Catching Up and Looking Ahead

It’s tempting to do a 2020-lookback post, but with a couple of weeks left to go in the year (and a couple of projects still on the needles) I want to wait a bit longer, to tie up a few loose ends before I reflect back on them. Still, I can’t keep from thinking about a few checked-off accomplishments, and where I want to go in the months ahead.

I purposely gave myself December off, with no big plans other than to try to complete my Goodreads reading challenge, celebrate the Christmas season, and focus in on my intentions for 2021. I have a stack of middle-grade novels to speed-read, nearly all the Christmas shopping done, and I am slowly realizing how I want to approach the new year.

But first things first…

I did it! Yay, me!

I completed my first-ever NaNoWriMo novel—and my first-ever grownup novel—on the afternoon of November 30, not quite at the actual last minute. It’s not a good book, but it’s also not (I think) a really terrible book. It has potential, and I know that one of the steps in my writerly journey will be learning to revise.

It’s also not quite the story I meant to write, and when I get around to revising I don’t know whether I’ll try to shape it into that story (a slightly magical tale about an old woman who may or may not be a witch) or improve the story that it is (a fairly quiet tale about an old woman who may or may not have faith). Either way it’s the same old woman in the same situation; it’s just the storytelling that takes a different tack. But for now, it—and I—will be resting.

What I’m doing now.

With just a few weeks left in the year, I’m tidying my space. Not that you could tell by the look of it, but I’m packing away (or giving away) stuff I now know I won’t be using. I finished a project on the loom, fixed up a Christmas project from years ago that always bugged me, and reorganized the clutter of writing files on my iPad.

I’ve started a couple of projects but with a very “chill” attitude. After the intensity of novel-writing + sweater-knitting in November, I’m knitting into the holiday season with a couple of relaxed projects… and using up some languishing stash yarn. I started a tweed hap-style shawl, and I cast on my first real socks! I’ve always said I’m not a sock-knitter, but yarn + pattern aligned so I’m giving it a try. They’ll have a red heel and toe; if I’m ever going to make socks, they might as well be Christmas socks, right?

I’m following along with Carol Feller’s Sock KAL, using last year’s Advent calendar main yarn from Yarn Social, a yarn shop in Kansas City, my “first” hometown. The colorway was inspired by the Plaza lights… a favorite Christmas memory.

I got an offer to write another unit of Sunday School curriculum, so I’m starting now preparing for the study and writing that I’ll dive into after the holidays.

And I joined a 12-week fitness program. I’ve been down this road many times before. This time I’m trying to enter into it with a non-weight-loss-centered mindset, grounded in what I have learned about diet culture and intuitive eating. For the short term, I want a simple, regular strength routine through the holidays (and hopefully then my toe will be healed and I can restart my running program). My long-term goal is simple, but not necessarily easy: a life of food and movement that is enjoyable, sustainable, and consistent. More to come on that topic in the months ahead!

Coming down the pike…

I feel very antsy to Make All The Plans for 2021. For all its… difficulties (understatement), 2020 has actually been a time of growing clarity for me. I don’t know for certain where my path is going, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I am on one.

Do you make “new year’s resolutions,” or do short/long-term planning and goal setting? I’ve always been terrible at it, honestly, because I have such a long (long, long) list of things I “need” to work on that I end up doing nothing at all. I have a very clear memory of being at my grandma’s for Christmas and writing out my resolutions for the coming year, and literally filling a notebook page front and back with self-improvements.

I wish I could say I’ve outgrown that in the past 30+ years, but… nope.

So even as I’m thinking about all the things I want to work on in the year ahead, I’m taking these last few weeks of 2020 to let them all percolate and see what realistic approach I can take. I’ll be back before the end of the year with (hopefully!) somewhat of a plan and sharing my resources for enjoyment, sustainability, and consistency in all (?) things in 2021.

Stay well, friends. 💜

One thought on “Catching Up and Looking Ahead

  1. Wow. Sister we have so much in common.

    I’m behind in my Goodreads reading challenge this year. Each year I’ve managed to read more than the challenge I set, and so each year I increase the target. This year it looks like I will miss my target.

    I too am knitting my first pair of socks. Well I did try knitting a pair at high school but they were never finished – not even the first sock. I was scarred by my home economics classes – non food.

    Do I make plans? I do and on the whole they fall by the wayside. This Advent I have set myself quite an ambitious plan. So far I’m managing to keep it up. It helps that my Advent observance is attached/or piggybacked to a secure daily routine. Maybe that’s the trick.

    I am also trying to sort out my weird sleep pattern which means not sleeping in and going to bed later. It’s hard going.

    Thank you for your reflection. Prayers and God’s blessings coming your way.


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