Thoughts on the Year

I know the year has yet to come to a close, but I’ve noticed several other blogs I follow thinking on their yearly recap, and I also have been thinking of what I’ve learned and accomplished in 2011.  I’m not really one for resolutions. If I ever make them, I most likely break them before even the month of January is out.  Instead, I find that I often do not know in advance the path that will lead ahead of me, and try to be open to the lessons learned throughout the course of the year.  Just as some things take instants to change, others take years and we aren’t always aware of them until we’re broadsided with the euphoric moment when we see ourselves in the mirror and confront our new-found revelations about ourselves or our lives- some of which those closest to us have known for years and years, and try to suppress a smirk or giggle since we’re obviously so shocked to be just learning about it ourselves!

My life is mostly guided by my faith, and this year has not been an exception.  I have learned and unlearned, and relearned, where the center of my life should be.  Just like a ship, I set out into unexpected horizons at the beginning of 2011, with a rough idea of what my course would be and what direction I would take.  Strong winds and rough seas caused me to drift off course (in some ways more than others), but in the end, I find my path, a little more beaten down from the unexpected torrents, surviving self-inflicted mutinies of the mind, and again see a few clouds on the horizon with the promise of a new day and new dawn.  And I know now, the path was there the whole time, but for the lack of visibility on my part while going through the storms, it was obvious when viewed from above.

I’ve had many personal challenges this year, but, like every year, we survive them and come out a little smarter, a little more humbled, and very thankful for what we have.  It’s not best to bow down to defeat, but stand strong in the face of adversity- be it either externally, internally, through others’ influence, or through our own.   I think the lessons learned have not come unto complete fruition, but I can definitely see that the Spring is coming and the buds will bloom, and when they do we’ll understand a bit more the waiting since the seed was planted.

I’ve had business changes this year. I lost my studio space earlier this year and have been challenged to find a niche that is both something rewarding personally, and keeps in line with the statues and laws of our state we live in.  So, Wearing History patterns have been my focus for the year, although I still have many unfulfilled dreams, that, God willing, will be lead into in years to come.

I’ve learned, as I nearly always do every year and can never quite remember, that I tend to bite off more than I can chew.  I have great expectations for myself that may or may not be met.  I don’t know where I think I’ll find the superhero power to accomplish all of said goals, but have learned this year to be a little more lax on myself if they either don’t happen or take longer than expected.

I have learned that some things are unexpected, and no matter how hard you try to prepare for the future, that some things come as surprises.  When it really boils down to it, love for family outweighs any personal goals, and taking care of health comes before working towards career dreams.  When things get toughest, the most important things often become more clear.

I am thankful for my family and friends who continue to stand by me in times of trial and times of victory- be them little tiny victories on the roads of life. I have also learned to not count any small personal victory any less than major ones, since all are important in their own right, and often the small ones build up to the larger goals.

I went this year from selling primarily on Etsy to having my own website, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be one girl doing this and having received such a wonderful response from my customers and friends.  The longer I do Wearing History patterns, the more clear my vision for the future becomes.  It has changed a lot since two years ago, when I was simply hand drawing single size vintage pattern copies, to my vision for the future which I’ve been able to do in a few patterns this year,  where I take period originals and make changes that are needed or design my own, make layouts for modern fabric widths, make instructions clearer to understand, multisize them, make samples and photograph them, and sometimes add my own artwork- a skill which I have sorely neglected for years and missed immensely.  It does take me a very long time to do, but I am so much happier with the end result, and I’m always completely shocked and thrilled to see people creating objects for themselves from the patterns I’ve put so much hard work into.  Although period patterns are not my life dream, it is so fulfilling to see what beautiful things can be made by other’s hands with their own vision and I’m thankful I have the opportunity to make these designs available.

In the future, I’m not going to say what my wishes and dreams are for now, because Heaven knows they change and morph the more I grow and learn, but I will say that I am excited for all adventures that God has laid out for me in this coming year and am hopeful for the fortitude to meet future goals and needs head on, and with great courage and good heart and faith.

Thanks for listening to my little musings here, and I hope you have a blessed holiday season.

12 Comments on Thoughts on the Year

  1. Jill
    December 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm (9 years ago)

    What an eloquent, moving post. I feel myself nodding in agreement over and over here! I heartily wish you continued success, peace, and happiness in 2012, dear friend!

    • Lauren
      December 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm (9 years ago)

      Thank you, Jill! It’s been quite a year! I’m so thankful to have gotten to know you better this year and hope there’s lots of wonderful things in store for you in 2012, too :)

  2. Beth
    December 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm (9 years ago)

    This is lovely. I’m so grateful I was able to be a part of your life this past year, and thankful that you are in mine! Merry Christmas and Blessings for your family.

    • Lauren
      December 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks, and likewise, Beth! Your friendship has been one of the biggest blessings to me this year. Merry Christmas!

  3. wacky tacky
    December 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm (9 years ago)

    I must echo the sentiments of both Jill and Beth. Life gets so hectic and wonderful and strange that I’m not sure I have taken the appropriate time to reflect on all that has happened and ponder what is to come. I am so grateful that we have become friends and I eagerly look forward to all that you are to accomplish and wow us with in the new year! Merry Christmas, pal!!!

    • Lauren
      December 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm (9 years ago)

      Likewise, Mr. Tiny! I am so thankful for your friendship this year and looking forward to our misadventures in the coming year :)

  4. Debi
    December 22, 2011 at 12:51 am (9 years ago)

    Well said! It’s been wonderful going through this journey with you via your blog! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!!!

    • Lauren
      December 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm (9 years ago)

      Thank you, Debi! I hope you and your family have a blessed holiday season as well!

  5. Janice
    December 22, 2011 at 6:54 am (9 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the year with us. Have a blessed holiday season as well!

    • Lauren
      December 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm (9 years ago)

      Thank you, Janice, for reading them :) I hope you have a joyous holiday and happy New Year!

  6. Michelle
    December 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm (9 years ago)

    What a wonderful post! I couldn’t agree more regarding New Years resolutions as I never make them. Life is always changing, never static and no one can see what is to come. As you say, it’s the lessons we learn from the ‘trying’ situations that help us to grow. Time has flown by since we met in person last year in LA and it was lovely to finally catch up face to face as I had admired your work from across the other side of the globe for many years on FL. :) I am very grateful to have friends like yourself with whom I can share my love of all things vintage, even if we do live in different countries. I wish you and Matt all the best in 2012. Merry Christmas from down under! ox

    • Lauren
      December 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm (9 years ago)

      Well said, Michelle, and I completely agree! It was such a wonderful experience to be able to meet you in person last year. I hope that you come back soon! And likewise, I’m so blessed for the internet and the ability to know others even if we do live on different parts of the globe. Merry Christmas!