn more about weave structures. I can’t say what exactly because I don’t know what I will want to explore, but tied weaves and four-color doubleweave top the list right now. I want to put in some serious study of weave structure, more than I did last year.
- Get Weavolution up and running, preferably no later than June.
- Learn more about fashion design. I am starting to read through fashion magazines (horrors!) in search of ideas for new AIDS Lifecycle outfits. I would like to be able to go from a photo to a passable imitation of the outfit. This is a huge challenge and maybe I’ll wind up following/adapting patterns instead (there’s always the time pressure of a deadline), but I think it would be fun to try.
That’s all I can think of right now. It’s late-ish and I’m tired (flew back home to San Francisco today), so I’m not going to essay anything deeply philosophical, going to bed instead. Tomorrow starts a whole new year!
(Reminds me of the very last strip of my favorite comic strip ever, Calvin & Hobbes: after a morning of heavy snow, the world appears fresh and new, and Calvin grabs his sled and says to Hobbes, “It’s a magical world, Hobbes…let’s go exploring!”)
Sandra Rude says
Oh, yes, Calvin & Hobbes. You and my DH Mike. And me. Loved the whole journey, and especially the last strip. Have a wonderful time exploring.
Returning to you Bipolar essay, in reading it I was quite saddened to learn that you had considered taking your own life. Having been there myself — frequently — I know how hard, and how exhausting, that impulse is to fight off. It’s no fun, to say the least, to awaken each morning with the thought, “What would be a good way of killing myself?”
If you ever reach that point again — and I pray you do not — please DON’T end your life. In reading your eloquent writings and posts, and in marveling at the photos of your magnificent weaving work, I think you are FAR too valuable a human being to depart this world more than a half-century before your time. So if you do reach that awful point again, please dial 911 immediately and get help.
Warmest Wishes, and Happy New Year,